Timothy Sean Quinn, "Apiqoros: The Last Essays of Salomon Maimon" (Hebrew Union College Press, 2021)


Although Kant considered him the greatest critic of his work, and Fichte thought him the most impressive mind of the generation, Salomon Maimon (1753-1800) has fallen into relative obscurity. Apiqoros: The Last Essays of Salomon Maimon (Hebrew Union College Press, 2021) draws attention to works written during the final years of Maimon's life. These essays are of particular interest: they show that even though Maimon was a self-proclaimed apiqoros grappling with the implications of Kantian philosophy, his thinking remained deeply influenced by his Jewish intellectual inheritance, especially by Maimonides. The volume is divided into two parts. The first is a general account of Maimon's intellectual biography, along with commentary on his final essays. The second part provides translations of those essays, the principal themes of which concern moral psychology. The reader is thus able to see the degree to which Maimon, at the end of his life, became skeptical of his effort to unite Kant and Maimonides, and remained a thinker caught "between two worlds." The book concludes with a translation of an account of Maimon's final hours, penned by one of his friends.

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Ari Barbalat holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of California in Los Angeles. He lives in Toronto with his family.

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