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Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
(Hebrew: פילוסופיה יהודית‎) includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or in relation to the religion of Judaism. Until modern Haskalah
Haskalah
(Jewish Enlightenment) and Jewish emancipation, Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
was preoccupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism, thus organizing emergent ideas that are not necessarily Jewish into a uniquely Jewish scholastic framework and world-view. With their acceptance into modern society, Jews
Jews
with secular educations embraced or developed entirely new philosophies to meet the demands of the world in which they now found themselves. Medieval re-discovery of ancient Greek philosophy among the Geonim of 10th century Babylonian academies brought rationalist philosophy into Biblical- Talmudic
Talmudic
Judaism. The philosophy was generally in competition with Kabbalah. Both schools would become part of classic Rabbinic literature, though the decline of scholastic rationalism coincided with historical events which drew Jews
Jews
to the Kabbalistic approach. For Ashkenazi Jews, emancipation and encounter with secular thought from the 18th century onwards altered how philosophy was viewed. Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities had later more ambivalent interaction with secular culture than in Western Europe. In the varied responses to modernity, Jewish philosophical ideas were developed across the range of emerging religious movements. These developments could be seen as either continuations of or breaks from the canon of Rabbinic philosophy of the Middle Ages, as well as the other historical dialectic aspects of Jewish thought, and resulted in diverse contemporary Jewish attitudes to philosophical methods.

Contents

1 Ancient Jewish philosophy

1.1 Philosophy
Philosophy
in the Bible 1.2 Philo
Philo
of Alexandria

2 Jewish scholarship after destruction of Second Temple

2.1 Who influences whom?

2.1.1 Karaism 2.1.2 Philosophic synthesis begins

3 Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
before Maimonides

3.1 "Hiwi the Heretic" 3.2 Sa'adya Gaon 3.3 David
David
ibn Merwan al-Mukkamas 3.4 Samuel ibn Naghrillah 3.5 Solomon
Solomon
ibn Gabirol 3.6 Abraham
Abraham
bar-Hiyya Ha-Nasi 3.7 Hibat Allah 3.8 Nethan'el al-Fayyumi 3.9 Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquda 3.10 Yehuda Ha-Levi and the Kuzari 3.11 Abraham
Abraham
ibn Daud 3.12 Other notable Jewish philosophers pre-Maimonides

4 The Rambam - Maimonides 5 Medieval Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
after Maimonides

5.1 Yosef ben Yehuda of Ceuta 5.2 Jacob
Jacob
Anatoli 5.3 Hillel ben Samuel 5.4 Shemtob Ben Joseph Ibn Falaquera 5.5 Joseph ben Abba Mari ibn Kaspi 5.6 Gersonides 5.7 Moses
Moses
Narboni 5.8 Isaac
Isaac
ben Sheshet Perfet 5.9 Hasdai ben Judah Crescas 5.10 Simeon ben Zemah Duran 5.11 Joseph Albo 5.12 Hoter ben Solomon 5.13 Don Isaac
Isaac
Abravanel 5.14 Leone Ebreo 5.15 Criticisms of Kabbalah 5.16 Other notable Jewish philosophers post-Maimonides

6 Renaissance
Renaissance
Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
and philosophers

6.1 Elias ben Moise del Medigo 6.2 Moses
Moses
Almosnino 6.3 Moses
Moses
ben Jehiel Ha- Kohen
Kohen
Porto-Rafa (Rapaport) 6.4 Abraham
Abraham
ben Judah ha-Levi Minz 6.5 Meir ben Isaac
Isaac
Katzellenbogen 6.6 Elijah Ba'al Shem of Chelm 6.7 Eliezer ben Elijah Ashkenazi 6.8 Other notable Renaissance
Renaissance
Jewish philosophers

7 Seventeenth-century Jewish philosophy

7.1 Yosef Shlomo ben Eliyahu Dal Medigo 7.2 Baruch Spinoza 7.3 Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi 7.4 Jacob
Jacob
Emden 7.5 Other seventeenth-century Jewish philosophers 7.6 Philosophical criticisms of Kabbalah

8 Eighteenth and nineteenth-century Jewish philosophy

8.1 Traditionalist attitudes towards philosophy

9 20th and 21st-century Jewish philosophy

9.1 Jewish existentialism 9.2 Jewish rationalism 9.3 Holocaust
Holocaust
theology 9.4 Reconstructionist theology 9.5 Process theology 9.6 Kabbalah
Kabbalah
and philosophy 9.7 Contemporary Jewish philosophy

9.7.1 Philosophers associated with Orthodox Judaism 9.7.2 Philosophers associated with Conservative Judaism 9.7.3 Philosophers associated with Reform and Progressive Judaism 9.7.4 Jewish philosophers whose philosophy is not necessarily focused on religious Jewish themes

10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Ancient Jewish philosophy[edit] Philosophy
Philosophy
in the Bible[edit] Rabbinic literature sometimes views Abraham
Abraham
as a philosopher. Some have suggested that Abraham
Abraham
introduced a philosophy learned from Melchizedek;[1] Some Jews
Jews
ascribe the Sefer Yetzirah
Sefer Yetzirah
" Book
Book
of Creation" to Abraham.[2] A midrash[3] describes how Abraham
Abraham
understood this world to have a creator and director by comparing this world to "a house with a light in it", what is now called the argument from design. Psalms
Psalms
contains invitations to admire the wisdom of God through his works; from this, some scholars suggest, Judaism
Judaism
harbors a Philosophical under-current.[4] Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes
is often considered to be the only genuine philosophical work in the Hebrew Bible; its author seeks to understand the place of human beings in the world and life's meaning.[5] Philo
Philo
of Alexandria[edit]

Philo

Philo
Philo
attempted to fuse and harmonize Greek and Jewish philosophy through allegory, which he learned from Jewish exegesis and Stoicism.[6] Philo
Philo
attempted to make his philosophy the means of defending and justifying Jewish religious truths. These truths he regarded as fixed and determinate, and philosophy was used as an aid to truth, and a means of arriving at it. To this end Philo
Philo
chose from philosophical tenets of Greeks, refusing those that did not harmonize with Judaism
Judaism
such as Aristotle's doctrine of the eternity and indestructibility of the world. Dr. Bernard Revel, in dissertation on Karaite halakha, points to writings of a 10th-century Karaite, Jacob
Jacob
Qirqisani, who quotes Philo, illustrating how Karaites made use of Philo's works in development of Karaite Judaism. Philo's works became important to Medieval Christian scholars who leveraged the work of Karaites to lend credence to their claims that "these are the beliefs of Jews" - a technically correct, yet deceptive, attribution. Jewish scholarship after destruction of Second Temple[edit] With the Roman destruction of the Second Temple
Second Temple
in 70 CE, Second Temple Judaism
Judaism
was in disarray,[7] but Jewish traditions were preserved especially thanks to the shrewd maneuvers of Johanan ben Zakai, who saved the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
and moved it to Yavne. Philosophical speculation was not a central part of Rabbinic Judaism, although some have seen the Mishnah
Mishnah
as a philosophical work.[8] Rabbi
Rabbi
Akiva has also been viewed as a philosophical figure:[9] his statements include 1.) "How favored is man, for he was created after an image "for in an image, Elokim made man" (Gen. ix. 6)", 2.) "Everything is foreseen; but freedom [of will] is given to every man", 3.) "The world is governed by mercy... but the divine decision is made by the preponderance of the good or bad in one's actions". After the Bar Kokhba revolt, Rabbinic scholars gathered in Tiberias and Safed
Safed
to re-assemble and re-assess Judaism, its laws, theology, liturgy, beliefs and leadership structure. In 219 CE, the Sura Academy (from which Jewish Kalam emerged many centuries later) was founded by Abba Arika. For the next five centuries, Talmudic
Talmudic
academies focused upon reconstituting Judaism
Judaism
and little, if any, philosophic investigation was pursued. Who influences whom?[edit] Further information: Early Islamic philosophy Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
had limited philosophical activity until it was challenged by Islam, Karaite Judaism, and Christianity—with Tanach, Mishnah, and Talmud, there was no need for a philosophic framework. From an economic viewpoint, Radhanite
Radhanite
trade dominance was being usurped by coordinated Christian and Islamic forced-conversions, and torture, compelling Jewish scholars to understand nascent economic threats. These investigations triggered new ideas and intellectual exchange among Jewish and Islamic scholars in the areas of jurisprudence, mathematics, astronomy, logic and philosophy. Jewish scholars influenced Islamic scholars and Islamic scholars influenced Jewish scholars. Contemporary scholars continue to debate who was Muslim and who was Jew—some "Islamic scholars" were "Jewish scholars" prior to forced conversion to Islam, some Jewish scholars willingly converted to Islam, such as Abdullah ibn Salam, while others later reverted to Judaism, and still others, born and raised as Jews, were ambiguous in their religious beliefs such as ibn al-Rawandi, although they lived according to the customs of their neighbors. Around 700 CE, ʿAmr ibn ʿUbayd Abu ʿUthman al-Basri introduces two streams of thought that influence Jewish, Islamic and Christian scholars:

Qadariyah Bahshamiyya
Bahshamiyya
Muʿtazila

The story of the Bahshamiyya
Bahshamiyya
Muʿtazila
Muʿtazila
and Qadariyah
Qadariyah
is as important, if not more so, as the intellectual symbiosis of Judaism
Judaism
and Islam
Islam
in Islamic Spain. Around 733 CE, Mar
Mar
Natronai ben Habibai moves to Kairouan, then to Spain, transcribing the Talmud
Talmud
Bavli for the Academy at Kairouan
Kairouan
from memory—later taking a copy with him to Spain.[10] Karaism[edit] Main article: Karaite Judaism Borrowing from the Mutakallamin of Basra, the Karaites were the first Jewish group to subject Judaism
Judaism
to Muʿtazila. Rejecting the Talmud and Rabbinical tradition, Karaites took liberty to reinterpret the Tanakh. This meant abandoning foundational Jewish belief structures. Some scholars suggest that the major impetus for the formation of Karaism
Karaism
was a reaction to the rapid rise of Shi'i Islam, which recognized Judaism
Judaism
as a fellow monotheistic faith but claimed that it detracted from monotheism by deferring to Rabbinic authority. Karaites absorbed certain aspects of Jewish sects such as the followers of Abu Isa (Shi'ism), Maliki
Maliki
(Sunnis) and Yudghanites (Sufis), who were influenced by East-Islamic scholarship yet deferred to the Ash'ari when contemplating the sciences. Philosophic synthesis begins[edit] Further information: Judeo-Islamic philosophies (800–1400)

Pumbedita

Sura

Baghdad

Basra

Asuristan
Asuristan
(shown: modern Iraq), also called Babylonia: Centers of Ancient Jewish scholarship

