Saturday, August 23, 2014

Emanations

[I]t is not proper for someone to withhold what he has learned in philosophy from someone else. This would be utterly disgraceful. Indeed, just as this entire universe emanated from God for no particular advantage to Him, so too is it proper for someone who has achieved some perfection to try to impart it to someone else. In this way he is imitating God as best he can.

Levi ben Gershom (Gersonides), The Wars of the Lord, Volume One, Seymour Feldman, tr. Jewish Publication Society of America (Philadelphia: 1984) p. 97. Tamar Rudavsky has a handy article on this very Aristotelian philosopher and polymath at the SEP. I keep intending to do something here on Gersonides, but it keeps slipping my mind; something to keep in mind for next year, perhaps.

7 comments:

  1. Greta4:11 AM

    This is beautiful. Also I sometimes think that it is only in the teaching that one practices the knowledge (or tests it, as the case may be), and practice makes perfect.

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  2. itinérante7:25 AM

    I thank God often for you Brandon specially for all what you teach me through this blog!

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  3. Timotheos9:11 AM

    I second this sentiment; Brandon is very much like Dr. Johnson to me (His name even rhymes with his; Dr. Watson, Dr. Johnson...)

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  4. branemrys12:13 PM

    You both are too kind.

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  5. branemrys12:15 PM

    There does seem to be a sense in which knowledge necessarily goes together with teaching, at least for us.

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  6. Enbrethiliel3:22 PM

    +JMJ+

    . . . so too is it proper for someone who has achieved some perfection to try to impart it to someone else.

    Without going into details, this perfectly reflects an online scuffle I got involved in a few days ago. But while I recall my role as being the one imparting the perfection learned from philosophy to someone else, my opponent would probably make the same claim! LOL!

    The really interesting part, in the light of this quotation, was that the argument was all about the sacraments, which also impart some of the perfection of God! And it's not really good for my humility that I seem to be able to say that I, as a receiver and defender of the sacraments, was imparting more perfection into the aforementioned discussion. =P

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  7. branemrys9:40 PM

    Who in the discussion has the perfection to impart is probably a contentious point in a lot of discussions!

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