donderdag 29 maart 2018

Shlomo Pines (1908 – 1990) schreef over Spinoza en Maimondes [3]


In de vorige twee blogs over Shlomo Pines [op 9 maart en 27 maart 2018] gaf ik algemene informatie over hem. Vandaag wil ik het hebben over een belangrijk stuk van deze erudiete geleerde
“Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, Maimonides and Kant,”in: Scripta Hierosolymitana 20 [Further Studies in Philosophy] (1968), 3–54 [scans gepupliceerd op academia.edu]

Mijn ervaring met dit stuk is dat een lezer (zoals ik) die geen kennis heeft van Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed (door Pines in 1963 uit het Arabisch vertaald), aan de hand van dit artikel in de gaten kan krijgen hoeveel Spinoza aan Maimonides ontleent. Ik herinner me van de TTP alleen Spinoza’s kritiek op de allegorische uitleg door Maimonides van passages in de Bijbel. Waar Spinoza een andere visie verwoordde (b.v. dat de profeten géén filosofen waren, waar ze dat volgens Maimonides wel waren), hanteerde hij de uitgangspunten en analyse schema’s van Maimonides. Voor mij is dat het belangrijkste nut van dat artikel, waarom ik het van harte ter lezing aanbeveel. Wie de TTP wil bestuderen kan vel nut hebben van dit artikel van Pines.  

In de literatuur wordt vooral aandacht gegeven aan de vergelijking die Pines daarin maakt met Kant. Maimonides en Spinoza zouden voorlopers geweest zijn van Kant’s kritische theorie.
Zo noteert Josef Stern in The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides: “It should be noted that Pines characterized Maimonides as a critical philosopher in the Kantian sense; Stem 2004 and forthcoming attempts to highlight parallels between Maimonides' position and classical and Humean skepticism. It should also be noted that Pines' critical reading was part of a broader esotericist interpretive stance, often associated with Leo Strauss, that reads all ancient and medieval philosophy through political lenses. The intensity of some responses to Pines' thesis may be directed against this larger program with which, at least in their minds, it is associated.” 1)

En Gad Freudenthal laat in dezelfde Cambridge Companion to Maimonides lezen:
“Maimonides' argument is a perfect instance of an epistemological analysis. He reflects on man's cognitive capacities, or, more precisely, on the bounds of man's cognitive capacities. It is a reflection on the conditions of possibility of attaining knowledge. This is an epistemological self-reflexive argument, pointing toward a critical theory of knowledge: One realizes one cannot know all one thinks one can know; reason allows man to investigate its own limitations. The late Shlomo Pines, the translator of Maimonides' Guide into English and the great interpreter of his thought, made this comment: "Maimonides' emphasis on the limitations of human science is perhaps his most significant contribution to general - as distinct from Jewish - philosophical thought. Like Kant, he pointed out these limitations in order to make room for belief." 2)

Ook Warren Zev Harvey schreef , nadat hij in 2004 had gesproken over “Shlomo Pines on Maimonides and Kant” op de International conference "Kant and Maimonides In Commemoration of the 1000 Years since their Respective Deaths, October 31-November 1, 2004 [cf. PDF] in 2012 over dit artikel van Pines nog eens:
Warren Zev Harvey, “Shlomo Pines on Maimonides, Spinoza, and Kant.”[In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Volume 20, Issue 2 [2012], pages 173 – 182; ik neem hier ’t abstract:]

Abstract In his “Spinoza’s TTP, Maimonides, and Kant” (1968), Pines compared Spinoza’s dogmas of universal faith (TTP, 14) with Kant’s postulates of practical reason (Critique of Practical Reason, part 1). According to him, Spinoza’s dogmas, like Maimonides’ “necessary beliefs” (Guide 3:28), are postulates necessary for political welfare, and do not fall under the jurisdiction of theoretical reason. They define the faith of the common person, not that of the philosopher. Kant, in his remarks about Spinoza as an “upright skeptic,” mistakenly thought his dogmas were true beliefs, not necessary ones; and his notion of postulates of practical reason seems to have been in part influenced by his mistaken view of Spinoza’s dogmas. The transformation of Maimonides’ “necessary beliefs” into Kant’s “postulates of practical reason,” as narrated by Pines, recalls the similar transformation of “Averroism” into “Christian Averroism” in the thirteenth century. In essays written from the late 1970s until his death in 1990, Pines returned to the theme of Maimonides and Kant, and argued convincingly that Maimonides’ epistemology was “critical” in the Kantian sense. However, his related argument that Maimonides’ religious sensibility was similar to Kant’s is less convincing. Unlike Kant, Maimonides did not think that critical epistemology made room for faith, but held that it caused one to tremble in awe. Like Spinoza, he identified true faith with intellectual knowledge, not something beyond it. His distinctiveness as a philosopher is that he was a God-intoxicated Knower like Spinoza, but a critical epistemologist like Kant. [Cf. Brill]

 

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1) Josef Stern, “Maimonides' Epistemology.” .” In: Kenneth Seeskin, The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides. Cambridge University Press, 2005,  p. 105 – 133, noot 16 p. 131

2) Gad Freudenthal, “Maimonides' Philosophy of Science.” In: Kenneth Seeskin, The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides. Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 134-166, hier p. 148 – beide books.google

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