The spread of Islam
Islam
throughout the Middle East and North Africa rendered Muslim all that was once Jewish. Greek philosophy, science, medicine and mathematics was absorbed by Jewish scholars living in the Arab world due to Arabic
Arabic
translations of those texts; remnants of the Library of Alexandria. Early Jewish converts to Islam
Islam
brought with them stories from their heritage, known as Isra'iliyyat, which told of the Banu Isra'il, the pious men of ancient Israel. One of the most famous early mystics of Sufism, Hasan of Basra, introduced numerous Isra'iliyyat
Isra'iliyyat
legends into Islamic scholarship, stories that went on to become representative of Islamic mystical ideas of piety of Sufism. Hai Gaon
Hai Gaon
of Pumbedita
Pumbedita
Academy begins a new phase in Jewish scholarship and investigation (hakirah); Hai Gaon
Hai Gaon
augments Talmudic
Talmudic
scholarship with non-Jewish studies. Hai Gaon
Hai Gaon
was a savant with an exact knowledge of the theological movements of his time so much so that Moses
Moses
ibn Ezra called him a mutakallim. Hai was competent to argue with followers of Qadariyyah and Mutazilites, sometimes adopting their polemic methods. Through correspondence with Talmudic
Talmudic
Academies at Kairouan, Cordoba and Lucena, Hai Gaon
Hai Gaon
passes along his discoveries to Talmudic
Talmudic
scholars therein. The teachings of the Brethren of Purity
Brethren of Purity
were carried to the West by a Spanish Arab of Madrid, Muhammad
Muhammad
Abu'l-Qasim al-Majnti al-Andalusi, who died in AD 1004–1005. Thanks to Averroes, Spain became a center of philosophical learning as is reflected by the explosion of philosophical inquiry among Jews, Muslims and Christians.[11] Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
before Maimonides[edit] "Hiwi the Heretic"[edit] According to Sa'adya Gaon, the Jewish community of Balkh
Balkh
(Afghanistan) was divided into two groups: "Jews" and "people that are called Jews"; Hiwi al-Balkhi was a member of the latter. Hiwi is generally considered to be the very first "Jewish" philosopher to subject the Pentateuch to critical analysis.[12] Hiwi is viewed by some scholars as an intellectually conflicted man torn between Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Gnostic Christianity, and Manichaean thought.[13][14] Hiwi espoused the belief that miraculous acts, described in the Pentateuch, are simply examples of people using their skills of reasoning to undertake, and perform, seemingly miraculous acts.[15] As examples of this position, he argued that the parting of the Red Sea was a natural phenomenon, and that Moses' claim to greatness lay merely in his ability to calculate the right moment for the crossing. He also emphasized that the Egyptian magicians were able to reproduce several of Moses' "miracles," proving that they could not have been so unique. According to scholars, Hiwi's gravest mistake was having the Pentateuch redacted to reflect his own views - then had those redacted texts, which became popular, distributed to children.[16] Since his views contradicted the views of both Rabbanite and Karaite scholars, Hiwi was declared a heretic. In this context, however, we can also regard Hiwi, while flawed, as the very first critical biblical commentator; zealous rationalistic views of Hiwi parallel those of Ibn al-Rawandi. Saʿadya Gaon dedicated an entire treatise, written in rhyming Hebrew, to a refutation of Ḥīwī's arguments, two fragments of which, preserved in the Cairo Geniza, have been published (Davidson, 1915; Schirmann, 1965).[17] Ḥīwī's criticisms are also noted in Abraham ibn Ezra's commentary on the Pentateuch. Sa'adya Gaon denounced Hiwi as an extreme rationalist, a "Mulhidun", or atheist/deviator. Abraham Ibn Daud described HIwi as a sectarian who "denied the Torah, yet used it to formulate a new Torah
Torah
of his liking".[18] Sa'adya Gaon[edit] Saadia Gaon, son of a proselyte, is considered the greatest early Jewish philosopher. During his early years in Tulunid Egypt, the Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
ruled Egypt; the leaders of the Tulunids
Tulunids
were Ismaili Imams. Their influence upon the Jewish academies of Egypt resonate in the works of Sa'adya. Sa'adya's Emunoth ve-Deoth ("Beliefs and Opinions") was originally called Kitab al-Amanat wal-l'tikadat (" Book
Book
of the Articles of Faith and Doctrines of Dogma"); it was the first systematic presentation and philosophic foundation of the dogmas of Judaism, completed at Sura Academy
Sura Academy
in 933 CE. Little known is that Saadia traveled to Tiberias
Tiberias
in 915CE to study with Abū 'l-Kathīr Yaḥyā ibn Zakariyyāʾ al-Katib al-Tabari (Tiberias), a Jewish theologian and Bible translator from Tiberias whose main claim to fame is the fact that Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon
studied with him at some point. He is not mentioned in any Jewish source, and apart from the Andalusian heresiographer and polemicist Ibn Hazm, who mentions him as a Jewish mutakallim (rational theologian), our main source of information is the Kitāb al-Tanbīh by the Muslim historian al-Masʿūdī (d. 956). In his brief survey of Arabic
Arabic
translations of the Bible, al-Masʿūdī states that the Israelites
Israelites
rely for exegesis and translation of the Hebrew books—i.e., the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, twenty-four books in all, he says—on a number of Israelites whom they praise highly, almost all of whom he has met in person. He mentions Abū ʾl-Kathīr as one of them, and also Saadia ("Saʿīd ibn Yaʿqūb al-Fayyūmī"). Regardless of what we do not know, Saadia traveled to Tiberias
Tiberias
(home of the learned scribes and exegetes) to learn and he chose Abū 'l-Kathīr Yaḥyā ibn Zakariyyāʾ al-Katib al-Tabariya. The extent of Abū ʾl-Kathīr's influence on Saadia's thought cannot be established, however.[19] Abū ʾl-Kathīr's profession is also unclear. al-Masʿūdī calls him a kātib, which has been variously interpreted as secretary, government official, (biblical) scribe, Masorete, and book copyist. For lack of further information, some scholars have tried to identify Abū ʾl-Kathīr with the Hebrew grammarian Abū ʿAlī Judah ben ʿAllān, likewise of Tiberias, who seems to have been a Karaite Jew. However, al-Masūdī unequivocally describes Abu ʾl-Kathīr (as well as his student Saadia) as an ashmaʿthī (Rabbanite). In " Book
Book
of the Articles of Faith and Doctrines of Dogma" Saadia declares the rationality of the Jewish religion with the caveat that reason must capitulate wherever it contradicts tradition. Dogma takes precedence over reason. Saadia closely followed the rules of the Muʿtazila
Muʿtazila
school of Abu Ali al-Jubba'i in composing his works.[20][21] It was Saadia who laid foundations for Jewish rationalist theology which built upon the work of the Muʿtazila, thereby shifting Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
from mythical explanations of the Rabbis
Rabbis
to reasoned explanations of the intellect. Saadia advanced the criticisms of Muʿtazila
Muʿtazila
by Ibn al-Rawandi.[22] David
David
ibn Merwan al-Mukkamas[edit]

Raqqa, Abbasid Caliphate, Babylon

Rakka in modern Syria

David
David
ibn Merwan al-Mukkamas was author of the earliest known Jewish philosophical work of the Middle Ages, a commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah; he is regarded as the father of Jewish medieval philosophy. Sl-Mukkamas was first to introduce the methods of Kalam
Kalam
into Judaism and the first Jew to mention Aristotle
Aristotle
in his writings. He was a proselyte of Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
(not Karaite Judaism, as some argue); al-Mukkamas was a student of physician, and renowned Christian philosopher, Hana. His close interaction with Hana, and his familial affiliation with Islam
Islam
gave al-Mukkamas a unique view of religious belief and theology. In 1898 Abraham
Abraham
Harkavy discovered, in Imperial Library of St. Petersburg, fifteen of the twenty chapters of David's philosophical work entitled Ishrun Maḳalat (Twenty Chapters) of which 15 survive. One of the oldest surviving witnesses to early Kalām, it begins with epistemological investigations, turns to proofs of the creation of the world and the subsequent existence of a Creator, discusses the unity of the Creator (including the divine attributes), and concludes with theodicy (humanity and revelation) and a refutation of other religions (mostly lost). In 915 CE, Sa'adya Gaon left for Palestine, where, according to al-Masʿūdī (Tanbīh, 113), he perfected his education at the feet of Abū 'l-Kathīr Yaḥyā ibn Zakariyyāʾ al-Katib al-Tabari (d. 320/932). The latter is also mentioned by Ibn Ḥazm in his K. al-Fiṣlal wa 'l-niḥal, iii, 171, as being, together with Dāwūd ibn Marwān al-Muqammiṣ and Sa'adya himself, one of the mutakallimūn of the Jews.[23] Since al-Muqammiṣ made few references to specifically Jewish issues and very little of his work was translated from Arabic
Arabic
into Hebrew, he was largely forgotten by Jewish tradition. Nonetheless, he had a significant impact on subsequent Jewish philosophical followers of the Kalām, such as Saʿadya Gaon.[24]

Mérida

Córdoba

Mérida and Cordoba in modern Spain

Samuel ibn Naghrillah[edit] Samuel ibn Naghrillah, born in Mérida, Spain, lived in Córdoba and was a child prodigy and student of Hanoch ben Moshe. Samuel ibn Naghrillah, Hasdai ibn Shaprut, and Moshe ben Hanoch founded the Lucena Yeshiva
Yeshiva
that produced such brilliant scholars as Isaac
Isaac
ibn Ghiyyat and Maimon ben Yosef, the father of Maimonides. Ibn Naghrillah's son, Yosef, provided refuge for two sons of Hezekiah Gaon; Daud Ibn Chizkiya Gaon Ha-Nasi and Yitzhak Ibn Chizkiya Gaon Ha-Nasi. Though not a philosopher, he did build the infrastructure to allow philosophers to thrive. In 1070 the gaon Isaac
Isaac
ben Moses
Moses
ibn Sakri of Denia, Spain traveled to the East and acted as rosh yeshivah of the Baghdad
Baghdad
Academy. Solomon
Solomon
ibn Gabirol[edit]

Málaga

Valencia

Malaga & Valencia
Valencia
in modern Spain

Solomon
Solomon
ibn Gabirol was born in Málaga
Málaga
then moved to Valencia. Ibn Gabirol was one of the first teachers of Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
in Europe. His role has been compared to that of Philo. Ibn Gabirol
Ibn Gabirol
occidentalized Greco- Arabic
Arabic
philosophy and restored it to Europe. The philosophical teachings of Philo
Philo
and ibn Gabirol were largely ignored by fellow Jews; the parallel may be extended by adding that Philo
Philo
and ibn Gabirol both exercised considerable influence in secular circles; Philo
Philo
upon early Christianity
Christianity
and Ibn Gabirol
Ibn Gabirol
upon the scholars of medieval Christianity. Christian scholars, including Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, defer to him frequently. Abraham
Abraham
bar-Hiyya Ha-Nasi[edit]

