Maimonides on Intellect, Imagination and Knowing God (Spring '13)
This thesis provides an examination of Moses Maimonides’ views on the relationship between the intellect and the imagination, and its role in apprehending knowledge of God. Because this subject is broad, this thesis focuses its analysis on the corporeal terms Maimonides uses to describe angels in Part I, Chapter 49 of The Guide of the Perplexed. The introduction focuses on the process for both selecting the topic of this thesis and determining the topic’s relevance. Part I introduces the appropriate methods for analyzing Maimonides’ writing, focusing on the information and instruction he provides in the introduction to The Guide of the Perplexed. Part II expands on the introduction and explains why and how this thesis focuses its investigation of Maimonides’ philosophy. Part III analyzes Maimonides portrayal of angels as intellectual in Part I, Chapter 49. Part IV analyzes Maimonides portrayal of angels as imaginative in Part I, Chapter 49, a portrayal that seems to contradict the previous intellectual portrayal. Part V resolves the contradiction raised by Part III and Part IV to reveal Maimonides’s beliefs about the relationship between the intellect and the imagination and its role in apprehending God.
Image v Reality: An Illumination on Holocaust Portrayal and Its Implications (Spring '12)
This thesis explores Holocaust education on a global scale to find a manner of teaching that dispels stereotypes and reduces anti-Semitism. It begins by showcasing examples of countries where the Holocaust is improperly portrayed, in order to convey the grave necessity for proper education. Chapter one gives examples of countries whose denial of inarguably true allegations showcases the large gap between the portrayal of their role in Holocaust and the actual reality of their actions. Chapter two provides examples of countries whose denial and marginalization is fully embedded in their society, to explain that such improper education is widespread and can be identified in many ways.
After establishing, analyzing, and locating instances of a disparity between image and reality, Chapter three appeals to social psychology’s concept of heuristics to explain the likelihood of this disparity resulting in stereotypes and misunderstanding and explain the necessary components of effective education. Chapter four provides instances where education that contains the necessary elements described in Chapter three has led to mental transformations and a desire for a better future, as showcased in Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The thesis concludes by asserting that in using education to close the gap between image and reality, it is possible to make the changes to a better future
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