Is there a concept of political liberty in medieval jewish philosophy?

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The philosopher in the medieval period is more interested in the spiritual or intellectual aspects of life, and many Jewish thinkers were attracted to forms of asceticism and mysticism. There are certain generally-agreed propositions about medieval Jewish political philosophy. The political philosophy of marginal groups often turns out to replicate that marginality, and medieval Jewish political philosophy as a result emphasises the distinction between Torah and nomos. The medieval period is one where a holistic view of society prevailed, and the individual was seen as part of a larger unit, where the scope for individual action was properly part of the action of the unit itself. The individual has a right to do what is wrong, and that right is the right of negative liberty. There is no doubt that the point would hardly be put in this sort of way in the political philosophy of the time, but despite this that is the point which is being made.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn Liberty
Subtitle of host publicationJewish Philosophical Perspectives
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781136822216
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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