David Tucker's Samuel Beckett and Arnold Geulincx poses questions and provides answers regarding a relationship with which Beckett scholarship has long flirted yet until now has never satisfyingly addressed with a full-length book study.
How comprehensive was Beckett's knowledge of Geulincx and his works?
Occasionalism: Causation Among the Cartesians brings together a selection of Nadler's 1993-2004 articles on various Cartesian philosophers in one place, so the reader can observe for herself the carefully textually grounded and philosophically perceptive case he built for a more nuanced understanding of occasional causation in Arnauld, Cordemoy, de la Forge, Descartes, Geulincx
, Malebranche (and the influence of occasionalism on Leibniz and Hume).
, La Forge, and Cordemoy adopted occasionalism for a variety of reasons, but none did so because of a need to provide a solution to a perceived mind-body problem.
(1624-69) was a little-known but important voice in the post-Cartesian philosophical scene, and this translation of one of his major texts should contribute to the rising interest in his work.
Casanova moves more certainly among the philosophers, Geulincx
in particular, and is at pains to free Beckett from the mantle of pessimist existentialism cast upon him by Maurice Blanchot.
Both drawing and diverging from the humanistic intellectual climate of his time, French philosopher Geulincx
(1624-69) sought to reinvest the classical approach to ethics with an input of Christianity.
Yet, if anything, we could term Beckett's attitude an individual form of secular quietism, drawn from his reading of Schopenhauer, Thomas a Kempis's Imitation of Christ, and the Occasionalist philosopher Geulincx
32) The original Geulincx
-saying goes like this: "Ubi nihil vales, ibi etiam nihil velis (want nothing where you are worth nothing)," since "according to Geulincx
, because man enjoys true freedom only in the mental world, he would do best to abstain from desiring the things of the physical world.
They evidently shared an interest in the major modern philosophers: the names of Descartes, Geulincx
, Schopenhauer, Schiller, Kant, Leibnitz, and Lessing frequently appear.
30) Beckett uses this phrase, from the Belgo-Latin of Arnold Geulincx
, in his novel Murphy, 178.
The problem of Cartesian incoherence was provisionally solved by a slightly later philosophical school called Occasionalism, whose chief representatives are Geulincx