Principles of Kalam According To Rambam
In Book I Chapter 73, Rambam presents the 12 premises of the Mutakallimūn, and disputes most of them. The premises are, in brief, as follow:
- Existence of atoms: The world is composed of small particles which are not divisible, and which have no identifying essential properties (only accidents).
- Existence of vacuum: There exist certain spaces which are devoid of all substance and material.
- Time is discrete: Time is made up of fundamental instants which are not themselves subject to further division.
- Every body is subject to accidents: Any body must have either an accident (non-essential feature) or its opposite. A body cannot be without accidents.
- These accidents exist in the atom.
- An atom has one-instant duration: An atom does not persist (its accidents do not persist) more than one moment of time. God must repeatedly create these accidents at each time instant, or they permanently go out of existence.
- Accidents in bodies also do not persist and must be recreated. This and the previous principle constitute a denial of causality.
- Only substance and accident exist: Bodies differ only in regard to their accidents.
- Accidents subsist in a common substratum: An accident cannot subsist in another accident.
- Any state of affairs which can be imagined is admissible in intellectual argument.
- All kinds of infinity are impossible.
- The senses may be in error: The senses should not be trusted in matters of demonstration.
Not all of these principles were elements of the Jewish Kalam as practiced by particular thinkers. For example (Wolfson 1967), atomism was a principle embraced by Karaites but not by the Geonim or later Karaites. Wolfson considers it doubtful whether any Jewish thinkers ever embraced the denial of causality.
Famous quotes containing the words principles of and/or principles:
“That, upon the whole, we may conclude that the Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one. Mere reason is insufficient to convince us of its veracity: And whoever is moved by Faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience.”
—David Hume (17111776)
“Indigenous to Minnesota, and almost completely ignored by its people, are the stark, unornamented, functional clusters of concreteMinnesotas grain elevators. These may be said to express unconsciously all the principles of modernism, being built for use only, with little regard for the tenets of esthetic design.”
—Federal Writers Project Of The Wor, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)