Maimonides and Spinoza on the Knowledge of Good and Evil: A Reappraisal of W.Z. Harvey

Iyyun 66 (3):258-269 (2017)
Authors
James Elliott
Purdue University
Abstract
In an unsung yet excellent paper, W.Z. Harvey set out to explain how both Maimonides and Spinoza have similarly problematic views on the nature of the knowledge of good and evil. In it, he proposed an answer to solving the problem. In the many decades since, debates surrounding this topic have flourished. A recent paper by Joshua Parens, his conclusions mark a distinction between Spinoza and Maimonides that threaten to undermine Harvey’s solution to the problem. I will argue that, although Parens’ distinction forces us to revise Harvey’s contention, Harvey’s argument is still generally valid.
Keywords Maimonides  Spinoza  Knowledge of Good and Evil  W.Z. Harvey
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