Arles

Barcelona

bar-Hiyya- Barcelona
Barcelona
then Arles

Abraham
Abraham
bar Hiyya, of Barcelona
Barcelona
and later Arles-Provence, was a student of his father Hiyya al-Daudi and one of the most important figures in the scientific movement which made the Jews
Jews
of Provence, Spain and Italy
Italy
the intermediaries between Averroism, Muʿtazila
Muʿtazila
and Christian Europe. He aided this scientific movement by original works, translations and as interpreter for another translator, Plato Tiburtinus. Bar-Hiyya's best student was v. His philosophical works are "Meditation of the Soul", an ethical work written from a rationalistic religious viewpoint, and an apologetic epistle addressed to Judah ben Barzillai. Hibat Allah[edit] Originally known by his Hebrew name Nethanel Baruch ben Melech al-Balad,[25] Abu'l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī, known as Hibat Allah, was a Jewish philosopher and physicist and father-in-law of Maimonides
Maimonides
who converted to Islam
Islam
in his twilight years - once head of the Baghdad Yeshiva
Yeshiva
and considered the leading philosopher of Iraq. Historians differ over the motive for his conversion to Islam. Some suggest it was a reaction to a social slight inflicted upon him because he was a Jew, while others suggest he was forcibly converted at the edge of a sword (which prompted Maimonides
Maimonides
to comment upon Anusim). Despite his conversion to Islam, his works continued to be studied at the Jewish Baghdad
Baghdad
Academy, a well-known academy, into the thirteenth century. He was a follower of Avicenna's teaching, who proposed an explanation of the acceleration of falling bodies by the accumulation of successive increments of power with successive increments of velocity. His writings include Kitāb al-Muʿtabar ("The Book
Book
of What Has Been Established by Personal Reflection"); a philosophical commentary on the Kohelet, written in Arabic
Arabic
using Hebrew aleph bet; and the treatise "On the Reason Why the Stars Are Visible at Night and Hidden in Daytime." According to Hibat Allah, Kitāb al-Muʿtabar consists in the main of critical remarks jotted down by him over the years while reading philosophical text, and published at the insistence of his friends, in the form of a philosophical work. Nethan'el al-Fayyumi[edit]

Sana'a, Ayyubid Yemen

Sana'a in Modern Yemen

Natan'el al-Fayyumi[26] of Yemen, was the twelfth-century author of Bustan al-Uqul ("Garden of Intellects"), a Jewish version of Ismaili Shi'i doctrines. Like the Ismailis, Natan'el al-Fayyumi argued that God
God
sent different prophets to various nations of the world, containing legislations suited to the particular temperament of each individual nation. Ismaili doctrine holds that a single universal religious truth lies at the root of the different religions. Some Jews accepted this model of religious pluralism, leading them to view Muhammad
Muhammad
as a legitimate prophet, though not Jewish, sent to preach to the Arabs, just as the Hebrew prophets had been sent to deliver their messages to Israel; others refused this notion in entirety. Natan'el's son Yaqub turned to Maimonides, asking urgently for counsel on how to deal with forced conversions to Islam
Islam
and religious persecutions at the hand of Saladin. Maimonides' response was the Epistle to Yemen. Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquda[edit]

Zaragosa

Zaragoza in modern Spain

Bahye ben Yosef Ibn Paquda, of Zaragoza, was author of the first Jewish system of ethics Al Hidayah ila Faraid al-hulub, ("Guide to the Duties of the Heart"). Bahya often followed the method of the Arabian encyclopedists known as "the Brethren of Purity" but adopts some of Sufi tenets rather than Ismaili. According to Bahya, the Torah
Torah
appeals to reason and knowledge as proofs of God's existence. It is therefore a duty incumbent upon every one to make God
God
an object of speculative reason and knowledge, in order to arrive at true faith. Baḥya borrows from Sufism
Sufism
and Jewish Kalam integrating them into Neoplatonism. Proof that Bahya borrowed from Sufism
Sufism
is underscored by the fact that the title of his eighth gate, Muḥasabat al-Nafs ("Self-Examination"), is reminiscent of the Sufi Abu Abd Allah Ḥarith Ibn-Asad, who has been surnamed El Muḥasib ("the self-examiner"), because—say his biographers—"he was always immersed in introspection"[27] Yehuda Ha-Levi and the Kuzari[edit]

Toledo

Toledo in modern Spain

Judah Halevi
Judah Halevi
of Toledo, Spain
Toledo, Spain
defended Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
against Islam, Christianity
Christianity
and Karaite Judaism. He was a student of Moses
Moses
ibn Ezra whose education came from Isaac
Isaac
ibn Ghiyyat; trained as a Rationalist, he shed it in favor of Neoplatonism. Like al-Ghazali, Judah Halevi attempted to liberate religion from the bondage of philosophical systems. In particular, in a work written in Arabic
Arabic
Kitab al-Ḥujjah wal-Dalil fi Nuṣr al-Din al-Dhalil, translated by Judah ben Saul ibn Tibbon, by the title Kuzari
Kuzari
he elaborates upon his views of Judaism relative to other religions of the time.

Cordoba, Almoravid al-Andalus

Toledo

Almoravid Córdoba

Abraham
Abraham
ibn Daud[edit]

Cordoba, Almohad Caliphate

Almohad Córdoba

Abraham
Abraham
ibn Daud was a student of Rabbi
Rabbi
Baruch ben Yitzhak Ibn Albalia, his maternal uncle. Ibn Daud's philosophical work written in Arabic, Al-'akidah al-Rafiyah ("The Sublime Faith"), has been preserved in Hebrew by the title Emunah Ramah. Ibn Daud did not introduce a new philosophy, but he was the first to introduce a more thorough systematic form derived from Aristotle. Accordingly, Hasdai Crescas mentions Ibn Daud as the only Jewish philosopher among the predecessors of Maimonides.[28] Overshadowed by Maimonides, ibn Daud's Emunah Ramah, a work to which Maimonides
Maimonides
was indebted, received little notice from later philosophers. "True philosophy", according to Ibn Daud, "does not entice us from religion; it tends rather to strengthen and solidify it. Moreover, it is the duty of every thinking Jew to become acquainted with the harmony existing between the fundamental doctrines of Judaism
Judaism
and those of philosophy, and, wherever they seem to contradict one another, to seek a mode of reconciling them".

Fez

Fez in Morocco

Other notable Jewish philosophers pre-Maimonides[edit]

Abraham
Abraham
ibn Ezra Isaac
Isaac
ibn Ghiyyat Moses
Moses
ibn Ezra Yehuda Alharizi Joseph ibn Tzaddik Samuel ibn Tibbon

The Rambam - Maimonides[edit]

Artist's depiction, sculpture of Maimonides

Location of Fostat in modern Egypt

Abbasid Fostat

Main article: Maimonides Maimonides
Maimonides
wrote The Guide for the Perplexed
The Guide for the Perplexed
- his most influential philosophic work. He was a student of his father, Rabbi
Rabbi
Maimon ben Yosef (a student of Joseph ibn Migash) in Cordoba, Spain. When his family fled Spain, for Fez, Maimonides
Maimonides
enrolled in the Academy of Fez and studied under Rabbi
Rabbi
Yehuda Ha- Kohen
Kohen
Ibn Soussan - a student of Isaac
Isaac
Alfasi. Maimonides
Maimonides
strove to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy and science with the teachings of Torah. In some ways his position was parallel to that of Averroes; in reaction to the attacks on Avicennian Aristotelism, Maimonides
Maimonides
embraced and defended a stricter Aristotelism without Neoplatonic additions. The principles which inspired all of Maimonides' philosophical activity was identical those of Abraham
Abraham
Ibn Daud: there can be no contradiction between the truths which God
God
has revealed and the findings of the human intellect in science and philosophy. Maimonides
Maimonides
departed from the teachings of Aristotle
Aristotle
by suggesting that the world is not eternal, as Aristotle
Aristotle
taught, but was created ex nihilo. In "Guide for the Perplexed" (1:17 & 2:11)" Maimonides
Maimonides
explains that Israel
Israel
lost its Mesorah in exile, and with it "we lost our science and philosophy - only to be rejuvenated in Al Andalus within the context of interaction and intellectual investigation of Jewish, Christian and Muslim texts. Medieval Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
after Maimonides[edit] Maimonides
Maimonides
writings almost immediately came under attack from Karaites, Dominican Christians, Tosafists of Provence, Ashkenaz
Ashkenaz
and Al Andalus. His genius was obvious, protests centered around his writings. Scholars suggest that Maimonides
Maimonides
instigated the Maimonidean Controversy when he verbally attacked Samuel ben Ali Ha-Levi al-Dastur ("Gaon of Baghdad") as "one whom people accustom from his youth to believe that there is none like him in his generation," and he sharply attack the "monetary demands" of the academies. al-Dasturwas an anti-Maimonidean operating in Babylon to undermine the works of Maimonides
Maimonides
and those of Maimonides' patrons (the Al-Constantini Family from North Africa). To illustrate the reach of the Maimonidean Controversy, al-Dastur, the chief opponent of Maimonides
Maimonides
in the East, was excommunicated by Daud Ibn Hodaya al Daudi (Exilarch of Mosul). Maimonides' attacks on Ibn al-Dastur may not have been entirely altruistic given the position of Maimonides' in-laws in competing Yeshivas. In Western Europe, the controversy was halted by the burning of Maimonides' works by Christian Dominicans, in 1232. Avraham son of Rambam, continued fighting for his father's beliefs in the East; desecration of Maimonides' tomb, at Tiberias
Tiberias
by Jews, was a profound shock to Jews
Jews
throughout the Diaspora and caused all to pause and reflect upon what was being done to the fabric of Jewish Culture. This compelled many Anti-Maimonideans to recant their assertions and realize what cooperation with Christians meant to them, their texts and their communities. Maimonidean controversy flared up again[29] at the beginning of the fourteenth century when Rabbi
Rabbi
Shlomo ben Aderet, under influence from Asher ben Jehiel, issued a cherem on "any member of the community who, being under twenty-five years, shall study the works of the Greeks on natural science and metaphysics." Contemporary Kabbalists, Tosafists and Rationalists continue to engage in lively, sometimes caustic, debate in support of their positions and influence in the Jewish world. At the center of many of these debates are 1) "Guide for the Perplexed", 2) "13 Principles of Faith", 3) " Mishnah
Mishnah
Torah", and 4) his commentary on Anusim.

