A Dialectical Topic: Creation

Daniel Davies

in Method and Metaphysics in Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199768738
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918980 | DOI:

Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series

A Dialectical Topic: Creation

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This chapter defends the view that Maimonides' explicit position on creation is his true position. Maimonides uses a dialectical method to examine the three opinions that are commonly accepted: Aristotle, Plato, and the law. This chapter argues that Maimonides presents both of the positions held by Aristotle and the law as logically coherent but Plato's as incoherent. Plato's view is therefore unacceptable. If taken literally, scripture sometimes implies a position like Plato's, so scripture should not be taken literally. Of the two remaining positions, Aristotle and the law, neither can be demonstrated to be true, so both are philosophically acceptable. Maimonides therefore uses dialectical considerations to argue in favor of the law.

Keywords: Aristotle; Plato; dialectic; law; coherence; creation

Chapter.  7927 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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