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ON HUSIK'S WORK IN MEDIEVAL JEWISH PHILOSOPHY / על מפעלו של יצחק הוסיק בתולדות הפילוסופיה היהודית שבימי-הביניים

ליאו שטרויס, ליאו שטריוס and L. STRAUSS
Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly / עיון: רבעון פילוסופי
כרך ב‎', חוברת ד‎' (תשרי תשי"ב), pp. 215-223
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23299254
Page Count: 9
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ON HUSIK'S WORK IN MEDIEVAL JEWISH PHILOSOPHY / על מפעלו של יצחק הוסיק בתולדות הפילוסופיה היהודית שבימי-הביניים
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Abstract

Husik's interest in the medieval Jewish philosophy grows out of the problematic character of modern Jewish thought. Therefore, his approach to the subject is not a philosophical but purely historical one. It was Husik's opinion that philosophy, being always free and non-dogmatic, cannot be subordinated to any religious content. Nor can Judaism, as the religion of the divine law, be subordinated to philosophy.Accordingly, Husik thinks that medieval Jewish philosophy, inso far as it believed in the authority of the divine law, was either a very naive philosophy, whose naïveté is now lost, or no philosophy at all. For modern man, who forms his views on the basis of historical criticism, medieval Jewish philosophy seems to be an illusion even though a necessary and useful illusion in the struggle against superstition. Husik made no attempt to reconcile Judaism, i.e. "the spirit of Justice", with philosophic systems and opposed Hermann Cohen's views on Judaism which were founded on a philosophical idealisation of the Jewish religion. By maintaining his position, Husik found himself faced with three main difficulties: his concept of historical objectivity annihilates completely what he called "rationalist Jewish philosophy"; the extreme historistic position, taken by Husik, brings him into conflict with all attempts at a modern philosophical interpretation of Judaism and reconstitutes explicitely the traditional religious view; and finally, in defining the task of the modern Jewish philosophy as that of reconciling the Bible with philosophy, Husik returns to Cohen's position and to the basic doctrines of most medieval Jewish thinkers.

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