Ceuta, North African Spain

Yosef ben Yehuda of Ceuta[edit]

Ayyubid Aleppo

Aleppo
Aleppo
in modern Syria

Joseph ben Judah of Ceuta was the son of Rabbi
Rabbi
Yehuda Ha- Kohen
Kohen
Ibn Soussan and a student of Maimonides
Maimonides
for whom the Guide for the Perplexed is written. Yosef traveled from Alexandria
Alexandria
to Fustat
Fustat
to study logic, mathematics, and astronomy under Maimonides. Philosophically, Yosef's dissertation, in Arabic, on the problem of "Creation" is suspected to have been written before contact with Maimonides. It is entitled Ma'amar bimehuyav ha-metsiut ve'eykhut sidur ha-devarim mimenu vehidush ha'olam ("A Treatise as to (1) Necessary Existence (2) The Procedure of Things from the Necessary Existence and (3) The Creation of the World"). Jacob
Jacob
Anatoli[edit] Jacob
Jacob
ben Abba Mari ben Simson Anatoli is generally regarded as a pioneer in the application of the Maimonidean Rationalism
Rationalism
to the study of Jewish texts. He was the son-in-law of Samuel ibn Tibbon, translator of Maimonides. Due to these family ties Anatoli was introduced to the philosophy of Maimonides, the study of which was such a great revelation to him that he, in later days, referred to it as the beginning of his intelligent and true comprehension of the Scriptures, while he frequently alluded to Ibn Tibbon as one of the two masters who had instructed and inspired him. Anatoli wrote the Malmad exhibiting his broad knowledge of classic Jewish exegetes, as well as Plato, Aristotle, Averroes, and the Vulgate, as well as with a large number of Christian institutions, some of which he ventures to criticize, such as celibacy and monastic castigation, as well as certain heretics and he repeatedly appeals to his readers for a broader cultivation of the classic languages and the non-Jewish branches of learning. To Anatoli all men are, in truth, formed in the image of God, though the Jews
Jews
stand under a particular obligation to further the true cognition of God
God
simply by reason of their election—"the Greeks had chosen wisdom as their pursuit; the Romans, power; and the Jews, religiousness" Hillel ben Samuel[edit] Firstly, Hillel ben Samuel's importance in the history of medieval Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
lies in his attempt to deal, systematically, with the question of the immortality of the soul. Secondly, Hillel played a major role in the controversies of 1289–90 concerning the philosophical works of Maimonides. Thirdly, Hillel was the first devotee of Jewish learning and Philosophy
Philosophy
in Italy, bringing a close to a period of relative ignorance of Hakira in Verona (Italy). And finally, Hillel is one of the early Latin translators of "the wise men of the nations" (non-Jewish scholars). Defending Maimonides, Hillel addressed a letter to his friend Maestro Gaio asking him to use his influence with the Jews
Jews
of Rome against Maimonides' opponents ( Solomon
Solomon
Petit). He also advanced the bold idea of gathering together Maimonides' defenders and opponents in Alexandria, in order to bring the controversy before a court of Babylonian rabbis, whose decision would be binding on both factions. Hillel was certain the verdict would favor Maimonides. Hillel wrote a commentary on the 25 propositions appearing at the beginning of the second part of the Guide of the Perplexed, and three philosophical treatises, which were appended to Tagmulei ha-Nefesh: the first on knowledge and free will; the second on the question of why mortality resulted from the sin of Adam; the third on whether or not the belief in the fallen angels is a true belief. Shemtob Ben Joseph Ibn Falaquera[edit]

Narbonne

Narbonne in modern France

Shem-Tov ibn Falaquera was a Spanish-born philosopher who pursued reconciliation between Jewish dogma and philosophy. Scholars speculate he was a student of Rabbi
Rabbi
David
David
Kimhi whose family fled Spain to Narbonne.[30] Ibn Falaquera lived an ascetic live of solitude.[31] Ibn Falaquera's two leading philosophic authorities were Averroes
Averroes
and Maimonides. Ibn Falaquera defended the "Guide for the Perplexed" against attacks of anti-Maimonideans.[32] He knew the works of the Islamic philosophers better than any Jewish scholar of his time, and made many of them available to other Jewish scholars – often without attribution (Reshit Hokhmah). Ibn Falaquera did not hesitate to modify Islamic philosophic texts when it suited his purposes. For example, Ibn Falaquera turned Alfarabi's account of the origin of philosophic religion into a discussion of the origin of the "virtuous city". Ibn Falaquera's other works include, but are not limited to Iggeret Hanhagat ha-Guf we ha-Nefesh, a treatise in verse on the control of the body and the soul.

Iggeret ha-Wikkuaḥ, a dialogue between a religious Jew and a Jewish philosopher on the harmony of philosophy and religion. Reshit Ḥokmah, treating of moral duties, of the sciences, and of the necessity of studying philosophy. Sefer ha-Ma'alot, on different degrees of human perfection. Moreh ha-Moreh, commentary on the philosophical part of Maimonides' "Guide for the Perplexed".

Joseph ben Abba Mari ibn Kaspi[edit] Ibn Kaspi was a fierce advocate of Maimonides
Maimonides
to such an extent that he left for Egypt
Egypt
in 1314 in order to hear explanations on the latter's Guide of the Perplexed from Maimonides' grandchildren. When he heard that the Guide of the Perplexed was being studied in the Muslim philosophical schools of Fez, he left for that town (in 1332) in order to observe their method of study. Ibn Kaspi began writing when he was 17 years old on topics which included logic, linguistics, ethics, theology, biblical exegesis, and super-commentaries to Abraham
Abraham
Ibn Ezra and Maimonides. Philosophic system he followed Aristotle
Aristotle
and Averroes. He defines his aim as "not to be a fool who believes in everything, but only in that which can be verified by proof...and not to be of the second unthinking category which disbelieves from the start of its inquiry," since "certain things must be accepted by tradition, because they cannot be proven." Scholars continue to debate whether ibn Kaspi was a heretic or one of Judaisms most illustrious scholars. Gersonides[edit]

Bagnols Avignon Papacy

Bagnols in Modern France

Rabbi
Rabbi
Levi ben Gershon was a student of his father Gerson ben Solomon of Arles, who in turn was a student of Shem-Tov ibn Falaquera. Gersonides is best known for his work Milhamot HaShem
HaShem
("Wars of the Lord"). Milhamot HaShem
HaShem
is modelled after the "Guide for the Perplexed". Gersonides and his father were avid students of the works of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Aristotle, Empedocles, Galen, Hippocrates, Homer, Plato, Ptolemy, Pythagoras, Themistius, Theophrastus, Ali ibn Abbas al-Magusi, Ali ibn Ridwan, Averroes, Avicenna, Qusta ibn Luqa, Al-Farabi, Al-Fergani, Chonain, Isaac Israeli, Ibn Tufail, Ibn Zuhr, Isaac
Isaac
Alfasi, and Maimonides.[citation needed] Gersonides held that God
God
does not have complete foreknowledge of human acts. "Gersonides, bothered by the old question of how God's foreknowledge is compatible with human freedom, suggests that what God knows beforehand is all the choices open to each individual. God
God
does not know, however, which choice the individual, in his freedom, will make."[33] Moses
Moses
Narboni[edit]

Perpignan
Perpignan
Kingdom of Aragon

Perpignan
Perpignan
in modern France

Moses
Moses
ben Joshua composed commentaries on Islamic philosophical works. As an admirer of Averroes; he devoted a great deal of study to his works and wrote commentaries on a number of them. His best-known work is his Shelemut ha-Nefesh ("Treatise on the Perfection of the Soul"). Moses
Moses
began studying philosophy with his father when he was thirteen later studying with Moses
Moses
ben David
David
Caslari and Abraham
Abraham
ben David Caslari - both of whom were students of Kalonymus ben Kalonymus. Moses believed that Judaism
Judaism
was a guide to the highest degree of theoretical and moral truth. He believed that the Torah
Torah
had both a simple, direct meaning accessible to the average reader as well as a deeper, metaphysical meaning accessible to thinkers. Moses
Moses
rejected the belief in miracles, instead believing they could be explained, and defended man's free will by philosophical arguments. Isaac
Isaac
ben Sheshet Perfet[edit]

Barcelona

Valencia

Barcelona
Barcelona
and Valencia
Valencia
in modern Spain

Algiers

Algiers in modern Algeria

Isaac
Isaac
ben Sheshet Perfet, of Barcelona, studied under Hasdai Crescas and Rabbi
Rabbi
Nissim ben Reuben Gerondi. Nissim ben Reuben Gerondi, was a steadfast Rationalist who did not hesitate to refute leading authorities, such as Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam, Moses
Moses
ben Nahman, and Solomon
Solomon
ben Adret. The pogroms of 1391, against Jews
Jews
of Spain, forced Isaac
Isaac
to flee to Algiers - where he lived out his life. Isaac's responsa evidence a profound knowledge of the philosophical writings of his time; in one of Responsa No. 118 he explains the difference between the opinion of Gersonides and that of Abraham
Abraham
ben David
David
of Posquières on free will, and gives his own views on the subject. He was an adversary of Kabbalah
Kabbalah
who never spoke of the Sefirot; he quotes another philosopher when reproaching kabbalists with "believing in the "Ten" (Sefirot) as the Christians believe in the Trinity".[34] Hasdai ben Judah Crescas[edit]

Barcelona

Barcelona
Barcelona
in modern Spain

Hasdai Crescas, of Barcelona, was a leading rationalist on issues of natural law and free-will. His views can be seen as precursors to Baruch Spinoza. His work, Or Adonai, became a classic refutation of medieval Aristotelism, and harbinger of the scientific revolution in the 16th century. Hasdai Crescas
Hasdai Crescas
was a student of Nissim ben Reuben Gerondi, who in turn was a student of Reuben ben Nissim Gerondi. Crescas was not a Rabbi, yet he was active as a teacher. Among his fellow students and friends, his best friend was Isaac
Isaac
ben Sheshet Perfet. Cresca's students won accolades as participants in the Disputation of Tortosa. Simeon ben Zemah Duran[edit] Influenced by the teaching of Rabbi
Rabbi
Nissim of Gerona, via Ephraim Vidal's Yeshiva
Yeshiva
in Majorca, Duran's commentary Magen Avot ("The Shield of the Fathers"), which influenced Joseph Albo, is important. He was also a student of philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and especially of medicine, which he practiced for a number of years at Palma, in Majorca. Magen Avot deals with concepts such as the nature of God, the eternity of the Torah, the coming of the Messiah, and the Resurrection of the dead. Duran believed that Judaism
Judaism
has three dogmas only: the existence of God, the Torah's Divine origin, and Reward and Punishment; in this regard he was followed by Joseph Albo. Joseph Albo[edit]

Monreal, Kingdom of Navarre

Monreal in modern Spain

Joseph Albo, of Monreal, was a student of Hasdai Crescas. He wrote Sefer ha-Ikkarim (" Book
Book
of Principles"), a classic work on the fundamentals of Judaism. Albo narrows the fundamental Jewish principles of faith from thirteen to three -

belief in the existence of God, belief in revelation, and belief in divine justice, as related to the idea of immortality.

