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Necessary Connections and Continuous Creation: Malebranche’s Two Arguments for Occasionalism


Malebranche presents two major arguments for occasionalism: the “no necessary connection” argument (NNC) and the “conservation is but continuous creation” argument (CCC). NNC appears prominently in his Search After Truth but virtually disappears and surrenders the spotlight to CCC in his later major work, Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion. This paper investigates the possible reasons and motivations behind this significant shift. I argue that the shift is no surprise if we consider the two ways in which the CCC is preferable to NNC: it is not only more effective against opponents but also more consistent with his own views on freedom.