By Robert Chazan

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The champion of this view, which sees an esoteric-exoteric dualism in Maimonides' thought, has been Leo Strauss. On this particular issue Strauss, however, sees Plato rather than Aristotle behind Maimonides' treatment of providence. Strauss's initial comment on Maimonides' theory, in his article on Maimonides' and al-Farabi's political science,9 is that, both in structure and content, Maimonides' account of providence parallels Plato's account. Both state a public doctrine which affirms God's justice in rewarding and punishing all human behavior, and a private doctrine which restricts divine providence to an intellectual elite.

46 Each opinion, Aristotle's and the unattributed fourth view, may satisfy separately one set of the dual criteria. Nevertheless, while Aristotle's opinion may define philosophic respectability, and the assertion of God's justice and man's free will may begin to define the Law's concerns, the two views taken together are mutually antagonistic. And neither one alone makes philosophic sense and also adheres to the fundamental principles of the Law. How, then, does Maimonides compose, articulate, and defend a theory of providence which will satisfy the dual standards which have emerged from his review of other opinions?

23For Ibn Tibbon, this interpretation is a duplication of the theory of intellectual immunity offered 20. , p. 358. 21. , p. 359. 22. Guide, III/17, pp. 471-472. 23. Diesendruck, "Samuel and Moses Ibn Tibbon," p. 361. ,'-10, 1K. 34 CHARLES M. RAFFEL in the Job chapters. And for this reason the interpretation is rejected. Maimonides promises an innovative theory in III/51, "through which doubts may be dispelled and divine secrets revealed," not a duplication of his treatment of Job. " After exploring three ultimately unsuccessful possibilities-miraculous intervention, physical immunity through divination, and intellectual immunity-Ibn Tibbon explores a fourth possibility.

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Ajs Review 1987: Fall, No 2 by Robert Chazan
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