Albo rejects the assumption that creation ex nihilo is essential in belief in God. Albo freely criticizes Maimonides' thirteen principles of belief and Crescas' six principles. According to Albo, "belief in the Messiah is only a 'twig' unnecessary to the soundness of the trunk"; not essential to Judaism. Nor is it true, according to Albo, that every law is binding. Though every ordinance has the power of conferring happiness in its observance, it is not true that every law must be observed, or that through the neglect of a part of the law, a Jew would violate the divine covenant or be damned. Contemporary Orthodox Jews, however, vehemently disagree with Albo's position believing that all Jews
Jews
are divinely obligated to fulfill every applicable commandment. Hoter ben Solomon[edit]

Sana'a, Rasulid
Rasulid
Yemen

Sana'a in modern Yemen

Hoter ben Shlomo was a scholar and philosopher in Yemen
Yemen
heavily influenced by Nethanel ben al-Fayyumi, Maimonides, Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon
and al-Ghazali. The connection between the "Epistle of the Brethren of Purity" and Ismailism
Ismailism
suggests the adoption of this work as one of the main sources of what would become known as "Jewish Ismailism" as found in Late Medieval Yemenite Judaism. "Jewish Ismailism" consisted of adapting, to Judaism, a few Ismaili doctrines about cosmology, prophecy, and hermeneutics. There are many examples of the Brethren of Purity influencing Yemenite Jewish philosophers and authors in the period 1150–1550.[35] Some traces of Brethren of Purity
Brethren of Purity
doctrines, as well as of their numerology, are found in two Yemenite philosophical midrashim written in 1420–1430: Midrash
Midrash
ha-hefez ("The Glad Learning") by Zerahyah ha-Rofé (a/k/a Yahya al-Tabib) and the Siraj al-'uqul ("Lamp of Intellects") by Hoter ben Solomon. Don Isaac
Isaac
Abravanel[edit]

Isaac
Isaac
Abrabanel

Lisboa, House of Aviz

Porto, Portugal

Lisboa
Lisboa
in modern Portugal

Venician Corfu

Ottoman Italy

Ottoman Vlorë

Skopje

Corfu
Corfu
in modern Greece

Isaac
Isaac
Abravanel, statesman, philosopher, Bible commentator, and financier who commented on Maimonides' thirteen principles in his Rosh Amanah. Isaac
Isaac
Abravanel was steeped in Rationalism
Rationalism
by the Ibn Yahya family, who had a residence immediately adjacent to the Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Lisbon (also built by the Ibn Yahya Family). His most important work, Rosh Amanah ("The Pinnacle of Faith"), defends Maimonides' thirteen articles of belief against attacks of Hasdai Crescas and Yosef Albo. Rosh Amanah ends with the statement that " Maimonides
Maimonides
compiled these articles merely in accordance with the fashion of other nations, which set up axioms or fundamental principles for their science". Isaac
Isaac
Abravanel was born and raised in Lisbon; a student of the Rabbi of Lisbon, Yosef ben Shlomo Ibn Yahya.[36] Rabbi
Rabbi
Yosef was a poet, religious scholar, rebuilder of Ibn Yahya Synagogue
Synagogue
of Calatayud, well versed in rabbinic literature and in the learning of his time, devoting his early years to the study of Jewish philosophy. The Ibn Yahya family were renowned physicians, philosophers and accomplished aides to the Portuguese Monarchy for centuries.

Padua & Verona, Republic of Venice

Genoa, Republic of Genoa

Kingdom of Sicily

Padua and Verona in modern Italy

Isaac's grandfather, Samuel Abravanel, was forcibly converted to Christianity
Christianity
during the pogroms of 1391 and took the Spanish name "Juan Sanchez de Sevilla". Samuel fled Castile-León, Spain, in 1397 for Lisbon, Portugal, and reverted to Judaism
Judaism
- shedding his Converso after living among Christians for six years. Conversions outside Judaism, coerced or otherwise, had a strong impact upon young Isaac, later compelling him to forfeit his immense wealth in an attempt to redeem Iberian Jewry from coercion of the Alhambra Decree. There are parallels between what he writes, and documents produced by Inquisitors, that present conversos as ambivalent to Christianity
Christianity
and sometimes even ironic in their expressions regarding their new religion - crypto-jews. Leone Ebreo[edit] Judah Leon Abravanel
Judah Leon Abravanel
was Portuguese physician, poet and philosopher. His work Dialoghi d'amore ("Dialogues of Love"), written in Italian, was one of the most important philosophical works of his time. In an attempt to circumvent a plot, hatched by local Catholic Bishops to kidnap his son, Judah sent his son from Castile, to Portugal with a nurse, but by order of the king, the son was seized and baptized. This was a devastating insult to Judah and his family, and was a source of bitterness throughout Judah's life and the topic of his writings years later; especially since this was not the first time the Abravanel Family was subjected to such embarrassment at the hands of the Catholic Church. Judah's Dialoghi is regarded as the finest of Humanistic Period works. His neoplatonism is derived from the Hispanic Jewish community, especially the works of Ibn Gabirol. Platonic notions of reaching towards a nearly impossible ideal of beauty, wisdom, and perfection encompass the whole of his work. In Dialoghi d'amore, Judah defines love in philosophical terms. He structures his three dialogues as a conversation between two abstract "characters": Philo, representing love or appetite, and Sophia, representing science or wisdom, Philo+Sophia (philosophia). Criticisms of Kabbalah[edit] The word "Kabbalah" was used in medieval Jewish texts to mean "tradition", see Abraham
Abraham
Ibn Daud's Sefer Ha-Qabbalah also known as the " Book
Book
of our Tradition". " Book
Book
of our Tradition" does not refer to mysticism of any kind - it chronicles "our tradition of scholarship and study" in two Babylonian Academies, through the Geonim, into Talmudic
Talmudic
Yeshivas of Spain. In Talmudic
Talmudic
times there was a mystic tradition in Judaism, known as Maaseh Bereshith (the work of creation) and Maaseh Merkavah (the work of the chariot); Maimonides
Maimonides
interprets these texts as referring to Aristotelian physics and metaphysics as interpreted in the light of Torah. In the 13th century, however, a mystical-esoteric system emerged which became known as "the Kabbalah." Many of the beliefs associated with Kabbalah
Kabbalah
had long been rejected by philosophers. Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon
had taught in his book Emunot v'Deot that Jews
Jews
who believe in gilgul have adopted a non-Jewish belief. Maimonides
Maimonides
rejected many texts of Heichalot, particularly Shi'ur Qomah whose anthropomorphic vision of God
God
he considered heretical. In the 13th century, *Meir ben Simon of Narbonne wrote an epistle (included in Milhhemet Mitzvah) against early Kabbalists, singled out Sefer Bahir, rejecting the attribution of its authorship to the tanna R. Nehhunya ben ha-Kanah and describing some of its content as follow -

"... And we have heard that a book had already been written for them, which they call Bahir, that is 'bright' but no light shines through it. This book has come into our hands and we have found that they falsely attribute it to Rabbi
Rabbi
Nehunya ben Haqqanah. haShem forbid! There is no truth in this... The language of the book and its whole content show that it is the work of someone who lacked command of either literary language or good style, and in many passages it contains words which are out and out heresy."

Other notable Jewish philosophers post-Maimonides[edit]

Jedaiah ben Abraham
Abraham
Bedersi Nissim of Gerona Jacob
Jacob
ben Machir ibn Tibbon Isaac
Isaac
Nathan ben Kalonymus Judah Messer Leon David
David
ben Judah Messer Leon Obadiah ben Jacob
Jacob
Sforno Judah Moscato Azariah dei Rossi Isaac
Isaac
Aboab I Isaac
Isaac
Campanton a/k/a "the gaon of Castile." Isaac
Isaac
ben Moses
Moses
Arama Profiat Duran a Converso, Duran wrote Be Not Like Your Fathers

Renaissance
Renaissance
Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
and philosophers[edit]

Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
welcomed Jews
Jews
expelled from Spain & Portugal

Some of the Monarchies of Asia Minor and European welcomed expelled Jewish Merchants, scholars and theologians. Divergent Jewish philosophies evolved against the backdrop of new cultures, new languages and renewed theological exchange. Philosophic exploration continued through the Renaissance
Renaissance
period as the center-of-mass of Jewish Scholarship shifted to France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. Elias ben Moise del Medigo[edit]

Candia

Heraklion in modern Crete

Elia del Medigo
Elia del Medigo
was a descendant of Judah ben Eliezer ha-Levi Minz and Moses
Moses
ben Isaac
Isaac
ha-Levi Minz. Eli'ezer del Medigo, of Rome, received the surname "Del Medigo" after studying Medicine. The name was later changed from Del Medigo to Ha-rofeh. He was the father and teacher of a long line of rationalist philosophers and scholars. Non-Jewish students of Delmedigo classified him as an "Averroist", however, he saw himself as a follower of Maimonides. Scholastic association of Maimonides
Maimonides
and Ibn Rushd would have been a natural one; Maimonides, towards the end of his life, was impressed with the Ibn Rushd commentaries and recommended them to his students. The followers of Maimonides
Maimonides
(Maimonideans) had therefore been, for several generations before Delmedigo, the leading users, translators and disseminators of the works of Ibn Rushd in Jewish circles, and advocates for Ibn Rushd even after Islamic rejection of his radical views. Maimonideans regarded Maimonides
Maimonides
and Ibn Rushd as following the same general line. In his book, Delmedigo portrays himself as defender of Maimonidean Judaism, and — like many Maimonideans — he emphasized the rationality of Jewish tradition.

