In Accepting Aristotle’s Ethical Doctrines, Did Maimonides Contradict the Jewish Idea of Repentance?

Sept. 26 2017

One of the great tensions in Western moral philosophy is between the Aristotelian ideal of ethics based on the cultivation of proper moral virtue and the Jewish understanding of ethics as adherence to commandments. As a devotee of both Aristotle and the Talmud, Moses Maimonides tried repeatedly to reconcile the two approaches. But, argues Abraham Socher, Maimonides leaves unresolved the incompatibility between Aristotelian ethics and the Jewish ideal of t’shuvah (“repentance,” or, more literally, “return”), so central to the Days of Awe—even though he himself wrote one of the most penetrating expositions of this ideal. Socher explains:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Aristotle, Ethics, Jewish Philosophy, Maimonides, Religion & Holidays, Repentance

Two Questions about President Biden’s Iran Strategy

Feb. 25 2021

Examining the State Department spokesman Ned Price’s remarks on Monday regarding Washington’s approach to the Islamic Republic, Elliott Abrams detects two crucial points on which the administration has been unclear. The first relates to Price’s comment that, “if Iran returns to full compliance with the [2015 nuclear] deal, the United States would be prepared to do the same.”

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Iran, Iran nuclear program, Joseph Biden