By Eliezer Schweid
This ebook presents a typical reference of the main medieval Jewish philosophers, in addition to an eminently readable narrative of the process medieval Jewish philosophical proposal, offered as a reaction to the spiritual-intellectual demanding situations.
Read Online or Download The Classic Jewish Philosophers: From Saadia Through the Renaissance PDF
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Additional info for The Classic Jewish Philosophers: From Saadia Through the Renaissance
God, who is the cause of sensory reality, is a spiritual essence, but when we assert this we have arrived at the limit beyond which our reason cannot go. We cannot know God, but only His creative activity. r. saadia gaon 9 This is the basic difference between Saadia’s approach and a philosophy that has arrived at a metaphysical perspective. Saadia’s rationalism does not believe in breaching the limits of experience and contemplating metaphysical truth. He only recognizes that experience points to a metaphysical reality of which we can know nothing.
Material entities. Purely spiritual entities cannot be grasped by our faculties of knowledge, but what we grasp through the senses is certain. Indeed, Saadia recognizes that the senses can err and generate doubt, but in his view we discover our errors by means of the senses and correct them. Therefore experiential observation undertaken in an exact and critical manner can remove all doubts. 2. Knowledge of Reason—These are elementary truths that reason intuits by itself, for they are integral to it.
Just as Saadia demands agreement between the Àrst two sources of knowledge (sense and reason) and the third source (inference), so he demands agreement between these three sources of knowledge and the fourth, to prevent error and doubt. But now the critical approach changes in accord with the unique character of revelation. We must examine not just the content of the matters that were transmitted, but the authority of the tradition. We must be convinced of its reliability. We therefore need special criteria for gauging the authenticity of prophetic revelation for those who were present at the event or for its direct recipients.
The Classic Jewish Philosophers: From Saadia Through the Renaissance by Eliezer Schweid