Sophia 59 (2):247-271 (2020)

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Beau Shaw
New York University
Abstract
This article offers a new account of Leo Strauss’s interpretation of Maimonides’ esoteric teaching in the Guide for the Perplexed, which Strauss offers in his seminal essay ‘The Literary Character of the Guide for the Perplexed.’ According to the generally-accepted view, for Strauss, Maimonides’ esoteric teaching is the identity of the secrets of the Torah with Aristotelian philosophy, and—since that philosophy contradicts the foundational beliefs of the Torah—that the Torah has the merely instrumental function of bringing about political well-being. By contrast, I argue that, for Strauss, Maimonides’ esoteric teaching is the necessity of breaking the laws of the Torah for the sake of restoring Israel’s sovereignty. Additionally, I claim that Strauss’s interpretation depends on Carl Schmitt’s ‘decisionism.’
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DOI 10.1007/s11841-018-0685-2
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References found in this work BETA

Moses Maimonides : An Intellectual Portrait.Joel L. Kraemer - 2005 - In Kenneth Seeskin (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides. Cambridge University Press. pp. 10--57.

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Essays on Maimonides.Moses Maimonides & Salo Wittmayer Baron (eds.) - 1941 - New York: American Mathematical Society.
The Guide of the Perplexed.Moses Maimonides, S. Pines & L. Strauss - 1956 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 20 (3):366-367.

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