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Table Of Contents

His Life
His Fields of Productivity
Torah and Commentary
His Polemical Works
The Book of Doctrines and Beliefs
The Name of the Book
Three Sources of Knowledge: Sense, Reason and Inference
What is Rationalism?
Tradition—The Fourth Source of Knowledge
What is the Role of Reliable Tradition?
Seeking Agreement of Reason and Religion
Reason and Revelation Serve Each Other
The Order of Deliberation in the Book of Doctrines and Beliefs
Prophecy and Commandments
The Need for Prophecy
The Source and InÁuence of the “Manifestation” Doctrine
VeriÀcation of Prophecy
Creation and God’s Existence
Creation as a Foundational Theological Principle
Maimonides’s Criticism of Saadia’s Doctrine of Creation
Kalam and Aristotelianism in Muslim Philosophy
Saadia’s Fundamental Assumption: Cause Precedes Effect
Proofs for Creation of the World
Creation ex nihilo and God’s Existence
God as Cause of the World
God is Not Conceivable
Saadia’s Relation to Scripture
God’s Positive Attributes and Conception of a Personal God
The Good God
Saadia’s Anthropology
Importance of the Terrestrial World
The Righteous Suffer, the Wicked Prosper
The Role of Human Material Existence
Free Will and the Problems It Raises
Physical Theory of the Soul
Saadia’s Ethics
Man’s Obligation to God
The Ladder of Righteousness
Repentance
The Purpose of Serving God
The Middle Way
The Supremacy of Reason
Israeli’s Status as Philosopher
His Writings
The Source of the Doctrine of Emanation
Israeli’s Doctrine of Emanation
Israeli’s Picture of the World
Prophecy
Israeli’s Place in Jewish Philosophy
The Author
The Book and Its Transmission
Reliance on Saadia
Differences between Ba ya and Saadia
The Divine Attributes
A Stranger in the World: The Opposition of Body and Soul
The Way to Perfection
The Gate of Divine Service
The Gate of Trust
The Gate of Unifying One’s Deeds3
The Gate of Humility
The Gate of Repentance
The Gate of Abstinence
The Gate of Love of God
Summary
Gabirol’s Philosophical Thought
The Fountain of Life
Gabirol’s Sources
The Structure of the Book
The General Truth: The Human Being as Microcosm
The Three Domains of Knowledge
The Threefold Division Embraces All Knowledge
The First Domain of Knowledge: Matter and Form
The Difference between Gabirol and Aristotle
Levels of the Hierarchy
The Relation of Matter and Form
Artistic Beauty—Philosophical Weakness
Theory of the Will
Religious SigniÀcance of the Will
Ethics as a Means
Parallel between the Body and the Physical World
The Royal Crown
Gabirol’s Poetic Side
Poetry as the More Faithful Expression of Ibn Gabirol
His Place in the History of Learning
The Historical Background
The Philosophical Background—Platonic or Aristotelian?
The Relation of Torah and Philosophy
Israel’s Special Status
His Conception of History
Determinism
The Relation of His Philosophical and Poetic Writings
The Kuzari
The Internal Confrontation
The Confrontation with Philosophy
The Polemical Motive in the Kuzari
Halevi’s Sources
Structure of Dialogue in the Kuzari
Examples from Part 3
The General Structure of the Book
The Progression of Argument in the Book
The Frame Narrative: Why the Khazars?
The Ideal Student and Teacher
Foundations of Religion
The King’s First Mistake: Inviting the Philosopher and His Speech
The King’s First Response
The King’s Second Mistake
The Christian and Moslem Positions
The Demand for Historical Certainty
The Opposition between Philosophy and Religion
Attack on the Authenticity of Christianity and Islam
Deviant Sects in Judaism
VeriÀcation of the Sinaitic Revelation
The Most Ironic Turn in the Comedy of Errors
The Historical VeriÀcation of the Sinai Revelation
Halevi’s Historical Outlook
Judaism is the Foundation of Human Culture
The Importance of Study of History
Removing the Motive of Sin from the Historical Narrative
Israel—The Heart of the Nations
The Meaning of Suffering and Exile
Halevi’s Vision of the Present
The “Divine Principle” and Prophecy
The Substantive Difference between Israel and the Nations
The Prophet’s Religious Superiority to the Philosopher
The Philosophical Basis
Developing an Epistemology of Prophecy
The Divine Perfections
Ranks of Prophetic Experience
The Purpose and Value of Jewish Practice
Correct Religious Practice
“Active Living” in the Religious Realm
The Golden Mean
Intellectual Life is Subordinate to Religious Purpose
Submission Leads to Exaltation
Summary of Halevi’s Position Against Philosophy
The Preference for Debate with Aristotelianism
The Basis of the Debate with Philosophy
How Reliable is Reason?
What Is Philosophy’s Domain of Validity?
