Chapter

Rationalizing the Commandments I: Rationalizing the Commandments I: The Maimonidean Method

Daniel Rynhold

in Two Models of Jewish Philosophy

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199274864
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602450 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019927486X.003.0002
Rationalizing the Commandments I: Rationalizing the Commandments I: The Maimonidean Method

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Maimonides’ method of rationalizing the commandments is examined, placing particular stress on his use of a quasi-Aristotelian method of scientific explanation. Maimonides’ use of Aristotle’s teleological structures for rationalizing the commandments, supplemented by historical explanations for those commandments known as huqqim, is discussed along with a number of well-known objections. Though the historical explanations are usually singled out for criticism, the central thrust of the chapter, building on Soloveitchik’s criticisms, is that these problems are usually symptoms of a deeper question about the adequacy of the whole explanatory approach to rationalizing the commandments.

Keywords: Aristotle; Commandment; historical explanation; Huqqim; Maimonides; scientific explanation; Soloveitchik; teleological

Chapter.  17894 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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