Divine Simplicity and Divine Freedom in Maimonides and Gersonides

Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 86:75-87 (2012)
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Abstract

From the standpoint of belief in divine freedom , the medieval Aristotelian understanding of divine simplicity is deeply problematic. This is for two reasons. First, if the divine will and wisdom are identical, it would seem that God’s action must be wholly determined by His rational apprehension of the good. Second, if the divine will is identical with the divine essence, it would seem that for God to be able to do other than He does would mean that the divine essence could be different. This paper focuses on two leading medieval Jewish Aristotelians, Maimonides and Gersonides, to ascertain their approach to these issues

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David Bradshaw
University of Kentucky

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