Re-examining the Philosopher’s Speech
The Source of Halevi’s Arguments against the Philosophers
Conclusion of the Kuzari
Maimonides’s Life
Synthesis of Tradition and Philosophy: A Source of Controversy
Survey of Principal Works
The “Book of Prophecy” and the “Book of Correspondence”
The Mishneh Torah and Guide of the Perplexed
Theological Dogma within the Law of the Ideal State
The Mishneh Torah as a Halakhic Work
Guide to the Perplexed: Reconciling Torah and Philosophy
The Mishneh Torah: The Republic and the Laws
The Source of Tension in Maimonides’s Thought
Differences with Kalam
The Relation between Tradition and Philosophy
Maimonides’s Relation to His Jewish Predecessors
General Introduction
Introduction to Sanhedrin, Chapter 10 (Æelek)
Five Traditional Jewish Understandings of “World To Come”
Understanding the Traditional Views
Views Literally Accepted
Views Accepted Not Literally but Figuratively
The Thirteen Principles
Theological Principles
Torahitic Principles
Principles of Reward and Punishment (Political Principles)
The Order and Structure of the “Principles”
Politics
Platonic Theory of the State1
Man’s Egoistic Nature Requires Political Subordination
Politician and Prophet as Legislators
Purpose of Laws: BeneÀt of the Community
Psychology
Aristotelian Psychology
Emphasizing the Soul’s Unity
The Aspects of the Soul
The Nutritive Faculty
The Sensory Faculty
The Imaginative Faculty
The Emotional Faculty
Reason
Practical Reason
Theoretical Reason
Intellect as the Soul’s Form
The Actualization of Reason
Achieving Eternal Knowledge
The Meaning of Immortality: Intellect as Man’s Eternal Part
Ethics
Ethics Deals with the Soul’s Perfection
The Object of Ethical Discourse: Habit or Virtue
The Nature and Cause of Evil6
Human Free Will and Its Limits
Refuting the Pseudo-ScientiÀc Belief in Astrology
Rabbinic and Scriptural Pronouncements
The Question of Choice in Its Philosophical Formulation
The Contradiction between Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will
DifÀculties Arising from the Schematic Character of the Mean
The Purpose of Ethical Conduct
Divergence from Aristotle: From Eudaemonism to Austerity
The Differences between Philosophical and Religious Ethics
Positive and Conventional Commandments
Ethics as Prerequisite to Prophecy
Ethical Perfection as Prerequisite to Prophecy in Maimonides
Image of the Prophet as Ideal Leader
Prophet as Paragon of Acquired Intellect
Prophet as Ethical Exemplar
Criteria For Distinguishing Grades of Prophecy
Psycho-Physical Uniqueness of Moses’s Prophecy
The Prophet-Philosopher and the Biblical Prophet
Revelation of Divine Will in Prophecy
What is the Difference between Prophet and Philosopher?
The Four Principal Proofs for God’s Existence
Departures from Aristotle
Proofs for God’s Unity, Eternity, and Incorporeality
Thinking Correctly about God
What is True Belief?
Refutation of All Positive Divine Attributes
Refutation of All Types of Divine Attributes
The Dialectic of Negative Attributes
Reconsidering the Kalam’s Doctrine of Attributes
The Thirteen Attributes of Divine Mercy
From Negating DeÀciencies to AfÀrming Perfections
Radical Incommensurability of God and World
Positive and Negative Attributes Pertaining to God
Progress in the Knowledge of God
The Via Negativa
Maimonides’s Dialectic
Dialectical Consideration of the Divine Attributes
Each According to One’s Level of Understanding
Resolving the Contradictions
Content of the Illumination
The Dialectical Thought-Process beyond the Attribute-Doctrine
The Attribute of Existence
Receiving the Divine Emanation
The Essential Difference between Philosopher and Prophet
Moses’s Unique Achievement
Reconciling Two Views of the Prophet
Moses’s Uniqueness as Prophet: Withdrawal from the Material
God as Creator and World-Guide
God as the Unity of Intellect, Knower and Known
Philosophy as Authentic Torah-Tradition
Creation and the Divine Will
Divine Will in Guide Part II
God as Origin of Form and Matter
Creation Ex Nihilo
The Assumption of Creation
Different Views on Creation
What Led Aristotle to His View?
Maimonides’s Arguments against Aristotle
Which Argument is More Convincing?
DifÀculties with Aristotelian Cosmology
Which DifÀculties are Greater?
