In such a state of despair and destitution there is no hope for spiritualism, save in God; and Clauberg, Geulincx and Malebranche all take refuge under the shadow of his wings to escape the tyranny of extended matter.
But this doctrine was a criticism and a divergence, no less than a consequence, from the principles in Descartes; and it brought upon Malebranche the opposition, not merely of the Cartesian physicists, but also of Arnauld, Fenelon and Bossuet, who found, or hoped to find, in the Meditations, as properly understood, an ally for theology.
Renouvier was the first Frenchman after Malebranche to formulate a complete idealistic system, and had a vast influence on the development of French thought.
For an account of the metaphysical doctrines of Descartes, in their connexions with Malebranche and Spinoza, see Cartesianism.
The greatest and most original of the French Cartesians was Malebranche (q.v.).
Novaro, Die Philosophie des Nicolaus Malebranche (1893).
Rohault's version of the Cartesian physics was translated into English; and Malebranche found an ardent follower in John Norris (1667-171 I).
Determinism had other forms besides that of a crude materialism, and the direction that Malebranche succeeded in giving to speculation led only to the more complete denial of freedom and individuality in the all-devouring pantheism of Spinoza.
Every moment one expects to find Descartes saying with Hobbes that man's thought has created God, or with Spinoza and Malebranche that it is God who really thinks in the apparent thought of man.
NICOLAS MALEBRANCHE (1638-1715), French philosopher of the Cartesian school, the youngest child of Nicolas Malebranche, secretary to Louis XIII., and Catherine de Lauzon, sister of a viceroy of Canada, was born at Paris on the 6th of August 1638.