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Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting Views of Human Nature

Parens, Joshua

Verlag: University Of Chicago Press, 2012
ISBN 10: 0226645746 / ISBN 13: 9780226645742
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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting ...

Verlag: University Of Chicago Press

Erscheinungsdatum: 2012

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "The names Maimonides and Spinoza conjure up all sorts of images befitting their stature as world class philosophers. Maimonides is considered by most as the defender of Judaism while Spinoza was looked upon as one of its opponents. For the average nonspecialist, the arguments over whether Maimonides or Spinoza was the first modern philosopher or premodern philosopher or if Spinoza was still a medievalist may not be exciting, but among philosophers it is quite significant. . . . Parens focuses on Spinoza's Ethics. By studying his theory of human nature and contrasting it to Maimonides' Guide , he demonstrates that neither Spinoza nor Maimonides should be considered a premodern or modern. This study enhances our understanding of both philosophers and challenges the way of thinking about them that has been accepted for the past century.". Buchnummer des Verkäufers ABE_book_new_0226645746

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Until the last century, it was generally agreed that Maimonides was a great defender of Judaism, and Spinoza?as an Enlightenment advocate for secularization?among its key opponents. However, a new scholarly consensus has recently emerged that the teachings of the two philosophers were in fact much closer than was previously thought. In his perceptive new book, Joshua Parens sets out to challenge the now predominant view of Maimonides as a protomodern forerunner to Spinoza?and to show that a chief reason to read Maimonides is in fact to gain distance from our progressively secularized worldview.

Turning the focus from Spinoza?s oft-analyzed Theologico-Political Treatise, this book has at its heart a nuanced analysis of his theory of human nature in the Ethics. Viewing this work in contrast to Maimonides?s Guide of the Perplexed, it makes clear that Spinoza can no longer be thought of as the founder of modern Jewish identity, nor should Maimonides be thought of as having paved the way for a modern secular worldview. Maimonides and Spinoza dramatically revises our understanding of both philosophers.

Über den Autor:
Joshua Parens is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts at the University of Dallas. He is the author of An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions and coeditor of the second edition of Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook.

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