Page:Eight chapters of Maimonides on ethics.djvu/62

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42

THE ETHICS OF MAIMONIDES

have fallen into grievous and pernicious error, as a result of which their false theories form the corner-stone of a sophistical system which divides things into the necessary, the possible, and the impossible; so that they believe, and have led others to believe, that all creations of the imagination are possible, not having in mind, as we have stated, that this faculty may attribute existence to that which cannot possibly exist.[1]

The appetitive is that faculty by which a man desires, or loathes a thing, and from which there arise the following


    they endeavored to reconcile revelation with philosophy. I. T., in his Glossary of Strange Words, harshly criticizes them as "a sect of pseudoscientists without wisdom." T. J. De Boer says of their system of philosophy, "An assertion, expressed in logical or dialectic fashion, whether verbal or written, was called by the Arabs,—generally, but more particularly in religious teaching—Kalam (Λόγος), and those who advanced such assertions were called Mutakallimun. The name was transferred from the individual assertion to the entire system, and it covered also the introductory, elementary observations on Method,—and so on. Our best designation for the science of the Kalam is 'Theological Dialectics' or simply 'Dialectics', and in what follows we may translate Mutakallimun by 'Dialecticians'," Geschichte der Philosophie im Islam, Stuttgart, 1901, p. 43 ff.; Eng. ed., London, 1903, pp. 42-43. To M. we are indebted for a knowledge of the details of the system of the Mutakallimun, which he describes in a masterly way in his famous attack on the Kalam (Moreh, I, 71—76). He is vehemently opposed to them, not because of the views they held in regard to the universe and God, many of which coincided with his own, but on account of the method they pursued in arriving at their conclusions. On the Mutakallimun, and the Kalam, see Yehudah ha-Levi, Cuzari, c. V; Munk, Mélanges, pp. 311-312, 318 ff.; idem, article Arabes, in Dictionnaire des Sciences philosophiques; idem, Notice sur R. Saadia Gaôn, p. 156 ff.; idem, Guide, I, p. 335, n. 2; Steinschneider, Heb. Lit., p. 117; idem, HUb., p. 415; Kaufmann, Attributenlehre, see index; M. Gutmann, Das Religionsphil. Syst. d. Mutakallimun nach der Berichte des Maimun, Leipzig, 1885; Ludwig Stein, in AGPh., vol. XI, pp. 330-334; Schreiner, Der Kalâm in der jüdischen Literatur, Berlin, 1895; S. Horovitz, in ZDMG, 57, p. 177 ff.; I. Goldziher, Vorlesungen über den Islam, (Heidelberg, 1910), p. 100 f.; 127 f.; 129; 172 f.; 177 f.; etc.

  1. Cf. Moreh, I, 73, Tenth Proposition, in which M. describes the theory of admissibility of the Mutakallimun, which forms the principal support of their doctrine (ההקדמה העשירית היא זאת ההעברה אשר יזכרהו וזהו עמור חכמת המדברים‎). Everything conceived by the imagination, they maintain, is admitted as possible. Cf., also, ibid., I, 49; III, 15. See Scheyer, Psychol. Syst. d. Maim., pp. 12-13; Munk, Guide, I, p. 400, n. 2.