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Between Maimonideanism And Averroism: Gersonides’ Place Within The Maimonidean Paradigm

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the question of Gersonides' "Maimonideanism." Upon first reflection, this term seems too general, and thus it produces in the reader a series of perplexing questions: Where exactly is the line differentiating what is Maimonidean and what is not? Which philosophical doctrines or Jewish beliefs would one characterize as Maimonidean? In order to construct a controlled framework for exploring "Maimonideanism" the chapter considers it from the perspective of Kuhn's philosophy of science, adopting two of his pivotal concepts: that the scientist is a "puzzle-solver;" and that intellectual traditions develop around "paradigms." The first concept underlines the subjective aspect of the scientist's work within the science of his own time; the concept of "paradigm," in contrast, refers to the objective aspect of his work of puzzle-solving by denoting the core of certain ideas, practices, values, and even institutions that represent the historical backgrounds of the subjective work.

Keywords: Averroism; Gersonides; Jewish philosophy; Maimonidean paradigm

10.1163/ej.9789004174504.i-440.22
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