Download A History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy by Isaac Husik PDF

By Isaac Husik

A noted pupil elucidates the distinguishing features of the works of numerous Jewish thinkers of the center a while. as well as summaries of the most arguments and teachings of Moses Maimonides, Isaac Israeli, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Daud, Hillel ben Samuel, Levi ben Gerson, and others, the writer deals insightful analyses.

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10. 30 ATTITUDES TOWARD NATURE AND SCIENCE the sciences, namely astronomy, Maimonides allowed the more recent knowledge of the scientists to supersede that of the rabbis. 46 Later, commenting on astronomical distances recorded in rabbinic literature, he was even more explicit: "Do not ask of me to show that everything they [the rabbis] have said concerning astronomical matters conforms to the way things really are. For at that time mathematics was imperfect. "47 He thus concluded that "whenever it is possible to interpret the words of an individual in such a manner that they conform to a being whose existence has been demonstrated"—that is, that they conform to the truth, as in the case of astronomical distances—it is fitting to do so.

But an unbeliever is he who strives by speculation and deduction to influence conditions for the reception of this [divine] power, as revealed in the writings of the astrologers, who try to call down supernatural beings, or who manufacture talismans. He brings offering and burns incense in accordance with his own analogic deduction and conjectures, being in reality ignorant of that which we should do, how much, in which way, by what means, in which place, by whom, in which manner, and many other details .

Wigoder (Jerusalem, 1971); ]. M. Millas Vallicrosa, La Obra enciclopedica Yesode ha-Tevunah u-Migdal ha-Emuna de R. Abraham Bar Hiyya ha-Bargeloni (Madrid, 1952). 24 ATTITUDES TOWARD NATURE AND SCIENCE Barzilai's outburst. He acted, so he claimed, as a physician acts when dissuading patients from unhealthy habits. It is legitimate from a moral point of view to avoid a situation of potential harm. 26 Bar rjliyya was aware of the dangers astrology posed to the Jewish faith. Adopting a formulation that steered clear of an astral determinism placing limits on God's omnipotence and human free will, he declared: "All those of Israel acknowledge and believe that the power bestowed from their stars is given conditionally, that it cannot work or harm by their own volition or with their own knowledge without [God's] declaration and commandment.

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