The Deciding Factor: The Torahitic Consideration
Miracles
Maimonides’s View of Providence
The Problem of Divine Providence
The Philosophical Problem with Providence
Providence and the Problem of Evil
The Source of Evil in Nature and Human Nature
Different Views on Providence
The Medium of Providence
Divine Knowledge and Its Connection with Providence
Hermeneutic Inquiry on Providence in Job
The Commandments Express the Divine-Human Relation
Providence and the Prophetic Mission
The Prophet and Torah as Vehicles of Providence
Propagation of the Guide’s InÁuence
The Substance of the Controversy over Maimonides’s Teaching
Essential Points of Critique of Maimonides’s Views
Responses of Maimonides’s Students
R. Shem Tov ben Joseph Ibn Falaquera (1225–1295)
Reconciling Philosophy and the Torah
How can the Torah be Interpreted by Reason Yet Stand above It?
Propagation of Philosophy and the Educational Task
His Interpretative Work : Avoiding Philosophical Perplexity
R. Joseph Ibn Kaspi
R. Isaac Albalag
Albalag’s Critique of Maimonides
Why Should These Matters be Revealed?
TRANSFORMATIONS IN ARISTOTELIAN PHILOSOPHY
Averroes’s Theory of Emanation
Averroes’s Criticism
The InÁuence of Christian Scholasticism of the 13th Century
Christianity as a Theological Problem
The InÁuence of Kabbalah
Gersonides’s ScientiÀc Achievements
Gersonides’s Unique Theory of Creation
Gersonides’s Concept of Time
Theological DifÀculties
Gersonides’s Theology
Rejecting Maimonides’s Doctrine of Negative Attributes
God’s Knowledge of the World and His Creatures
The Problem of Providence
Explanation of Miracle
The Problem of Prophecy
Human Nature and Destiny
Human Purpose: Perfect Knowledge of Eternal Truth
Immortality
Views on Immortality Analyzed
Aristotelian Critique of Individualism
How Can Individuality Exist Apart from the Body?
Crescas as Conservative and Innovator
The Cultural-Historical Background to Crescas’s Project
The Change in Jewry’s Status in Christian Spain
Spiritual Tensions in the Spanish-Jewish Community
A Conservative Synthesis
His Teacher, His Colleague, and His Disciple
R. Nissim Gerondi
The Polemic against Christianity
R. Nissim’s Critique of the Philosophers
The Commandments as a Demonstration of Obedience
R. Isaac ben Sheshet (Ribash)
Ribash’s Approach to Kabbalah
Ribash’s Approach to Philosophy and Science
Duran’s Method of Jewish Dogmatics
The Teaching of R. Æasdai Crescas
Crescas’s Doctrine of Principles of Faith
Belief in God’s Existence
Order of Importance of the Principles
The Doctrine of Principles as Framework of Crescas’s Thought
Crescas’s Theology
Crescas’s Critical Method
The Existence of an InÀnite Magnitude
A New Concept of Time and Space
Philosophic Knowledge and Prophetic Knowledge
Divine Incorporeality
The Source of the DifÀculty: God’s Joy in Creation
Creation of the World
Review of Maimonides’s Doctrine of Creation
Review of Gersonides’s Doctrine of Creation
The Kabbalistic Doctrine of Creation
Crescas’s Doctrine of Creation
How can the Continual be Renewed?
The World as Symbol of God’s Internal Life
Miracle
Miracle as Exceptional Event
Providence
Critique of Gersonides and Maimonides
Degrees of Providence
Judaism and Christianity
Service of God
Parallel between Torah and Creation
Worship and Love of God in Exacting Halakhic Study
The Book of Principles as a ReÁection of Its Age
Albo’s Life and Writings
Albo’s Dogmatics: The Principles
Maimonides and the Aristotelian Concept of Belief
Crescas and the Kabbalistic Concept of Faith
“Compromise” between Maimonides and Crescas
How does One Distinguish True and False Belief?
What Experience VeriÀes Religious Belief?
Basing the Mosaic Torah on Experience
The Uniqueness of the Mosaic Torah
History as an Object of Philosophical Discussion
R. Solomon Ibn Verga
The Causes of Blood-Libels and Judeo-Phobia
Reasons for the Jews’ Military Defeats
Reasons for Persecution of the Jews
A Tolerant Outlook toward Christianity
Don Isaac Abravanel
Abravanel’s Literary Oeuvre
Abravanel’s Historical Outlook
Abravanel’s Relation to Maimonides’s Theory of Prophecy
Abravanel’s View of Maimonides’s Dogmatic Theory
Abravanel’s Relation to Civilization and State
The Beginnings of Italian Jewish Thought
R. Jacob Anatoli and R. Hillel of Verona
R. Judah Messer Leon
InÁuence of the Renaissance in Italy
Elijah Del Medigo
R. Judah Abravanel
The Literary Character of the Dialogues of Love
The Philosophical Content of the Dialogue
The Pagan Sources of R. Judah Abravanel’s Thought
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX OF NAMES
INDEX OF TOPICS
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The Classic Jewish Philosophers

The Classic Jewish Philosophers

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Published by: kfrakfra on May 30, 2013
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