Ajs Review 1987: Fall, No 2 by Robert Chazan PDF

By Robert Chazan

ISBN-10: 9998954711

ISBN-13: 9789998954717

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Scriptural evidence that individual providence extends only over human beings. 4. " What emerges from this outline of the "we" and "I" accounts in the fifth opinion on providence is Maimonides' attempted solution to the problem of satisfying dual criteria-the simultaneous deployment of two views. " The dual sets of requirements for an acceptable and coherent view of providence dominated Maimonides' review of available opinion. He conceded that uttering a coherent view on providence is a difficult task, but assessed ancient and contemporary opinion as either philosophically ludicrous or as inoperative for a religious-legal system.

Lxv-lxvii. MAIMONIDES' THEORY OF PROVIDENCE 27 Maimonides' own opinion on providence emerges at the end of chapter 17 and is further elaborated in chapter 18 of the Guide, Part III. " Aristotle had been presented by Maimonides (after Alexander) as denying individual providence in the sublunar sphere, but admitting a secondary "kind of providence" to the species of man and other animals. While Maimonides castigates Aristotle's denial of individual providence, the majority of scholars see in Maimonides' own opinion, "providence according to the intellect," an affinity to Aristotle which Maimonides is not willing to admit openly.

The champion of this view, which sees an esoteric-exoteric dualism in Maimonides' thought, has been Leo Strauss. On this particular issue Strauss, however, sees Plato rather than Aristotle behind Maimonides' treatment of providence. Strauss's initial comment on Maimonides' theory, in his article on Maimonides' and al-Farabi's political science,9 is that, both in structure and content, Maimonides' account of providence parallels Plato's account. Both state a public doctrine which affirms God's justice in rewarding and punishing all human behavior, and a private doctrine which restricts divine providence to an intellectual elite.

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Ajs Review 1987: Fall, No 2 by Robert Chazan


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