Love of God and Love of Creatures. Damaris Masham against John Norris’ Occasionalism   This paper focuses on Lady Masham’s rejection of John Norris’ view on the love of God. According to Norris, created beings are simply occasional causes of our pleasing sensations, and God is their only efficient cause. Therefore, he states that God himself is the proper object of our love, and the love of creature is sinful. In her Discourse Concerning the Love of God (1696), Masham rebuffs Norris’ doctrine, by undermining its principal metaphysical and epistemological foundation, that is Malebranche’s theory of seeing all things in God. In this essay I argue that, in her analysis, Masham adopts a twofold approach : on the one hand, she charges Norris’ opinion of theological unintelligibility, internal inconsistency with Holy Scripture, and enthusiasm ; on the other hand, she rejects his distinction between love of desire and love of benevolence, and ascribes gnoseological priority to creatures, arguing that, as God is an invisible being, we are led both to know and to love him by his visible works. Thus, we could not love God without loving his creatures. In this perspective, rationality and sociability operate both as essential ontological tracts of human nature, and as criteria of morality and religion.

Amore per Dio e amore per le creature. Damaris Masham contro l’occasionalismo di John Norris

DE TOMMASO, Emilio Maria
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2021

Abstract

Love of God and Love of Creatures. Damaris Masham against John Norris’ Occasionalism   This paper focuses on Lady Masham’s rejection of John Norris’ view on the love of God. According to Norris, created beings are simply occasional causes of our pleasing sensations, and God is their only efficient cause. Therefore, he states that God himself is the proper object of our love, and the love of creature is sinful. In her Discourse Concerning the Love of God (1696), Masham rebuffs Norris’ doctrine, by undermining its principal metaphysical and epistemological foundation, that is Malebranche’s theory of seeing all things in God. In this essay I argue that, in her analysis, Masham adopts a twofold approach : on the one hand, she charges Norris’ opinion of theological unintelligibility, internal inconsistency with Holy Scripture, and enthusiasm ; on the other hand, she rejects his distinction between love of desire and love of benevolence, and ascribes gnoseological priority to creatures, arguing that, as God is an invisible being, we are led both to know and to love him by his visible works. Thus, we could not love God without loving his creatures. In this perspective, rationality and sociability operate both as essential ontological tracts of human nature, and as criteria of morality and religion.
Lady Masham, John Norris, Malebranche, Anti-Occasionalism, Love of God
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/328731
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