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Anthropocentrism And The Medieval Problem Of Religious Language

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Chapter Summary

Recent study of anthropocentrism has often focused on the question of whether certain practices and attitudes embody an unethical favouritism in preference of humanity over other animals. Two influential solutions to the problem of religious language from the medieval era are offered by Moses Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas. This chapter begins by looking at Maimonides' account of the problem of religious language and its solution from his Guide for the Perplexed. The author argues that anyone who predicates traits of the divine essence in an affirmative way commits anthropocentrism, polytheism, and a radical category error and attempts to solve the problem of religious language through the via negativa. After examining Maimonides' method of negative predication, this chapter will proceed to examine Aquinas' account of analogical language. Finally, this chapter concludes by discussing the relevance of the medieval concerns about anthropocentrism.

Keywords: Anthropocentrism; medieval problem; Moses Maimonides; religious language; Thomas Aquinas

10.1163/ej.9789004187948.i-348.33
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004187948.i-348.33
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