List of mediaeval Jewish philosophers (9th to 15th centuries).
History of mediaeval Jewish Philosophy
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
(384 BC - 322 BC)
- Saadia ben Joseph al-Fayyumi[Saadiah Gaon] (892 ≈ 942) the first mediaeval Jewish philosopher and opponent of the Karaite.
From 'AN ESSAY IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY' by S. M. DUBNOW
The great Gaon Saadiah (892-942) united within himself all strands of thought. Over and above a large number of philological and other writings of scientific purport, he created a momentous religio-philosophic system, with the aim to clarify Judaism and refine religious conceptions. He was an encyclopedic thinker, a representative of the highest Jewish culture and of Arabic culture as well—he wrote his works in Arabic by preference. In this way Jewish thought gained ground more and more in the Orient. It was in the West, however, that it attained soon after to the climax of its development.
- Isaac Israeli (~855 - ~955) Egypt. Book of theElements, Book of definitions.
- Joseph ben Abraham (al-Basir - the seer) was Karaite and lived in Babylonia in the beginning of 11 century.
Jeshua ben Juran ( Abu al-Faraj Furkan ibn Asad) was a pupil of al-Basir
- Solomon ibn Gabirol 1021 - 1058(1070) the first philosophical writer in Andalusia. His famous work "Fountain of life" was written in Arabic.
- Abraham bar Hiyya (Abraham Savasords) 1070-1136. Was a Spanish Jewish mathematician and astronomer. His philosophical work is Hegion ha-Nefesh ( Meditation of the Soul)
- Abraham ibn Ezra 1092(1088)- 1167 was born at Toledo. Is best known as a grammarian and Biblical commentator. He was poet and wrote on mathematics, astronomy and astrology.
- Judah Halevi 1086 – 1145 (poet and philosopher) was born at Toledo.
- Moses ibn Ezra 1070 – 1138 was born at Granada and was famous as poet and interested in philosophy.
- Joseph ben Jacob ibn Zaddik ( 1138 – 1149) lived in Cordova. He wrote Olam Katon ( Microcosm) about 'perfection' and 'permanent good'
- Shem Tob Falaquera ( 1225-1290)
- Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakuda
- Abraham ibn (ben) Daud 1110-1180 is the first Jewish philosopher who shows an intimate knowledge of the works of Aristotle and makes a deliberate effort to harmonize the Aristotelian system with Judaism.
- Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides 1135-1204). Was born in Cordova, Spain, in 1135. He was the most comprehensive mind (scholar, philosopher and physician) of mediaeval Jewry, and his philosophy was the copingstone of a complete system of Judaism.
The Guide for the Perplexed is the literary masterpiece of Moses Maimonides. Guide of the Perplexed was published in Arabic in 1190.
There are different ways in which one can refer to the Maimonides.
'ides' was usually placed at the end of a name, meaning son of. So he could be called Moses son of Maimon.
Rambam is made from an acronym of the first letters of a name, beginning with rabbi.
Rabbi Moses ben Maimon
'Maimonides is perhaps the only philosopher in the middle ages, perhaps even now, who symbolizes a confluence of four cultures, Greco-Roman, Arab, Jewish, and Western'
Vitali Naunkin, UNESCO conference 1985 (850 anniversary of Rambam's birth)
Maimonides's Laws of Charity.
According to the Rambam, there are good ways to give-and better ways to give. And
here they are, in his own words. There are main eight degrees in the giving of charity.
They are as follows, from the least to the most desirable:
1. He who gives reluctantly or with regret.
2. He who gives less than he should, but gives graciously.
3. He who gives what he should, but only after he is asked.
4. He who gives before he is asked.
5. He who gives without knowing to whom he gives, although the recipient
may know the identity of the donor.
6. He who gives without making his identity known.
7. He who gives without knowing to whom he gives, and the
recipient not knowing from whom he receives.
8. He who helps a fellow man to support himself by a gift,
or a loan, or by finding employment for him,
thus helping him to become self-supporting.
- Hillel ben Samuel 1220-1295 an Italian Jew was strong admirer of Maimonides and undertook to comment on the Guide of the Perplexed, he also translated from Latin. His main work is Tagmule ha-Nefesh ( The rewards of the Soul )
- Levi ben Gershon ( Gersonides ) 1288 â€“1344 He was a great mathematician and astronomer and wrote philosophical masterpiece Milhamot Adonai â€“ (The Wars of the Lord).
- Aaron ben Elijah of Nicomedia 1300-1369
- Hasdai ben Abraham Crescas 1340-1410
- Joseph Albo of Monreal in Aragon 1380 â€“1444
The most important works of Jewish Medieval Philosophy
- Saadiah's The Book of Beliefs and Opinions,
Read a chapter from THE BOOK OF BELIEFS AND OPINIONS
- Halevi's Kuzari,
Read a chapter from THE TEACHINGS OF THE PHILOSOPHERS AND THE THEOLOGIANS
- Maimonides' The Guide of the Perplexed
Read a chapter:
THE THIRTEEN FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE JEWISH FAITH
- Gersonides' The Wars of the Lord
- Crescas' The Light of the Lord.
- Joseph Ibn Kaspi's Gevia Kesef
- Le-Hilel ben Shemuel mi-Veronah's Sefer Tagmule ha-nefesh
- Dawud ibn Marwan al-Muqammis's Ishrun
Topics in Jewish Philosophy
- Proofs for eternity
- Creation, and the existence of God
- God of Abraham
- Evil and suffering
- See more on:
Cyber encyclopedia of Jewish history and culture that covers everything from anti-Semitism to Zionism. It includes a glossary, bibliography of web sites and books, biographies, articles, original documents and much more!
jewishencyclopedia.com This website contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906.
Jewish philosophy Wikipedia
Other Jewish Philosophers
- Philo Judaeus - (c. 25 B.C. - c. 50 A.D.)
(Also known as Philo of Alexandria)
- David Ibn Merwan Al-Mukammas - (Died c. 937)