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

By Robert Chazan

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Reines's evaluation of Maimonides' theory of individual providence, while attempting to be comprehensive and systematic, does not offer a sustained interpretation of the relevant passages in the Guide in which Maimonides both reveals and conceals his theory. If the theory is, in fact, concealed, for whatever reasons, simple systematization of related concepts will not reveal it. The text of the Guide can be consistently difficult and enigmatic, and Maimonides' style of writing demands an exactitude of 25.

This investigation will enable us to understand the background and birth of Maimonides' own theory, which is based initially on that which he finds acceptable in two antagonistic formulations, based on two distinct sets of criteria, the dictates of the Law and philosophic coherence. A careful analysis of the Guide III/ 17 reveals not only the characters and opinions in Maimonides' review, but implicitly and explicitly Maimonides' own view concerning each character or opinion. The first opinion, "that there is no providence at all with regard to anything whatever in all that exists,"31is identified with Epicurus.

469). 42 CHARLES M. 47 On closer examination, the fifth opinion reveals dual aspects of Maimonides' own theory of providence. It contains two views which represent different aspects of Maimonides' opinion-an "Our opinion, the opinion of our Law," of which the "multitude of our scholars" is a minimally acceptable subset and "our latter-day scholars" is an unacceptable one, and an "I" opinion. The our-opinion asserts root doctrines which reveal and define the Law's dictates on the question of providence, and the I-opinion presents a philosophic account of how providence may be said to operate over man.

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