In this class we shall read together texts from The Light of the Lord (Hebrew: Or Adonai), the anti-Aristotelian book by the famed Catalan Jewish philosopher, Rabbi Hasdai Crescas (c. 1340-1410/11). The Light was completed in Saragossa in 1410 and first printed in Ferrara in 1555.
Topics discussed will include space, time, the vacuum, infinity, many worlds, determinism and choice, and the knowledge and love of God. Attention will be given to Crescas’ relation to earlier medieval philosophers, such as Maimonides, Averroes, and Gersonides, and to later medieval and modern philosophers, including Spinoza. Crescas’ theories will also be analyzed with regard to other representatives of the revolutionary “new physics” in 14th-century Europe, particularly Nicole Oresme.
Monday, April 30: Introduction & The Denial of Commandments on Beliefs
Tuesday, May 1: Infinite Space and Time
Wednesday, May 2: Proofs of God (including Spinoza’s Discussion of Crescas’ short proof)
Thursday, May 3: Choice and Determinism
Friday, May 4: Love of God
The Isaac and Leah M. Potts Memorial Lecture presents, “The Problem of Many Gods in Alghazali, Averroes, Maimonides, Crescas and Sforno,” by Warren Zev Harvey, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Location TBD.
Missed the Potts Lecture? Watch it here.