Chapter

The Durability of Goodness

Alan Mittleman

in Judaic Sources and Western Thought

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199583157
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728952 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583157.003.0002
The Durability of Goodness

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This chapter argues that the Book of Genesis, both in itself and as refracted by subsequent Jewish interpretation, affirms the goodness of being. Goodness is primary (vis-à-vis evil, which is derivative) and immanent in creation. Jewish understandings of metaphysics and ethics are informed by this radical assertion of the goodness of creation. Platonic and Aristotelian understandings of goodness overlap with biblical and Jewish ones but differ crucially as well. The nature and consequences of these differences are explored with particular attention to the significance of tragedy. The discussion connects biblical themes with some central issues of metaethics.

Keywords: goodness of creation; goodness; fragility and durability; wisdom of tragedy; Maimonides; value incommensurability; God and goodness; Book of Genesis; Book of Jonah

Chapter.  12224 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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