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The Guide of the Perplexed in Early Modern Philosophy and Spinoza

The Guide of the Perplexed in Early Modern Philosophy and Spinoza

Chapter:
(p.365) 13 The Guide of the Perplexed in Early Modern Philosophy and Spinoza
Source:
Maimonides' "Guide of the Perplexed" in Translation
Author(s):
Steven Nadler
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226627878.003.0014

This chapter first considers the familiarity with — and, to some degree, the influence of — Maimonides by central early modern philosophers: Malebranche, Bayle, Leibniz, and Newton, and especially Spinoza. The author concludes that Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed (as well as parts of his Mishneh Torah) was read and known by many of them, although it is difficult to discern significant influence or impact on (as opposed to parallels with) any of them with the one major exception of Spinoza. After discussing Maimonides’ influence, positive and negative, on Spinoza, the chapter then looks at the role that scholarship on Maimonides has or has not played in recent Spinoza scholarship. Finally, the author briefly examines the influence that Shlomo Pines’s translation of the Guide of the Perplexed in particular may have had on Spinoza scholarship since its publication.

Keywords:   early modern (especially seventeenth-century) philosophy, Benedictus Barukh Spinoza, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, Nicolas Malebranche, occasionalism, Isaac Newton, theodicy, rationalism

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