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Voluntarism, Jewish

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-J021-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved December 05, 2023, from

Article Summary

Voluntarism with respect to humanity and divinity became a powerful current in medieval Jewish philosophy, partly in response to the Neoplatonic doctrine of eternal and necessary emanation, which seemed to rob God of the freedom to create, and partly in response to predestinarianism. Solomon ibn Gabirol and Hasdai Crescas were among the Jewish philosophers whose metaphysics gave pride of place to the divine will over intellect, like medieval Christian voluntarists. For many other Jewish thinkers, the centrality of actions sets voluntarism firmly into the context of moral responsibility rather than of metaphysics. Predestinarian arguments like those of Abner of Burgos seemed to Jewish thinkers to rob human beings of moral responsibility. Among the typical defenders of Jewish voluntarism against these arguments was Abraham Bibago.

Citing this article:
Lazaroff, Allan. Voluntarism, Jewish, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-J021-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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