Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

Abstract

This paper focuses on Maimonides’ The Guide of the Perplexed and Spinoza’s Theological‐Political Treatise and their divergent answers to the question as to whether the knowledge acquired through reason alone can be reconciled with Scripture’s content and teachings. Both Maimonides and Spinoza believed that the true understanding of what the Bible says could be achieved by the correct method of biblical interpretation. I show that despite approaching the question of philosophy’s relationship to religion in a similar way, their very different answers are readily understandable in light of each author’s pre‐existing philosophical and religious commitments. The Guide, published in 1190, and the TPT, published in 1670, create a kind of dialogue, with Spinoza’s later work referring back both explicitly and by inference to Maimonides, as Spinoza challenges both Maimonides’ methodology and conclusions in The Guide.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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