Antoine Arnauld

Born: 6 Feb 1612 in Paris, France
Died: 6 Aug 1694 in Brussels, Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium)

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Arnauld studied at the Collège Calvi, then at the Collège Lisieux at the Sorbonne. He received a bachelor's degree in 1635 and a doctorate in theology in 1641, the same year in which he was ordained. He entered the Sorbonne in 1643 but was expelled in 1656 for his Jansenist views. [A Jansenist is a follower of the heretical doctrine de-emphasising free will and teaching that Christ did not die for all men.]

He spent some time living in the monastery Port-Royale but also spent periods in hiding both before and after his expulsion from the Sorbonne.

Arnauld preached against the Jesuits, spent most of his life in theological disputes and died in self-imposed exile in Brussels. His self-imposed exile began in 1679 when there was again persecution of Jansenists and also persecution against the monastery Port-Royale. Almost all his writings in the last part of his life were a consequence of his disagreements with Nicolas Malebranche.

Arnauld corresponded with Descartes and Leibniz, wrote on the theory of light (influenced by Pascal) and wrote on logic and on grammar.

References (5 books/articles)

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Rue Antoine Arnauld and Square Antoine Arnauld are in the 13th Arrondissement in Paris. You can see a list of Paris streets named after mathematicians in our archive.

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Rice University, USA

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JOC/EFR December 1996