The Development of Maimonides' Moral Psychology

Abstract
Maimonides’ moral psychology undergoes development, which this essay attempts to detail. In the early Shemonah Peraqim (Eight Chapters) Maimonides charts out a seemingly anti-Aristotelian view that underscores the specificity of each part of the human soul and the utter distinctiveness of the human species. Human beings share nothing with non-human animals, prima facie not even the most “animalistic” features. Over time, however, a change in Maimonides’ position is to be noted. In his philosophical magnum opus, the Guide of the Perplexed, Maimonides adopts a more Aristotelian position, understanding human beings as sharing with nonhumananimals certain sub-rational faculties, but differing from them in their ratiocinative capacities. As in Aristotle, human beings turn out to be essentially rational animals
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