The Cartesian–Lockean conception of the mental may have won out in the seventeenth century, but only after encountering a powerful current of opposition. Here, the most important figure is Malebranche, who reverts to the Augustinian tradition by espousing vision in God and divine ideas. This study focuses on Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz as major participants in a dialogue on the nature of ideas, and ultimately, on the nature of the mind. One central issue in the debate is whether intentionality is the mark of the mental. By isolating the view of these three thinkers, it is possible to tell a historically important story, which is also philosophically coherent.
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