Logic to Interpretation: Maimonides' Use of al-Fârâbî's Model of Metaphor.
Cohen, Mordechai Z.
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Maimonides' interests in language and interpretation converge in the exegetical sections of his Guide of the Perplexed, in which he often invokes the notion of metaphor (Ar. isti"ara; Hebr. hash'alah), a concept defined in various ways by different intellectual streams current in his day. Two parallel models of metaphor emerged in the so-called logical tradition of Arabic learning and Quranic hermeneutics, while a completely different one was formulated by Arab experts on poetry.' Jewish exegetes in Muslim lands naturally applied the hermeneutic model of metaphor to Hebrew Scripture.2 Adopting a more unique stance, Moses ibn Ezra sought traces of the poetic model in biblical verse.3 Not surprisingly, Maimonides drew his conception of metaphor from al-Farabi's logic, as earlier scholars have noted.4 Yet, as we shall demonstrate, he tailored the Farabian model of metaphor to suit his philosophical exegetical program. (from Introduction)
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