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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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Judaism and Natural Law

Judaism and Natural Law

Some Background Considerations

(p.155) 6 Judaism and Natural Law
Law, Reason, and Morality in Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Jonathan Jacobs (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes some of the most important medieval conceptions of natural law as background to considering whether Jewish moral thought involves natural law elements and why that might matter. It also comments on Stoic roots of natural law and how they helped shape the tradition. Along with the treatment of natural law, this chapter (and the next) fills out the metaethical views of the thinkers being studied. Some of the main approaches to natural law theorizing are sketched out in order to provide a basis for considering whether Jewish moral thought involves similar features. Different interpretations of Aquinas' natural law theorizing are described, as are the chief features of Scotus' approach.

Keywords:   Aquinas, natural law, objectivity, perfectionism, reasonableness, Scotus, self‐evident, Stoics, teleology, theism

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