The Development of Maimonides' Moral Psychology

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
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq200276128
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