Salonika, Ottoman Empire

Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
in modern Greece

Moses
Moses
Almosnino[edit] Moses
Moses
Almosnino was born Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
1515 - died Constantinople abt 1580. He was a student of Levi Ibn Habib, who was in turn a student of Jacob
Jacob
ibn Habib, who was, in turn, a student of Nissim ben Reuben. In 1570 he wrote a commentary on the Pentateuch titled "Yede Mosheh" (The Hands of Moses); also an exposition of the Talmudical treatise "Abot" ( Ethics
Ethics
of the Fathers), published in Salonica in 1563; and a collection of sermons delivered upon various occasions, particularly funeral orations, entitled "Meammeẓ Koaḥ" (Re-enforcing Strength). al-Ghazâlî's Intentions of the Philosophers (De'ôt ha-Fîlôsôfîm or Kavvanôt ha-Fîlôsôfîm) was one of the most widespread philosophical texts studied among Jews
Jews
in Europe having been translated in 1292 by Isaac
Isaac
Albalag.[37] Later Hebrew commentators include Moses
Moses
Narboni, and Moses
Moses
Almosnino.

Padua & Verona, Republic of Venice

Padua & Verona in modern Italy

Moses
Moses
ben Jehiel Ha- Kohen
Kohen
Porto-Rafa (Rapaport)[edit] Moses
Moses
ben Jehiel Ha- Kohen
Kohen
Porto-Rafa (Rapaport), was a member of the German family "Rafa" (from whom the Delmedigo family originates) that settled in the town of Porto in the vicinity of Verona, Italy, and became the progenitors of the renowned Rapaport Rabbinic family. In 1602 Moses
Moses
served as rabbi of Badia Polesine in Piedmont. Moses
Moses
was a friend of Leon Modena.[38] Abraham
Abraham
ben Judah ha-Levi Minz[edit] Abraham
Abraham
ben Judah ha-Levi Minz was an Italian rabbi who flourished at Padua in the first half of the 16th century, father-in-law of Meïr Katzenellenbogen. Minz studied chiefly under his father, Judah Minz, whom he succeeded as rabbi and head of the yeshiva of Padua. Meir ben Isaac
Isaac
Katzellenbogen[edit]

Mainz
Mainz
- Katzenelnbogen, Germany

Location of Mainz
Mainz
in modern Germany

Prague, Czech Republic

Location of Prague
Prague
in modern Czech Republic

Meir ben Isaac
Isaac
Katzellenbogen was born in Prague
Prague
where together with Shalom Shachna
Shalom Shachna
he studied under Jacob
Jacob
Pollak. Many rabbis, including Moses
Moses
Isserles, addressed him in their responsa as the "av bet din of the republic of Venice." The great scholars of the Renaissance
Renaissance
with whom he corresponded include Shmuel ben Moshe di Modena, Joseph Katz, Solomon
Solomon
Luria, Moses
Moses
Isserles, Obadiah Sforno, and Moses
Moses
Alashkar.

Lublin/Chelm, Poland-Lithuania

Lublin
Lublin
& Chelm
Chelm
in modern Poland

Elijah Ba'al Shem of Chelm[edit] Rabbi
Rabbi
Elijah Ba'al Shem of Chelm was a student of Rabbi
Rabbi
Solomon
Solomon
Luria who was, in turn a student of Rabbi
Rabbi
Shalom Shachna
Shalom Shachna
- father-in-law and teacher of Moses
Moses
Isserles. Elijah Ba'al Shem of Chelm was also a cousin of Moses
Moses
Isserles. Eliezer ben Elijah Ashkenazi[edit] Rabbi
Rabbi
Eliezer ben Elijah Ashkenazi Ha-rofeh Ashkenazi of Nicosia ("the physician") the author of Yosif Lekah on the Book
Book
of Esther. Other notable Renaissance
Renaissance
Jewish philosophers[edit]

Francisco Sanches Miguel de Barrios Uriel da Costa

Seventeenth-century Jewish philosophy[edit]

Altona, Hamburg, Denmark

Altona, Hamburg in modern Germany

Candia

Heraklion in modern Crete

With expulsion from Spain came the dissemination of Jewish philosophical investigation throughout the Mediterranean Basin, Northern Europe and the Western Hemisphere. The center-of-mass of Rationalism
Rationalism
shifted to France, Italy, Germany, Crete, Sicily and Netherlands. Expulsion from Spain and the coordinated pogroms of Europe resulted in the cross-pollination of variations on Rationalism incubated within diverse communities. This period is also marked by the intellectual exchange among leaders of the Christian Reformation and Jewish scholars. Of particular note is the line of Rationalists who migrated out of Germany, and present-day Italy
Italy
into Crete, and other areas of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
seeking safety and protection from the endless pogroms fomented by the House of Habsburg
House of Habsburg
and the Roman Catholic Church against Jews. Rationalism
Rationalism
was incubating in places far from Spain. From stories told by Rabbi
Rabbi
Elijah Ba'al Shem of Chelm, German-speaking Jews, descendants of Jews
Jews
who migrated back to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
after Charlemagne's invitation was revoked in Germany
Germany
many centuries earlier, who lived in Jerusalem during the 11th century, were influenced by prevailing Mutazilite scholars of Jerusalem. A German-speaking Palestinian Jew saved the life of a young German man surnamed "Dolberger". When the knights of the First Crusade
First Crusade
came to besiege Jerusalem, one of Dolberger's family members rescued German-speaking Jews
Jews
in Palestine and brought them back to the safety of Worms, Germany, to repay the favor.[39] Further evidence of German communities in the holy city comes in the form of halakic questions sent from Germany
Germany
to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
during the second half of the eleventh century.[40] All of the foregoing resulted in an explosion of new ideas and philosophic paths. Yosef Shlomo ben Eliyahu Dal Medigo[edit] Joseph Solomon
Solomon
Delmedigo was a physician and teacher – Baruch Spinoza was a student of his works.[41] Baruch Spinoza[edit]

Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
founded Spinozism, broke with Rabbinic Jewish tradition, and was placed in herem by the Beit Din
Beit Din
of Amsterdam. The influence in his work from Maimonides
Maimonides
and Leone Ebreo
Leone Ebreo
is evident. Elia del Medigo claims to be a student of the works of Spinoza. Some contemporary critics (e.g., Wachter, Der Spinozismus im Judenthum) claimed to detect the influence of the Kabbalah, while others (e.g., Leibniz) regarded Spinozism
Spinozism
as a revival of Averroism
Averroism
– a talmudist manner of referencing to Maimonidean Rationalism. In the centuries that have lapsed since the herem declaration, scholars[who?] have re-examined the works of Spinoza and find them to reflect a body of work and thinking that is not unlike some contemporary streams of Judaism. For instance, while Spinoza was accused of pantheism, scholars[who?] have come to view his work as advocating panentheism, a valid contemporary view easily accommodated by contemporary Judaism. Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi[edit] Rabbi
Rabbi
Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi was a student of his father, but most notably also a student of his grandfather Rabbi
Rabbi
Elijah Ba'al Shem of Chelm. Jacob
Jacob
Emden[edit] Rabbi
Rabbi
Jacob
Jacob
Emden was a student of his father Rabbi
Rabbi
Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi a Rabbi
Rabbi
in Amsterdam. Emden, a steadfast Talmudist, was a prominent opponent of the Sabbateans
Sabbateans
(Messianic Kabbalists
Kabbalists
who followed Sabbatai Tzvi). Though anti-Maimonidean, Emden should be noted for his critical examination of the Zohar
Zohar
concluding that large parts of it were forged. Other seventeenth-century Jewish philosophers[edit]

Jacob
Jacob
Abendana Sephardic
Sephardic
Rabbi
Rabbi
and Philosopher Isaac
Isaac
Cardoso David
David
Nieto Sephardic
Sephardic
Rabbi
Rabbi
and Philosopher Isaac
Isaac
Orobio de Castro Sephardic
Sephardic
Rabbi
Rabbi
and Philosopher

Philosophical criticisms of Kabbalah[edit] Main article: Kabbalah Rabbi
Rabbi
Leone di Modena wrote that if we[who?] were to accept the Kabbalah, then the Christian trinity would indeed be compatible with Judaism, as the Trinity
Trinity
closely resembles the Kabbalistic doctrine of the Sefirot. Eighteenth and nineteenth-century Jewish philosophy[edit]

Dessau

Emden

Bonn

Coswig, Anhalt

Seesen

Altona, Hamburg

Frankfurt

Mainz/Katzenelnbogen

Germany
Germany
- centers of Jewish scholarship

London

London in modern United Kingdom

A new era began in the 18th century with the thought of Moses Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn has been described as the "'third Moses,' with whom begins a new era in Judaism," just as new eras began with Moses
Moses
the prophet and with Moses
Moses
Maimonides.[42] Mendelssohn was a German Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the renaissance of European Jews, Haskalah
Haskalah
(the Jewish Enlightenment) is indebted. He has been referred to as the father of Reform Judaism, though Reform spokesmen have been "resistant to claim him as their spiritual father".[43] Mendelssohn came to be regarded as a leading cultural figure of his time by both Germans and Jews. His most significant book was Jerusalem oder über religiöse Macht und Judentum (Jerusalem), first published in 1783. Alongside Mendelssohn, other important Jewish philosophers of the eighteenth century included:

Menachem Mendel Lefin, anti- Hasidic
Hasidic
Haskalah
Haskalah
philosopher Salomon Maimon, Enlightenment philosopher Isaac
Isaac
Satanow, a Haskalah
Haskalah
philosopher Naphtali Ullman, Haskalah
Haskalah
philosopher[44]

Important Jewish philosophers of the nineteenth century included:

Elijah Benamozegh, a Sephardic
Sephardic
rabbi and philosopher Hermann Cohen, a neo-Kantian Jewish philosopher Moses
Moses
Hess, a secular Jewish philosopher and one of the founders of socialism Samson Raphael Hirsch, leader of the Torah
Torah
im Derech Eretz school of 19th century neo-Orthodoxy Samuel Hirsch, a leader of Reform Judaism Nachman Krochmal, Haskalah
Haskalah
philosopher in Galicia Samuel David
David
Luzzatto a Sephardic
Sephardic
rabbi and philosopher Karl Marx, German economist and Jewish philosopher.

