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Prudence vs. Imagination

Prudence vs. Imagination

(p.163) SIX Prudence vs. Imagination
Maimonides and Spinoza
Joshua Parens
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines Heidi Ravven' attempt to establish a new approach to Maimonides's and Spinoza's treatment of the imagination and prophecy. One of Ravven's most important theses is that Maimonides conflates or absorbs practical intellect or phronesis into the imagination. The aim of this chapter is to explore some of the inferences drawn from this thesis and to reconsider some relevant evidence not sufficiently considered by Ravven. The author affirms his support for the interpretation that practical intellect does play an independent role in Maimonides's Guide, in spite of the fact that Maimonides makes no mention of the term in the Guide. Whether or not practical intellect plays a role in the Guide is important because it is intimately connected with other aspects of Maimonides's thought.

Keywords:   imagination, prophecy, heidi Ravven, maimonides, spinoza, practical intellect

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