Geulincx, Arnold

Geulincx, Arnold

(gö`lĭngks), 1624–69, Flemish Cartesian philosopher, b. Antwerp. One of the founders of occasionalismoccasionalism,
metaphysical doctrine that denies that finite things have any active power and asserts that God is the only cause, whereas physical events and mental states are only occasions for God's action. Muslim theologians in the 8th cent.
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, his philosophy is characterized by a curious blending of rationalism and mysticism. Arguing that God is the sole active power, he denied any real interaction between finite things, which serve merely as "occasional causes." He explained the relationship between mind and body by the analogy of two clocks that are synchronized by God at each instant. Although there is no interaction, there is a continual harmony between them. His principal works, which appeared posthumously, were Ethica (1675) and Metaphysica vera (1691).


See H. J. de Vleeschauwer, Three Centuries of Geulincx Research (1957).

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Geulincx, Arnold


Born Jan. 31, 1624, in Antwerp; died 1669 in Leiden. Dutch idealist philosopher. Professor of philosophy at the universities of Lou vain (1646-58) and Leiden (beginning in 1665).

The problems studied in Geulincx’s philosophy were formulated under the influence of R. Descartes. As one of the main representatives of occasionalism, Geulincx showed that interaction of soul and body was not possible, comparing them to two clocks whose motion was originally coordinated by god (later, G. W. Leibniz used this example for the theory of pre-established harmony).


Gno‘tti se auton sive Ethica. [n. p.] 1675.
Physica vera. [n. p.] 1688.
Metaphysica vera .… Amsterdam, 1691.
Opera philosophica, vols 1-3. [n. p.] 1891-93.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. I, Moscow, 1957. Pages 406-08.
Vleeschauwer, H. J. de. Three Centuries of Geulincx Research: A Bibliographical Survey. Pretoria, 1957.
Lattre, A. de. L’occasionalisme d’A. Geulincx. Paris, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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