Year of publication:
Titel der Quelle:
Accounting for the Commandments in Medieval Judaism
Angaben zur Quelle:
Philosophy, Ancient Influence
Jewish philosophy Middle Ages, 500-1500
There is a strong consensus that Maimonidean ethics were heavily influenced by Aristotle’s doctrine of the middle way. And yet, sharp differences have emerged over the role played by Aristotelianism in the views of the Cordoba-born talmudist and philosopher. This study argues that while Maimonides embraced the Aristotelian paradigm in his youth, he eventually came to abandon it entirely and moved to adopt a distinctly rabbinic approach to ethics. This evolution went largely unnoticed due to the failure of commentators to detect a diachrony in the development Maimonides’s ethical writings. The evolution in his thinking was necessitated by a rereading of the rabbinic sources and by the ineluctable logic of the imitatio dei imperative. Of great importance to the history of religious thought and to the fundamental tenets of Judaism, I note that Maimonides crafted, on this foundation, an ethical commandment that was novel and original, and which functioned, substantively, as a kind of meta-commandment.
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