Philosophical idealism in David Swan
In the opening paragraph of David Swan, Nathaniel Hawthorne illustrates his philosophical musings by writing, " There are innumerable other events-if such they may be called-which come close upon us, yet pass away without actual results, or even betraying their near approach, by the reflection of any light or shadow across our minds." It reminded me of Nicolas Malebranche’s ocassionalism, which refers to the contact of two things is the occasion for God is the only real cause in the university. In this piece the main character, David Swan, represents the mortal. The story centers on the three parties that pass by David Swan as he sleeps. The first group could have bequeathed riches upon the young man but just at the moment when they might have conferred an inheritance they were called back to the road. The second party was a young woman who, had David Swan awakened, would have loved him. She would have also indirectly given him wealth and stability through her father's employment. The last group had malicious intent and would have robbed the young man had they not been distracted by sounds and movement in other areas of the wood. Each of these instances relates examples of what could have been had the young man been conscious and responsive, and the story ends with David Swan awakening, unaware of the people who passed by and events that occurred during his rest. While the events were incredibly close but have no influence on his final destiny. From a Philosophical idealism perspective, there is no necessary connection between them. Nicolas Malebranche said the real cause is omnipotent being, and if God wills something to happen then since God is omnipotent, it logically follows that it will happen. There we can see a necessary connection. Hawthorne uses a fictional narrative to illustrate Philosophical idealism for which there is no discernible answer. From another perspective, Hawthorne as a Calvinist, so we...
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