Luzzatto’s Socrates and the History of Jewish Philosophy

This essay addresses the question where Luzzatto’s Socrate fits into the history of Jewish philosophy. For most of the paper, it argues that what characterizes Jewish philosophy within the general category of philosophy is not the language in which it is composed, the ethnic or religious identity of its thinkers, specific content or problems, or a style. Rather Jewish philosophy is a specific tradition according to a defined sense of the term.To illustrate this, the paper then describes two sub-traditions within Jewish philosophy, one due to Saadia, the other to Maimonides. Finally, the paper explores where Luzzatto might be situated within this conception of Jewish philosophy.