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  • Author or Editor: Michela Torbidoni x
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The Maimonides Review of Philosophy and Religion is an annual collection of double-blind peer-reviewed articles that seeks to provide a broad international arena for an intellectual exchange of ideas between the disciplines of philosophy, theology, religion, cultural history, and literature and to showcase their multifarious junctures within the framework of Jewish studies. Contributions to the Review place special thematic emphasis on scepticism within Jewish thought and its links to other religious traditions and secular worldviews. The Review is interested in the tension at the heart of matters of reason and faith, rationalism and mysticism, theory and practice, narrativity and normativity, doubt and dogma.


The twentieth-century Italian philosopher Giuseppe Rensi considered Spinoza’s morality to fall within the realm of scepticism. My paper will first examine the premises of Rensi’s statement according to which Spinoza’s philosophy is the most accomplished expression of “moral scepticism.” Second, I will discuss how his view may be harmonised with Spinoza’s idea of intellectual life as the supreme good, along with the morality based on this principle. In the final part of this paper, I will claim that although Rensi’s image of Spinoza as a sceptic may be considered an interesting but questionable theoretical experiment, his shedding light on some sceptical issues in the Ethics must be viewed as a serious contribution to the still pioneering study of Spinoza’s relation to scepticism. Therefore, the last section will focus on the concept of moral relativism and to what extent it may be considered valid evidence that the Ethics shows some influences from early modern scepticism.

Open Access
In: Maimonides Review of Philosophy and Religion Volume 2, 2023


In Luzzatto’s Socrates, Or On Human Knowledge (1651), divine revelation delimits the boundaries of truth, beyond which begins the sphere of the probable, of doubt, which he entrusts to Socratic investigation. This chapter seeks to delve into Luzzatto’s acquaintance with the writings of Sextus Empiricus, a crucial and widely influential source of early modern scepticism. By examining the presence of Sextus’s Outlines of Pyrrhonism in Luzzatto’s work and analysing how Against the Mathematicians may have shaped the portrayal of significant figures in his Socrates, this chapter aims to demonstrate that Luzzatto, like Montaigne, not only revitalises Sextus’s works, but also engages in a serious philosophical commitment to sceptical issues.

In: Simone Luzzatto’s Scepticism in the Context of Early Modern Thought
In: Simone Luzzatto’s Scepticism in the Context of Early Modern Thought
Volume Editors: and
Much of the most recent research on Jewish scepticism was inspired by the work of the early modern Venetian rabbi Simone Luzzatto, the first thinker in the history of Jewish thought to declare himself a sceptic and a follower of the New Academy. This collected volume shines new light on the intimate relationship between Luzzatto’s sceptical thinking and an era marked by paradoxes and contrasts between religious devotion and scientific rationalism, as well as between the rabbinic-biblical Jewish tradition and the open tendency towards engagement with non-Jewish philosophical, literary, scientific, and theological cultures. It plots out an original path along which to understand Luzzatto’s scepticism by pointing to the various facets of being a Jewish sceptic in seventeenth-century Italy.