According to Wikipedia, there is a lineage of rationalist Jewish philosophy books.

1° Rambam: More Nebuchim

2° Ralbag: Sefer Milhamot Hashem

3° R' Hesdai Crescas: Or Hashem

4° R' Albo: Sefer haIkkarim

5° Spinoza: Theologico-Political Treatise

I know there is others Jewish rationalist Sages like R Shmuel bar Hofni Gaon, the Ran...

Do you know by any chance other books like these from the two I just quoted or maybe others?

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    I don't think the first 4 people on that list would include the 5th in their company...
    – Double AA
    Jan 17, 2016 at 5:21
  • BTW I have no idea why people downvoted. It seems like a fine question to me. Maybe they were put off by mention of Spinoza, due to his radical doctrines.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 17, 2016 at 15:40
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    how about chovos halevavos?
    – ray
    Jan 17, 2016 at 19:39
  • How about R' Hirsch זצ”ל? Jan 19, 2016 at 5:09
  • If you like an answer consider marking it correct.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 8, 2017 at 6:20

1 Answer 1


One very notable work of rationalist Jewish philosophy is (Hanivchar) B'emunot V'deot by Rav Saadya Gaon. Written in Arabic in the 10th century, it is the first systematic presentation and philosophic foundation of the dogmas of Judaism. The full text of a 20th century Hebrew translation can be found here.

Another very notable rationalist work is the Chovot Halevavot. Written in Arabic in the 11th century, it is an ethical work which focuses heavily on philosophical issues. Its full Hebrew translation can be found here.

Anther work, albeit more obscure, is "Ha'emunah HaRamah" of R. Abraham ibn Daud (12th century). A Hebrew translation of this text is available here.

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    Solomon ibn Gabirol wrote an early philosophical work (neo-Platonic), which was so obscure that for centuries it was known only from its Latin translation "Fons Fitae". He was only discovered as the author relatively recently.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 17, 2016 at 7:59
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    There is also Yesod Morah by Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra, a heavily ethical, philosophical work (early 12th century) and Malmad HaTalmidim, a work of lectures based on the order of the parshiyot, by R. Jacob Anatoli (early 13th century).
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 17, 2016 at 15:38
  • I am not sure how you're defining "rationalist", here: How does Or Hashem make the list, but not the more famous Kuzari? Both are philosophical, and rationalist in today's sense of the word, but anti-Aristotelian. Also, the Catholics managed to preserve Fons Vitae, thinking it was one of their own works, not realizing it was a translation of Ibn Greirol's Meqor Chaim. Jan 18, 2016 at 11:49
  • @MichaBerger I didnt include Ohr Hashem; the OP did. If you think that Kuzari would make an appropriate answer, by all means, post it. I am aware of the provenance of Meqor Chaim; what is your point? Regarding the usage of the term rationalist, it is obviously subjective in both nature (what constitutes rationalism) and scope (how rationalist must one be to qualify as a rationalist philosopher). That being said, is the Kuzari such a rationalist? From my limited exposure he seems less of a rationalist, than even his fellow neo-Platonist, Ibn Ezra.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 19, 2016 at 0:27
  • I cannot say I think the Kuzari belongs on this list or not, because I still do not know what "rationalist" means in this discussion. As for Meqor Chaim -- it's very rationalist, by their standards, back when accepting Aristo uncritically was considered "rationalist". But today he reads like a mystic. Neo-Platonism could be rationalist or not. In the Rambam's hands, people generally accept it as rationalist. There is no appeal to Great Mysteries or our inability to comprehend the Divine, doesn't that mean he is applying Greek philosophy rationalistically? Jan 19, 2016 at 3:40

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