Skip to main content

Geulincx, Arnold

GEULINCX, ARNOLD

Cartesian philosopher; b. Antwerp, Jan. 31, 1624; d. Leyden, November 1669. He studied at the University of Louvain, where he was named professor and later dean (1654). His frankly Cartesian sympathies and his attachment to jansenism and later to calvinism obliged him to resign (1658) and take refuge in Leyden. Deeply impressed by his reading of Descartes's works, Geulincx rediscovered in them the decisive stages of doubt and of the cogito. But he linked these with the results of an inspiration very different from that of Descartes. The cogito is not so much the affirmation of a thinking substance as the consciousness of entire dependence with regard to God: the individual spirits of men are only modes of the infinite spirit of God, just as particular things are only modes of universal extension. Whence it follows that of himself man can perceive only what God allows him to perceive and that if he himself can will, this willing is limited by the absolute inefficiency of a passive perception. "Nihilest in me praeter cognoscere et velle; nudus sum hujusce mundi contemplator: spectator sum in hac scena, non actor" (Ethica, 1). The principle of this sharing between things and self, as between God and self, is given in one of the fundamental propositions of the doctrine: "qua fronte dicam, id me facere, quod quomodo fiat, nescio" (ibid. ). From this is also derived the first rule of morality: "ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil velis" (ibid. ). This governs all the obligations that the rule prescribes and the unity of the virtues it retains, the main one of which is humility.

See Also: cartesianism; occasionalism.

Bibliography: Opera philosophica, ed. j. p. n. land, 3 v. (The Hague 18911893). Arnold Geulincx, trans. a. de lattre (Paris 1970). a. del noce, Enciclopedia filosofica 2:693699. v. van der hÄghen, Geulincx: Étude sur sa vie, sa philosophie et ses ouvrages (Ghent 1886). j. p. n. land, Arnold Geulincx (The Hague 1895). e. terraillon, La Morale de Geulincx dans ses rapports avec la philosophie de Descartes (Paris 1912). b. rousset, Geulincx entre Descartes et Spinoza (Paris 1999).

[a. de lattre]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Geulincx, Arnold." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Geulincx, Arnold." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geulincx-arnold

"Geulincx, Arnold." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geulincx-arnold

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.