Antoine Arnauld, Oeuvres philosophiques
“Antoine Arnauld (1612–1694) was a powerful figure in the intellectual life of seventeenth-century Europe. He had a long and highly controversial career as a theologian, and was an able and influential philosopher. His writings were published and widely read over a period of more than fifty years and were assembled in 1775–1782 in forty-two large folio volumes.
Evaluations of Arnauld’s work as a theologian vary. Ian Hacking, for example, says that Arnauld was “perhaps the most brilliant theologian of his time” (Hacking 1975a, 25). Ronald Knox, on the other hand, says, “It was the fashion among the Jansenists to represent Antoine Arnauld as a great theologian; he should be remembered, rather as a great controversialist… A theologian by trade, Arnauld was a barrister by instinct” (Knox 1950, 196). It is agreed on all sides, however, that Arnauld was acute and learned in theology as well as in philosophy.
Arnauld was an important participant in the philosophical debates of his century, and carried out famous intellectual exchanges with Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz. In addition, the Port-Royal Logic, l’Art de penser, which he co-authored with Pierre Nicole, was a standard text in the field for two centuries. Less attention has been paid to Arnauld’s lifelong efforts to reconcile the doctrine of grâce efficace par elle-même with freedom of will, though they have many connections with the debate about determinism and free will that continues to this day.” (tratto dalla Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)