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The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon MaimonJudaism, Heresy, and Philosophy$
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Abraham P. Socher

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804751360

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804751360.001.0001

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From Shelomo Ben Yehoshua to Solomon Maimon

From Shelomo Ben Yehoshua to Solomon Maimon

(p.109) Four From Shelomo Ben Yehoshua to Solomon Maimon
The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon Maimon
Stanford University Press

In his autobiography, Salomon Maimons Lebensgeschichte, Solomon Maimon describes his own struggle for enlightenment and offers insights into Jewish religion and culture at a critical period in the political process of Jewish emancipation. The book is a distinctively modern autobiography because of Maimon's search for order in his life in pursuit of a philosophical ideal. Maimon presents a socioeconomic sketch of his nation and his homeland and argues that the Jews of Poland are subjected to the most barbaric forms of hatred despite being allowed to exercise their religion. This chapter claims that Maimon's autobiographical self-invention was underwritten by Maimonidean perfectionism and that his literary style and persona were related to his incomplete revolt against the rabbinic textual practices of commentary and supercommentary. It also analyzes the allegory (about the history of philosophy, human perfection, and death) with which Maimon ends his autobiography.

Keywords:   autobiography, Salomon Maimons Lebensgeschichte, Solomon Maimon, enlightenment, Jews, Poland, Maimonidean perfectionism, allegory, philosophy, human perfection

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