Antoine Arnauld

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Antoine Arnauld (engraving by Louis Simonneau after Philippe de Champaigne ).

Antoine Arnauld (born February 5, 1612 in Paris , † August 8, 1694 in Brussels ) was a French philosopher , linguist , theologian , logician and mathematician . He was a representative of the Catholic reform movement of Jansenism .

Live and act

Arnauld was the son of the well-known Paris lawyer, avocat Antoine Arnauld sen. (1560–1619) at the parlement de Paris and his wife Catherine Marion de Druy († 1641). The couple had a large number of children.

Arnauld taught from 1643 to 1656 at the Sorbonne , which he had to leave because of his Jansenist attitude. After Saint Cyran's death , he was the leader of Jansenism around the Port-Royal monastery , which his older sister Angélique Arnauld (1591–1661) headed as abbess. On June 17, 1679, Arnauld fled France to the Spanish Netherlands and remained there in exile until his death in 1694.

Arnauld discussed philosophy and logic in an extensive correspondence with Nicolas Malebranche , Leibniz and Descartes . Especially his correspondence with Leibniz about his Discours de Métaphysique forced Leibniz to make a clearly structured statement, from which he later developed the monadology and theodicy . Arnauld left behind an extensive literature directed against Jesuits and Protestants .


  • Together with Claude Lancelot , he wrote Port-Royal's grammar , Grammaire générale et raisonnée , which dealt with the influence of grammar on the sound and appearance of language.
Antoine Arnauld
  • With Pierre Nicole he wrote La logique ou l'art de penser (known as the Logic of Port-Royal ), a book that propagated logical reasoning as a prerequisite for gaining knowledge. It was of particular importance to the Enlightenmentists of the 18th century.

In his closing remarks, Arnauld writes: “The greatest of all follies is to devote your time and your life to something else and not to that which serves to achieve a life that will never end, for all the goods and evils of that life are nothing in comparison with those of the other. "

  • One of the most important of his numerous theological treatises is De la fréquente communion , in which he primarily opposes the lax penitential practice of the Jesuits and, in particular, attacks the opinion, which was widespread in the 18th century, that Catholics only have to take communion once a year (at Easter) receive.
  • Œuvres complètes , Lausanne, 42 vol in-4 °, 1775 à 1781.Single volumes online: 2 , 5 , 7 , 8 , 11 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 19 , 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 , 37 , 38
  • De la fréquente communion où Les sentimens des pères, des papes et des Conciles, touchant l'usage des sacremens de pénitence et d'Eucharistie, sont fidèlement exposez. Paris: A. Vitré, 1643. online
  • Grammaire générale et raisonnée: contenant les fondemens de l'art de parler, expliqués d'une manière claire et naturelle . Paris: Prault fils l'aîné, 1754. online
  • Logique de Port-Royal | La logique ou L'art de penser: contenant outre les règles communes, plusieurs observations nouvelles, propres à former le jugement . Paris: G. Desprez, 1683. online
  • Nouveaux éléments de géométrie
  • Des vraies et des fausses idées
  • Defense de M. Arnauld , vol. 38 et 39 of the œuvres complètes
  • Reflections on the nouveau système de la Nature et de la Grace
  • Lettres Leibniz-Arnauld
  • Correspondance Malebranche-Arnauld
  • Règles du bon sens


Web links

Commons : Antoine Arnauld  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Antoine Arnauld  - sources and full texts (French)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Société de Port-Royal 2001-2013
  2. Family genealogy
  3. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia