Malebranche, Nicolas (1638-1715), philosopher, was born at Paris, where his father was secretary to Louis XIII. He was of feeble constitution, and was educated at home. He then studied at the Sorbonne, and in 1660 entered the Congregation of the Oratory. At first he hardly knew his own bent, but a study of Descartes made him adopt the principles of that philosopher, some difficulties in which led him to the doctrine that the perception of a material world or action on it by man is only possible through union with the Deity. These views he expounded in his Traitc de I'Homme (1664) and Recherche de la Verite (1674) and many other works. He also studied niathe, matics and physics, becoming honorary member of the Academy of Sciences in 1699. A collection from his writings was published in two volumes in 1846.