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Law, Reason, and Morality in Medieval Jewish PhilosophySadia Gaon, Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Moses Maimonides$
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Jonathan Jacobs

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542833.001.0001

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Freedom of the Will, Covenant, and Moral Capability

Freedom of the Will, Covenant, and Moral Capability

(p.39) 2 Freedom of the Will, Covenant, and Moral Capability
Law, Reason, and Morality in Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Jonathan Jacobs (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on freedom of the will, questions about agents' responsibility for their virtues and vices, and the way in which the covenant between God and human beings has implications for understanding human agency and responsibility. Freedom of the will had a crucial place in medieval Jewish thought because it was widely held that without such freedom, the Law (commandments) would be futile. The differences between Jewish philosophical thought about agency and the Aristotelian conception of voluntariness and self‐determination are brought into relief.

Keywords:   commandments, covenant, free will, moral accessibility, moral availability, practical rationality, voluntariness

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