Traditionalist attitudes towards philosophy[edit] Main articles: Haredi
Haredi
Judaism
Judaism
and Hasidic
Hasidic
philosophy Haredi
Haredi
traditionalists who emerged in reaction to the Haskalah considered the fusion of religion and philosophy as difficult because classical philosophers start with no preconditions for which conclusions they must reach in their investigation, while classical religious believers have a set of religious principles of faith that they hold one must believe. Most Haredim contended that one cannot simultaneously be a philosopher and a true adherent of a revealed religion. In this view, all attempts at synthesis ultimately fail. Rabbi
Rabbi
Nachman of Breslov, for example, viewed all philosophy as untrue and heretical. In this he represents one strand of Hasidic
Hasidic
thought, with creative emphasis on the emotions. Other exponents of Hasidism had a more positive attitude towards philosophy. In the Chabad
Chabad
writings of Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Hasidut is seen as able to unite all parts of Torah
Torah
thought, from the schools of philosophy to mysticism, by uncovering the illuminating Divine essence that permeates and transcends all approaches. Interpreting the verse from Job, "from my flesh I see HaShem", Shneur Zalman explained the inner meaning, or "soul", of the Jewish mystical tradition in intellectual form, by means of analogies drawn from the human realm. As explained and continued by the later leaders of Chabad, this enabled the human mind to grasp concepts of Godliness, and so enable the heart to feel the love and awe of God, emphasised by all the founders of hasidism, in an internal way. This development, the culminating level of the Jewish mystical tradition, in this way bridges philosophy and mysticism, by expressing the transcendent in human terms. 20th and 21st-century Jewish philosophy[edit]

Martin Buber

Jewish existentialism[edit] Main article: Jewish existentialism One of the major trends in modern Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
was the attempt to develop a theory of Judaism
Judaism
through existentialism. Among the early Jewish existentialist philosophers was Lev Shestov
Lev Shestov
(Jehuda Leib Schwarzmann), a Russian-Jewish philosopher. One of the most influential Jewish existentialists in the first half of the 20th century was Franz Rosenzweig. While researching his doctoral dissertation on the 19th-century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Rosenzweig reacted against Hegel's idealism and developed an existential approach. Rosenzweig, for a time, considered conversion to Christianity, but in 1913, he turned to Jewish philosophy. He became a philosopher and student of Hermann Cohen. Rozensweig's major work, Star of Redemption, is his new philosophy in which he portrays the relationships between haShem, humanity and world as they are connected by creation, revelation and redemption. Orthodox rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik[citation needed] and Conservative rabbis Neil Gillman[citation needed] and Elliot N. Dorff[citation needed] have also been described as existentialists. The French philosopher and Talmudic
Talmudic
commentator Emmanuel Levinas, whose approach grew out of the phenomenological tradition in philosophy, has also been described as a Jewish existentialist.[45] Jewish rationalism[edit]

Hermann Cohen

Rationalism
Rationalism
has re-emerged as a popular perspective among Jews.[46] Contemporary Jewish rationalism often draws on ideas associated with medieval philosophers such as Maimonides
Maimonides
and modern Jewish rationalists such as Hermann Cohen. Cohen was a German Jewish neo-Kantian philosopher who turned to Jewish subjects at the end of his career in the early 20th century, picking up on ideas of Maimonides. In America, Steven Schwarzschild
Steven Schwarzschild
continued Cohen's legacy.[47] Another prominent contemporary Jewish rationalist is Lenn Goodman, who works out of the traditions of medieval Jewish rationalist philosophy. Conservative rabbis Alan Mittleman of the Jewish Theological Seminary[48] and Elliot N. Dorff of American Jewish University[49] also see themselves in the rationalist tradition, as does David
David
Novak of the University of Toronto.[50] Novak works in the natural law tradition, which is one version of rationalism. Philosophers in modern-day Israel
Israel
in the rationalist tradition include David
David
Hartman[51] and Moshe Halbertal.[52]

Ramat Gan, Israel

Ramat Gan in modern Israel

Some Orthodox rationalists in Israel
Israel
take a "restorationist"[citation needed] approach, reaching back in time for tools to simplify Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
and bring all Jews, regardless of status or stream of Judaism, closer to observance of Halacha, Mitzvot, Kashrut
Kashrut
and embrace of Maimonides' "13 Principles of Faith". Dor Daim, and Rambamists are two groups who reject mysticism as a "superstitious innovation" to an otherwise clear and succinct set of Laws and rules. According to these rationalists, there is shame and disgrace attached to failure to investigate matters of religious principle using the fullest powers of human reason and intellect. One cannot be considered wise, or perceptive, if one does not attempt to understand the origins, and establish the correctness, of one's beliefs. Holocaust
Holocaust
theology[edit] Main article: Holocaust
Holocaust
theology Judaism
Judaism
has traditionally taught that God
God
is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. Yet, these claims are in jarring contrast with the fact that there is much evil in the world. Perhaps the most difficult question that monotheists have confronted is "how can one reconcile the existence of this view of God
God
with the existence of evil?" or "how can there be good without bad?" "how can there be a God
God
without a devil?" This is the problem of evil. Within all monotheistic faiths many answers (theodicies) have been proposed. However, in light of the magnitude of evil seen in the Holocaust, many people have re-examined classical views on this subject. How can people still have any kind of faith after the Holocaust? This set of Jewish philosophies is discussed in the article on Holocaust
Holocaust
theology. Reconstructionist theology[edit] Main article: Reconstructionist Judaism Perhaps the most controversial form of Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
that developed in the early 20th century was the religious naturalism of Rabbi
Rabbi
Mordecai Kaplan. His theology was a variant of John Dewey's pragmatist philosophy. Dewey's naturalism combined atheist beliefs with religious terminology in order to construct a philosophy for those who had lost faith in traditional Judaism. In agreement with the classical medieval Jewish thinkers, Kaplan affirmed that haShem is not personal, and that all anthropomorphic descriptions of haShem are, at best, imperfect metaphors. Kaplan's theology went beyond this to claim that haShem is the sum of all natural processes that allow man to become self-fulfilled. Kaplan wrote that "to believe in haShem means to take for granted that it is man's destiny to rise above the brute and to eliminate all forms of violence and exploitation from human society." Process theology[edit] A recent trend has been to reframe Jewish theology through the lens of process philosophy, more specifically process theology. Process philosophy suggests that fundamental elements of the universe are occasions of experience. According to this notion, what people commonly think of as concrete objects are actually successions of these occasions of experience. Occasions of experience can be collected into groupings; something complex such as a human being is thus a grouping of many smaller occasions of experience. In this view, everything in the universe is characterized by experience (not to be confused with consciousness); there is no mind-body duality under this system, because "mind" is simply seen as a very developed kind of experiencing entity. Intrinsic to this worldview is the notion that all experiences are influenced by prior experiences, and will influence all future experiences. This process of influencing is never deterministic; an occasion of experience consists of a process of comprehending other experiences, and then reacting to it. This is the "process" in "process philosophy". Process philosophy gives God
God
a special place in the universe of occasions of experience. God
God
encompasses all the other occasions of experience but also transcends them; thus process philosophy is a form of panentheism. The original ideas of process theology were developed by Charles Hartshorne (1897–2000), and influenced a number of Jewish theologians, including British philosopher Samuel Alexander (1859–1938), and Rabbis
Rabbis
Max Kadushin, Milton Steinberg and Levi A. Olan, Harry Slominsky, and Bradley Shavit Artson. Abraham
Abraham
Joshua Heschel has also been linked to this tradition.[53] Kabbalah
Kabbalah
and philosophy[edit] Kabbalah
Kabbalah
continued to be central to Haredi
Haredi
Orthodox Judaism, which generally rejected philosophy, although the Chabad
Chabad
strain of Chasidism showed a more positive attitude towards philosophy. Meanwhile, non-Orthodox Jewish thought in the latter 20th century saw resurgent interest in Kabbalah. In academic studies, Gershom Scholem
Gershom Scholem
began the critical investigation of Jewish mysticism, while in non-Orthodox Jewish denominations, Jewish Renewal
Jewish Renewal
and Neo-Hasidism, spiritualised worship. Many philosophers do not consider this a form of philosophy, as Kabbalah
Kabbalah
is a collection of esoteric methods of textual interpretation. Mysticism
Mysticism
is generally understood as an alternative to philosophy, not a variant of philosophy. Among modern the modern critics of Kabbalah
Kabbalah
was Yihhyah Qafahh, who wrote a book entitled Milhamoth ha-Shem, (Wars of the Name) against what he perceived as the false teachings of the Zohar
Zohar
and the false Kabbalah
Kabbalah
of Isaac
Isaac
Luria. He is credited with spearheading the Dor Daim. Yeshayahu Leibowitz
Yeshayahu Leibowitz
publicly shared the views expressed in Rabbi Yihhyah Qafahh's book Milhhamoth ha-Shem and elaborated upon these views in his many writings. Contemporary Jewish philosophy[edit] Philosophers associated with Orthodox Judaism[edit] Main article: Orthodox Jewish philosophy

Eliezer Berkovits Monsieur Chouchani Eliyahu Dessler Israel
Israel
Eldad Elimelech of Lizhensk David
David
Hartman Samson Raphael Hirsch Abraham
Abraham
Isaac
Isaac
Kook Yeshayahu Leibowitz Menachem Mendel of Kotzk Nachman of Breslov Franz Rosenzweig Daniel Rynhold Menachem Mendel Schneerson Joseph Soloveitchik Michael Wyschogrod Chaim Volozhin Shneur Zalman of Liadi

Philosophers associated with Conservative Judaism[edit] Main article: Conservative Judaism

Bradley Shavit Artson Elliot N. Dorff Neil Gillman Abraham
Abraham
Joshua Heschel William E. Kaufman Max Kadushin Alan Mittleman David
David
Novak Ira F. Stone

Philosophers associated with Reform and Progressive Judaism[edit] Main articles: Reform Judaism
Judaism
and Reconstructionist Judaism

Rachel
Rachel
Adler (American rabbi, author and Feminist
Feminist
philosopher) Leo Baeck
Leo Baeck
(leader in German Liberal Judaism) Eugene Borowitz (leader in American Reform Judaism) Emil Fackenheim (German-Canadian-Israeli philosopher) Avigdor Chaim Gold (German-Israeli philosopher)

Jewish philosophers whose philosophy is not necessarily focused on religious Jewish themes[edit] In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries there have also been many philosophers who are Jewish or of Jewish descent, and whose Jewish background might influence their approach to some degree, but whose writing is not necessarily focused on issues specific to Judaism. These include:

