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Isaac Israeli

A Neoplatonic Philosopher of the Early Tenth Century

With a New Foreword by Alfred L. Ivry

Isaac Israeli

A Neoplatonic Philosopher of the Early Tenth Century

With a New Foreword by Alfred L. Ivry

Recognized as one of the earliest Jewish neo-Platonist writers, Isaac ben Solomon Israeli (ca. 855–955) influenced Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars through the Middle Ages. A native of Egypt who wrote in Arabic, Israeli explored definitions of such terms as imagination, sense-perception, desire, love, creation, and “coming-to-be” in his writings.

This classic volume contains English translations of Israeli’s philosophical writings, including the Book of Definitions, the Book of Substances, and the Book on Spirit and Soul. Additionally, Isaac Israeli features a biographical sketch of the philosopher and extensive notes and comments on the texts, as well as a survey and appraisal of his philosophy. Restored to print for the first time in decades, Isaac Israeli will be essential reading for students and scholars of medieval philosophy and Jewish studies.


256 pages | 1 halftone | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1958, 2009

Jewish Studies

Philosophy: History and Classic Works, Philosophy of Religion

Table of Contents

Foreword by Alfred Ivry

Abbreviations

Introduction

Biographical Note (by S. M. Stern)


Part I

Texts with Comments

     I. The Book of Definitions—Preliminary Note, Translation, and Comments (by S. M. Stern)

     II. The Book of Substances—Preliminary Note, Translation, and Comments (by S. M. Stern)

     III. The Book on Spirit and Soul—Preliminary Note, Translation, and Comments (by S. M. Stern)

     IV. The Mantua Text—Preliminary Note, Translation, and Comments (by A. Altmann)

     V. An Excerpt from the Book on the Elements—Preliminary Note, Translation, and Comments (by A. Altmann)


Part II

The Philosophy of Isaac Israeli

(by A. Altmann)


 A. The Downward Way

     I. The Creator

     II. First Matter and First Form (Wisdom)—Intellect

     III. The Three Souls—Nature

     IV. Creation, Emanation, and Natural Causality

     V. The Elements and Composite Substances

 B. The Upward Way

     VI. Purification—Illumination—Union

     VII. The Role of Philosophy

     VIII. The Role of Prophecy

    
     Index of Names

     Index of Subject-Matter

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