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Maimonides, The Soul And The Classical Tradition

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Chapter Summary

Philosophy represents itself as a timeless search for truth, but in fact during different historical periods particular issues and debates became very popular at the expense of other issues and debates. This debate was actually very much taken over from Islamic philosophy that formed the warp and woof of its Jewish equivalent and the major figure here is undoubtedly Moses Maimonides. The role of the soul in Islamic philosophy is itself highly controversial. The Qur'an has a robust notion of both the soul and the afterlife, unlike the Jewish bible, yet most philosophers sought to restrict the role of the soul in a variety of ways, stemming from their application of philosophical techniques to the notion. In a recent book on the soul the authors say "We do not need to understand ourselves theoretically to get on in the world" (Martin, R. and Barresi, J. p. 303 (2006)).

Keywords: Islam; Jewish bible; Moses Maimonides; Qur'an; soul



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