Solomon Maimon had two extraordinary accomplishments, one of which is philosophical and the second literary, within the German and Jewish Enlightenments during the late eighteenth century. From a philosophical perspective, he was among the very first critics to truly tackle the main issues in Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and to outline a post-Kantian German idealism in response. Through his autobiography, he was the first writer to show how an Eastern European Jew rejected traditional rabbinic culture in favor of the Western European Enlightenment. Each of Maimon's works is written under the philosophical sign of noetic, or intellectual, perfection. Another critical moment in Maimon's career was his move from being an exponent of what he termed the “Jewish peripatetic philosophy” of the Middle Ages to being a leading proponent of German idealism. Maimon's philosophical development complicates the standard picture of the history of Jewish philosophy.
Keywords: autobiography, Solomon Maimon, Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, German idealism, Jewish Enlightenment, Western European Enlightenment, Jewish peripatetic philosophy, noetic perfection, intellectual perfection
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