Saadya Gaon and Maimonides on the Logic and Limits of Legal Inference in Context of the Karaite-Rabbanite Controversy
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History and Philosophy of Logic 32 (1):29-36 (2011)
Saadya Gaon (882 ? 942), one of the outstanding Rabbis in the period of the Geonim, rejected the legitimacy of legal inference, as part of his polemics with his contemporary Karaite scholars. The paper analyzes Saadya's stance regarding the logical basis of legal inference, and shows that Saadya's distinction between reason and revelation in the domain of legal inference is only in regard to the ?illah? the factor that connects the case with its law. The rationality of the commandments, on the other hand, is based according to Saadya upon the manfa?ah? the utility of the commandments, and hence Saadya's religious doctrine turns out to be coherent and consistent. Maimonides (1138?1204), who was one of the most important figures in the Jewish scholarly world in the Middle Ages, adopted the Aristotelian concept of dialectics in order to facilitate his theory of Jewish legal argumentation. Unlike Saadya, Maimonides saw inferences in the realm of the law as legitimate. His position can be considered an inclination towards the Karaite ideology according to which reason must be the ruler in the realm of the law. Nevertheless, Maimonides' stance deviates from that of Karaites in a crucial point: according to Maimonides, only authorized institutions are qualified to use legal inference. Since the Talmud, according to Maimonides, represents the teachings of the rabbinical authorized institutions, its legal instructions must be followed. The article describes Maimonides' position regarding legal and Talmudic inferences, and shows that Maimonides' inclination towards the Karaite theory remains within the limits of the Rabbanite ideology
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Haggai Ben-Shammai (1997). Kalam in Medieval Jewish Philosophy. In Daniel H. Frank & Oliver Leaman (eds.), History of Jewish Philosophy. Routledge. 2--115.
Moses Maimonides (1963). The Guide of the Perplexed. University of Chicago Press.
Sarah Stroumsa (2003). Saadya and Jewish Kalam. In Daniel H. Frank & Oliver Leaman (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 121--46.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Steven T. Katz (ed.) (1980). Saadiah Gaon. Arno Press.
Michael P. Levine (1986). The Role of Reason in the Ethics of Maimonides: Or, Why Maimonides Could Have Had a Doctrine of Natural Law Even If He Did Not. Journal of Religious Ethics 14 (2):279 - 295.
Moses Maimonides & Salo Wittmayer Baron (eds.) (1941/1966). Essays on Maimonides. New York, Ams Press.
Leo Strauss (2013). Leo Strauss on Maimonides: The Complete Writings. The University of Chicago Press.
Raymond L. Weiss (1991). Maimonides' Ethics: The Encounter of Philosophic and Religious Morality. University of Chicago Press.
Daniel J. Lasker (2008). From Judah Hadassi to Elijah Bashyatchi: Studies in Late Medieval Karaite Philosophy. Brill.
James T. Robinson (2007). Maimonides, Samuel Ibn Tibbon, and the Construction of a Jewish Tradition of Philosophy. In Jay Michael Harris (ed.), Maimonides After 800 Years: Essays on Maimonides and His Influence. Distributed by Harvard University Press.
Don Seeman (2008). Honoring the Divine as Virtue and Practice in Maimonides. Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 16 (2):195-251.
Moses Maimonides (1975/1983). Ethical Writings of Maimonides. Dover Publications.
Josef Stern (2012). Maimonides on Wars and Their Justification. Journal of Military Ethics 11 (3):245-263.
Allan Nadler (2007). The "Rambam Revival" in Early Modern Jewish Thought Maskilim, Mitnagdim, and Hasidim on Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed. In Jay Michael Harris (ed.), Maimonides After 800 Years: Essays on Maimonides and His Influence. Distributed by Harvard University Press.
Kenneth Seeskin (2005). Maimonides on the Origin of the World. Cambridge University Press.
Kenneth Seeskin (2002). Sanctity and Silence. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 76 (1):7-24.
Added to index2011-02-09
Total downloads16 ( #116,527 of 1,410,149 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #177,743 of 1,410,149 )
How can I increase my downloads?