Article published in:Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter: Band 20
Herausgegeben von Manuel Baumbach und Olaf Pluta
[Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter 20] 2017
► pp. 117–134
Salomon Maimons Maimonides-Rezeption im Kontext seiner Auseinandersetzung mit Kants Konzept der Dinge an sich
The 18th century philosopher Salomon Maimon, who originated from a small village in Eastern Europe and who, despite having been destined to become a rabbi at a young age, emigrated to Berlin and other German locations to study philosophy, showed a strong bond to the medieval philosopher Moses Maimonides, most obviously by his self selected surname. Besides this, Maimon’s philosophical works have been significantly influenced by the rationalistic philosophy and theology of Maimonides. Most importantly, Maimonides’ theory of divine reason, which in turn refers to Aristotle’s Metaphysics, is incorporated into the philosophy of Maimon, who decisively transformed this conception into his own notion of an infinite intellect. In this article, it shall be demonstrated that Maimon uses this concept, derived from Maimonides’ thought to a large extent, yet significantly differing from it in important aspects, to argue against Immanuel Kant’s critical philosophy: At first by rejecting the Kantian dualism of sensibility and intellect, then by trying to uncover Kant’s notion of the thing in itself as meaningless and eventually by trying to eliminate this notion from the system of transcendental philosophy in general. To present this specific constellation of argumentation, at first Maimon’s reception of central Maimonidean thoughts shall be examined in a strongly selective manner. In a second step, the application of these thoughts to the difficulties of Kant’s philosophy by Maimon has to be drafted. By inquiring the multifaceted relation of Maimon to the medieval philosopher in these important aspects, Maimonides’ particular relevance for German philosophy in the late 18th century shall be revealed.
Published online: 26 March 2018