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Nicholas Malebranche was a 17th-18th century French Cartesian philosopher. Born deformed, he attended the Sorbonne and studied theology until age 22, at which time he was accepted into the Congregation of the Oratory. Wrote several treatises on nature, truth, and other philosophical kinds of things. He put forth the idea that each thought pertaining to external matters that humans have comes directly from the mind of God.

My reasons for choosing this as my handle are secular; I just really like the sound of it.

From Dante's Inferno:

The Malebranche is the name for a band of demons in the Malebolge, or eighth circle of hell, ruled over by Malacoda. Their job is to whip the various sinners and sink them in great rivers of excrement using gaff hooks and chains. They let Dante and his guide pass after the guide faces down Malacoda.

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