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Document Details :
Title: God, the Demiurge and the Intellect
Subtitle: On the Usage of the Word Kol in Abraham ibn Ezra
Author(s): WOLFSON, Elliot R.
Journal: Revue des Études Juives
Volume: 149 Issue: 1-2 Date: janvier-juin 1990
The article is an attempt to reexamine the relation between God, the Demiurge, and the Intellect in the Neoplatonic thought of Abraham ibn Ezra. The particular vantage point of this reexamination is the technical use of the term kol in ibn Ezra's writings. The author suggests that two distinct uses of the term are discernible in ibn Ezra, which can be traced back to the Arabic al-kull which, in turn, rendered the Greek to holon. In one sense the word kol signifies the all which is the whole of the parts in the cosmos, the sum total of all beings, whereas in another sense kol signifies the All which is the whole before its parts, that which contains the causal principles of the parts. In the latter sense the word kol designates the Intellect also identified by ibn Ezra as the Demiurge (yoṣer bereshit) and Meṭaṭron. The author further contends that the failure to distinguish between these two senses of the term kol has led to a basic misconception about ibn Ezra's supposed pantheistic tendencies.