Page 60 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 9 (1950-1951)

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
52
pen: 1)
Versuch ueber die Transcendental-philosophie
, Berlin, 1790;
2)
Philosophisches Woerterbuch
, Berlin, 1791; 3)
Lebensgeschichte
,
Berlin, 1792; 4)
Streifereien im Gebiete der Philosophies
Berlin,
1793; 5)
Die Kategorien des Aristotles
, Berlin, 1794; 6)
Versuch
einer neuen Logik
, Berlin, 1794; and 7)
Kritische Untersuchungen
ueber den menschlichen Geist
, Leipzig, 1797. He also wrote a num-
ber of essays, some of them rather extensive, scattered in the
philosophical journals of the time. Maimon, as well, wrote com-
mentaries on the works of other authors, the outstanding of which
is his commentary in Hebrew on Maimonides’
More Nebuchim
(
The Guide to the Perplexed)
under the title,
Giv ath Hamoreh
, with
an introduction containing a short history of philosophy.
Maimonides, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Spinoza and Kant — all of
them have contributed toward the shaping of Maimon’s thought.
Maimon’s original name was Solomon ben Joshua. The name of
Maimon he adopted while in Germany out of reverence for Mai-
monides. Of the great influence of Maimonides on his develop-
ment, Maimon writes: “My reverence for this great teacher went
so far that I considered him as the ideal of a perfect man, and
regarded his teachings as if they were inspired by divine wisdom.
So profoundly was I influenced that, when my passions began
to develop and I feared lest I might be seduced to an action in-
consistent with those teachings, I used to employ, as a proved
corrective, the following vow: ‘I swear by the reverence which
I owe my great master Rabbi Moses ben Maimon to abstain
from such-and-such action.’ And so far as I can remember this
vow always had the effect of restraining me.” (Maimon’s
Lebens-
geschichte
II, p. 3). Thus Maimon’s relationship to Maimonides
was not merely that of a student to an author of the past whose
writings are highly regarded but rather a living and personal re-
lationship, similar to the relationship of a disciple to his revered
living master.
In his commentary on the
More Nebuchim
of Maimonides, Mai-
mon attempts to interpret Maimonides in the light of critical
philosophy. His method of sometimes offering a somewhat forced
interpretation of Maimonides is understandable in view of Mai-
mon’s conviction of the truth of critical philosophy, as he under-
stood it, and of his belief in the inherent truth of the philosophy
of his revered master. Maimon’s commentary on the
Moreh
is
written in a rich, colorful and philosophically exact Hebrew style,
the like of which was not to be found at that time. One is amazed
at Maimon’s mastery of the Hebrew language. His creative genius
manifests itself in the invention of new terms and phrases, thus
adapting the Hebrew language to the presentation of the most
difficult and complicated problems of modern philosophy. A