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Philosophy and Its HistoryAims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy$
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Mogens Laerke, Justin E. H. Smith, and Eric Schliesser

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199857142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857142.001.0001

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Is the History of Philosophy a Family Affair? The Examples of Malebranche and Locke in the Cousinian School

Is the History of Philosophy a Family Affair? The Examples of Malebranche and Locke in the Cousinian School

Chapter:
(p.159) 8 Is the History of Philosophy a Family Affair? The Examples of Malebranche and Locke in the Cousinian School
Source:
Philosophy and Its History
Author(s):

Delphine Kolesnik-Antoine

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857142.003.0009

The aim of this contribution is to study the classificatory principles used by the first French histories of philosophy and the consequences of they have for our current understanding of that history. The principles of eclecticism have been institutionalized in philosophy programs and in a teaching tradition which is still alive. More specifically, this chapter examines the spiritualist features of Cartesianism in these histories, and how they affect the understanding of Locke and Malebranche. These two authors are interesting to study because they are both excluded from the field of « avowed » disciples of Descartes, while being also considered spiritual heirs of him. Studying these two limit cases allows us to go beyond the traditional opposition between a too idealist spiritualism and an empiricism stemming from the natural sciences, and detect a more subtle intra-empirical struggle between Malebranche and Locke where the two adversaries are in a sense brothers relative to the Cartesian filiation.

Keywords:   Cartesianism, spiritualism, Victor Cousin, Locke, Malebranche

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