Theodor W. Adorno Joseph Agassi, an Israeli philosopher of science who developed Karl Popper's ideas[54] Hannah Arendt Raymond Aron Zygmunt Bauman Walter Benjamin Henri Bergson Ernst Bloch Harold Bloom Susan Bordo Judith Butler Noam Chomsky, an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and political activist Hélène Cixous Arthur Danto Jacques Derrida Hubert Dreyfus Ronald Dworkin, an American philosopher of law Yehuda Elkana, an Israeli philosopher of science Bracha L. Ettinger Viktor Frankl Sigmund Freud Erich Fromm Tamar Gendler Lewis Gordon Jack Halberstam Ágnes Heller Max Horkheimer Edmund Husserl Alberto Jori, an Italian-Jewish philosopher Melanie Klein Sarah
Sarah
Kofman Siegfried Kracauer Saul Kripke, a metaphysician and modal logician Franz Leopold Neumann Emmanuel Levinas Claude Lévi-Strauss Bernard-Henri Lévy Leo Löwenthal Rosa Luxemburg György Lukács Herbert Marcuse Karl Marx Thomas Nagel, a Serbia-born Jewish philosopher Martha Nussbaum, an American moral and political philosopher Adi Ophir, an Israeli philosopher of science and moral philosopher Friedrich Pollock Karl Popper Hilary Putnam, an American analytic philosopher Ayn Rand, a Russian-American Jewish philosopher who focused upon Aristotle's reason Avital Ronell Murray Rothbard Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, an American Queer theorist Peter Singer, a utilitarian philosopher Kaja Silverman Alan Soble, writes in philosophy of sex, American-born, Romanian-Russian ethnicity Susan Sontag Sandy Stone theorist, artist and a founder of transgender studies Leo Strauss Alfred Tarski
Alfred Tarski
- Polish logician Michael Walzer Ludwig Wittgenstein Irvin D. Yalom

See also[edit]

Jewish denominations Jewish ethics Jewish existentialism Jewish thought Jewish mythology Jewish folklore Jewish literature Jewish feminism Jewish history Jewish principles of faith Judaism
Judaism
and politics

References[edit]

^ "The Melchizedek
Melchizedek
Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources to the Fifth Century ad and in the Epistle to the Hebrews", by Fred L. Horton, Jr., Pg. 54, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-01871-4 ^ "Sefer Yetzirah", By Aryeh Kaplan, xii, Red Wheel, 1997, ISBN 0-87728-855-0 ^ Bereishit Rabba (39,1) ^ "Medieval Philosophy
Philosophy
and the Classical Tradition: In Islam, Judaism and Christianity" by John Inglis, Page 3 ^ "Introduction to Philosophy" by Dr Tom Kerns ^ " Philo
Philo
Judæus". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ "Christianity, Judaism
Judaism
and other Greco-Roman cults: studies for Morton Smith at sixty", Volume 12, Part 1, Pg 110, Volume 12 of Studies in Judaism
Judaism
in late antiquity, by Jacob
Jacob
Neusner ann Morton Smith, Brill 1975, ISBN 90-04-04215-6 ^ Jacob
Jacob
Neusner, Judaism
Judaism
as Philosophy ^ "Beginnings in Jewish Philosophy", By Meyer Levin, Pg 49, Behrman House 1971, ISBN 0-87441-063-0 ^ "Geonica", By Ginzberg Louis, Pg. 18, ISBN 1-110-35511-4 ^ "A literary History of Persia" Book
Book
IV, Chapter X. ON THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE DECLINE OF THE CALIPHATE, FROM THE ACCESSION OF AL-MUTA WAKKIL TO THE ACCES SION OF SULTAN MAHMUD OF GHAZNA, Page 339, by EDWARD G. BROWNE, M.A. ^ Fleischer, Ezra. "A Fragment from Hivi Al-Balkhi's Criticism of the Bible." Tarbiz 51, no. 1 (1981): 49-57. ^ "The Messiah in Isaiah 53: The Commentaries of Sa'adya Gaon, Salmon Ben Yeruham, and Yefet Ben Eli 52:13-53:12", Trade paperback (1998) by Sa'adia, Joseph Alobaidi ^ Rosenthal, J. "Hiwi Al-Balkhi: A Comparative Study." Jewish Quarterly Review 38; 39 (1947-48; 1948-49): 317-42, 419-30; 79-94. ^ Gil, Moshe. Hivi Ha-Balkhi Ha-Kofer Me-Horasan, Ketavim. Merhaviah: Sifriyyat Po'alim, 1965 ^ Davidson, Israel, ed. Sa'adya's Polemic against Hiwi Al-Balkhi: A Fragment Edited from a Genizah Ms, Texts and Studies of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. New York: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1915. ^ Marzena Zawanowska (2012). "" Ḥīwī al-Balkhī." Encyclopedia of Jews
Jews
in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman". Brillonline.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012.  ^ Malter, Henry. Sa'adya Gaon: His Life and Works, Morris Loeb Series. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1921. ^ Camilla Adang. "" Abū 'l-Kathīr Yaḥyā ibn Zakariyyāʾ." Encyclopedia of Jews
Jews
in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman". Brillonline.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ s.v. al-Djubba'i, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. 2: C–G. 2 (New ed.). Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1965. ISBN 90-04-07026-5.  ^ W. Montgomery Watt, Free will
Free will
and predestination in early Islam, London 1948, 83-7, 136-7. ^ A'asam, Abdul-Amîr al-Ibn al-Rawandi's Kitab Fahijat al-Mu'tazila: Analytical Study of Ibn al-Riwandi's Method in his Criticism of the Rational Foundation of Polemics in Islam. Beirut-Paris: Editions Oueidat, 1975–1977 ^ "" Saʿadyā Ben Yōsēf." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition". Brillonline.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ Daniel J. Lasker (2012). "" Muqammiṣ, David
David
Ibn Marwān al-." Encyclopedia of Jews
Jews
in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman". Brillonline.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012.  ^ " Jews
Jews
in Islamic countries in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
Volume 28 of Études sur le judaïsme médiéval" by Moshe Gil and David
David
Strassler, ISBN 90-04-13882-X, 9789004138827 ^ A history of Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
By Colette Sirat ^ "Bahya Ben Joseph Ibn Paḳuda". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ Or Adonai, ch. i. ^ Stroumsa, S. (1993) 'On the Maimonidean Controversy in the East: the Role of Abu 'l-Barakat al-Baghdadi', in H. Ben-Shammai (ed.) Hebrew and Arabic
Arabic
Studies in Honour of Joshua Blau, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. (On the role of Abu 'l-Barakat's writings in the resurrection controversy of the twelfth century; in Hebrew.) ^ The encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences ..., Volume 13 edited by Hugh Chisholm, Pg 174 ^ A short biographical article about Rabeinu Shem Tov Ben Yosef Falaquera, one of the great Rishonim who was a defender of the Rambam, and the author of the Moreh HaMoreh on the Rambam's Moreh Nevuchim. Published in the Jewish Quarterly Review journal (Vol .1 1910/1911). ^ Torah
Torah
and Sophia: The Life and Thought of Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera (Monographs of the Hebrew Union College) by Raphael Jospe ^ Jacobs, Louis (1990). God, Torah, Israel: traditionalism without fundamentalism. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press. ISBN 0-87820-052-5. OCLC 21039224.  ^ Responsa No. 159 ^ D. Blumenthal, "An Illustration of the Concept 'Philosophic Mysticism' from Fifteenth Century Yemen," and "A Philosophical-Mystical Interpretation of a Shi'ur Qomah Text." ^ " Isaac
Isaac
Abarbanel's stance toward tradition: defense, dissent, and dialogue" By Eric Lawee ^ Steinschneider 1893, 1:296–311; Harvey 2001 ^ "Porto-Rafa (Rapaport), Moses
Moses
ben Jehiel Ha-Kohen". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ "Seder ha-Dorot", p. 252, 1878 ed. ^ Epstein, in "Monatsschrift", xlvii. 344; Jerusalem: Under the Arabs ^ "Blesséd Spinoza: a biography of the philosopher", by Lewis Browne, The Macmillan Company, 1932, University of Wisconsin - Madison ^ "Mendelssohn". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ Wein (1997), p. 44. (Google books) ^ Shmuel Feiner, The Jewish Enlightenment 72-3 ^ Benjamin A. Wurgaft, Emmanuel Levinas, myjewishlearning.com. ^ "Jewish Rationalism
Rationalism
Reemergent," Conservative Judaism, Volume 36, Issue 4, Page 81 ^ Steven Schwarzschild, "To Re-Cast Rationalism," Judaism
Judaism
2 (1962). ^ "The Jewish Theological Seminary". Jtsa.edu. Archived from the original on 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ "From Medievaland Modern Theories Of Revelation By Elliot N. Dorff". Adath-shalom.ca. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ Tradition
Tradition
in the public square: a David
David
Novak reader, page xiv ^ "Halakhic Latitudinarianism: David
David
Hartman on the commanded life" (PDF). Etd.lib.fsu.edu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-24. Retrieved 2012-10-22.  ^ Noam Zion, Elu v'Elu: Two Schools of Halakha Face Off On Issues of Human Autonomy, Majority Rule and Divine Voice of Authority, p. 8 ^ Moore, Donald J. (1989). The Human and the Holy: The Spirituality of Abraham
Abraham
Joshua Heschel. New York: Fordham University Press. pp. 82–83. ISBN 978-0823212361.  ^ As early as 1934 Karl Popper
Karl Popper
wrote of the search for truth as "one of the strongest motives for scientific discovery." Still, he describes in Objective Knowledge (1972) early concerns about the much-criticized notion of truth as correspondence. Then came the semantic theory of truth formulated by the logician Alfred Tarski
Alfred Tarski
and published in 1933. Popper writes of learning in 1935 of the consequences of Tarski's theory, to his intense joy. The theory met critical objections to truth as correspondence and thereby rehabilitated it. The theory also seemed, in Popper's eyes, to support metaphysical realism and the regulative idea of a search for truth. Popper coined the term critical rationalism to describe his philosophy. Contemporary Jewish philosophers who follow Popper's philosophy include Joseph Agassi, Adi Ophir and Yehuda Elkana.

Further reading[edit] Online

(in Hebrew) Material by topic, daat.ac.il (in Hebrew) and (in English) Primary Sources, Ben Gurion University (in English) Online materials, Halacha Brura Institute (in Hebrew) From the Israeli high-school syllabus, education.gov.il (in English) Articles on Jewish Philosophy-Haim Lifshitz and Isaac Lifshitz (in English) Free will
Free will
in Jewish Philosophy

Print Sources

Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman (eds.), History of Jewish Philosophy. London: Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0-415-08064-9 Colette Sirat, A History of Jewish Philosophy
Philosophy
in the Middle Ages. Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-521-39727-8

External links[edit]

Adventures in Philosophy
Philosophy
- Jewish Philosophy
Philosophy
Index (radicalacademy.com) Jewish Philosophy, The Dictionary of Philosophy
Philosophy
(Dagobert D. Runes) Rabbi
Rabbi
Haim Lifshitz-articles review Jewish Philosophy Rabbi
Rabbi
Marc Angel's Project reflecting a fusion of Modern Orthodoxy and Sephardic
Sephardic
Judaism "Machone Torath Moshe" with many contributions by Rabbi
Rabbi
Michael Shelomo Bar-Ron Jewish thought and spirituality - articles and Shiurim in the Yeshiva site Joseph Isaac
Isaac
Lifshitz, "Towards a Modern Idea of Charity", Conversations On Philanthropy

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