This discussion about Ralbag reminded me of an apparent contradiction in Ralbag's Torah/Philosophy methodology.
At the end of his introduction to Wars of the Lord ('מלחמות ה) he writes:
The reader should not think that it is the Torah that has stimulated us to verify what shall be verified in this book, [whereas in reality] the truth itself is something different. It is evident, as Maimonides (may his name be blessed) has said, that we must believe what reason has determined to be true. If the literal sense of the Torah differs from reason, it is necessary to interpret those passages in accordance with the demands of reason. Accordingly, Maimonides (may his name be blessed) explains the words of the Torah that suggest that God (may He be blessed) is corporeal in such a way that reason is not violated. He, therefore, maintains that if the eternity of the universe is demonstrated, it would be necessary to believe in it and to interpret the passages of the Torah that seem to be incompatible with it in such a way that they agree with reason. It is, therefore, evident that if reason causes us to affirm doctrines that are incompatible with the literal sense of Scripture, we are not prohibited by the Torah to pronounce the truth on these matters, for reason is not incompatible with the true understanding of the Torah. The Torah is not a law that forces us to believe false ideas; rather it leads us to the truth to the extent that it is possible, as we have explained in the beginning of our commentary on the Torah. (Seymour Feldman translation.)
However, in Book 1 Chapter 14 he writes:
If anyone thinks that religious faith requires a conception of human perfection different from the one we have mentioned because of certain passages about the Garden of Eden and Gehenna in various Midrashim, Aggadot, and statements of the prophets, let him surely know that we have not assented to the view that our reason has suggested without determining its compatibility with our Torah. For adherence to reason is not permitted if it contradicts religious faith; indeed, if there is such [a contradiction], it is necessary to attribute this lack of agreement to our own inadequacy. Hence, it is clear that someone who believes this [i.e., the view of the Torah] should follow his religious convictions. We, too, behave accordingly if we see that religion requires a different view from the one that our reason has affirmed. This is incumbent upon all the faithful; for if the door were open to any philosophical doubt with respect to religion, the religion would disappear and its benefits for its adherents would vanish. Moreover, [all kinds] of controversies and confusion would arise among the believers unless there is faith, and as the result of this, definite harm will come about. This fact should not be overlooked. This point that we have made here should be understood as applying to every other part of our book; so that if there appears to be a problem concerning which our view differs from the accepted view of religion, philosophy should be abandoned and religion followed. The incompatibility is to be attributed to our shortcomings. (Seymour Feldman translation.)
Can these two seemingly contrary approaches to the Torah/philosophy conflict be reconciled?
(Side question: In Chapter 14 the translator has a footnote explaining that in the introduction Ralbag gives a different emphasis. However, in the introduction he does not have a footnote explaining that in Chapter 14 Ralbag gives a different emphasis. Can this be taken as evidence that the translator felt that the introduction was the truer representation of Ralbag's view?)