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Full Access The Debate Between Salomon Munk and Heinrich Ritter on Medieval Jewish and Arabic History of Philosophy

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The Debate Between Salomon Munk and Heinrich Ritter on Medieval Jewish and Arabic History of Philosophy

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Abstract In the middle of the nineteenth century, the German historian of philosophy Heinrich Ritter and the Jewish scholar and Orientalist Salomon Munk had a debate on the history of Jewish Philosophy. This debate is an example of how Salomon Munk’s work functioned to point up the reciprocal influences between Jewish, Arab and Christian Thought in the Middle Ages. Munk, who was a scholar within the Wissenschaft des Judentums, a Jewish movement that promoted the scientific study of Judaism, criticized Ritter’s History of Philosophy. In fact, Munk noticed that in his work, Ritter mentioned only a few references to Jewish thinkers like Maimonides. Ritter’s response was that Christian historians of philosophy knew too little about this subject in order to give a qualified judgment. Nevertheless, later on, in the second edition of his History of Philosophy, Ritter added many important details on Al-Gazali, Ibn-Badja and Ibn-Roschd after the reading of Munk’s articles. Ritter also shaped an entirely new paragraph on the history of Jewish philosophy in the Middle Ages using above all Munk’s seminal studies on Avicebron’s Fons Vitae.

10.1163/187247112X637605
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Abstract In the middle of the nineteenth century, the German historian of philosophy Heinrich Ritter and the Jewish scholar and Orientalist Salomon Munk had a debate on the history of Jewish Philosophy. This debate is an example of how Salomon Munk’s work functioned to point up the reciprocal influences between Jewish, Arab and Christian Thought in the Middle Ages. Munk, who was a scholar within the Wissenschaft des Judentums, a Jewish movement that promoted the scientific study of Judaism, criticized Ritter’s History of Philosophy. In fact, Munk noticed that in his work, Ritter mentioned only a few references to Jewish thinkers like Maimonides. Ritter’s response was that Christian historians of philosophy knew too little about this subject in order to give a qualified judgment. Nevertheless, later on, in the second edition of his History of Philosophy, Ritter added many important details on Al-Gazali, Ibn-Badja and Ibn-Roschd after the reading of Munk’s articles. Ritter also shaped an entirely new paragraph on the history of Jewish philosophy in the Middle Ages using above all Munk’s seminal studies on Avicebron’s Fons Vitae.

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2012-01-01
2017-04-25

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