Law, Reason, and Morality, in Medieval Jewish Philosophy: Sadia Gaon, Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Moses Maimonides by Jonathan Jacobs

Law, Reason, and Morality, in Medieval Jewish Philosophy: Sadia Gaon, Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Moses…

byJonathan Jacobs

Hardcover | September 26, 2010

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The medieval Jewish philosophers Saadia Gaon, Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Moses Maimonides made significant contributions to moral philosophy in ways that remain relevant today. Jonathan Jacobs explicates shared, general features of the thought of these thinkers and also highlights their distinctive contributions to understanding moral thought and moral life. The rationalism of these thinkers is a key to their views. They argued that seeking rational understanding ofTorah's commandments and the created order is crucial to fulfilling the covenant with God, and that intellectual activity and ethical activity form a spiral of mutual reinforcement. In their view, rational comprehension and ethical action jointly constitute a life of holiness. Their insights areimportant in their own right and are also relevant to enduring issues in moral epistemology and moral psychology, resonating even in the contemporary context.The central concerns of this study include (i) the relations between revelation and rational justification, (ii) the roles of intellectual virtue and ethical virtue in human perfection, (iii) the implications of theistic commitments for topics such as freedom of the will, the acquisition of virtuesand vices, repentance, humility, and forgiveness, (iv) contrasts between medieval Jewish moral thought and the practical wisdom approach to moral philosophy and the natural law approach to it, and (v) the universality and objectivity of moral elements of Torah.

About The Author

Jonathan Jacobs is The Richard J. and Jean Head Professor of Philosophy at Colgate University in New York.
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Title:Law, Reason, and Morality, in Medieval Jewish Philosophy: Sadia Gaon, Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Moses…Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:September 26, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019954283X

ISBN - 13:9780199542833

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Athens, Jerusalem, and Jewish Moral Thought2. Freedom of the Will, Covenant, and Moral Capability3. Moral Psychology, Revelation, and Virtue4. Jewish Moral Thought and Practical Wisdom5. Requirements, Ideals, and Divine Commands6. Judaism and Natural Law: Some Background Considerations7. 'The Reasons of the Commandments' and Natural LawBibliography