Saadia Gaon’s four roots of knowledge

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Saadia Gaon’s four roots of knowledge Saadia Gaon was born and raised in Egypt from 882-942 CE. He was known as one of the most outstanding and inspiring leaders of the Jewry in his age. Saadia was a prolific author who made contributions in Hebrew philogoy, Jewish liturgy, and halakah. He also provided commentary on the bible and translated it into Arabic. Saadia is most known for producing the first major medieval Jewish theological treatise: the Book of Beliefs and Opinions (Seltzer 3).
In the Book of beliefs and opinions, Saadia Gaon presents the four roots of knowledge. Saadia believes in order for a man to fully obtain the knowledge he seeks he must clearly understand all four roots of knowledge. These four roots of
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Saadia believes dreams are erroneous and can lead to falsehood. What people do not know is that that dreams can be produced through thoughts of yesterday which pass through the mind or by the preponderance of one of the humors in the temperament (Lewy 156). However, Saadia also explains dreams as being inspirations. They can be hints and images from above that inspire you. I tend to differ with this assumption. I believe dreams are usually very unrealistic. I think dreams show qualities that go far behind a human’s capacity. Trying to live up to a dream can be extremely difficult and result in one feeling badly about themselves.
The third root of knowledge Saadia explains is inferential knowledge, or roots of necessary knowledge. This root of knowledge allows us to make decisions based on our senses without complete belief in the matter. For example, making an assumption that there is a fire because we see smoke. Fire generates smoke, and one cannot exist without the other. Thus, we believe in things based on the co existing things that go along with it. Saadia describes this root as “a proposition in which a man cannot deny without being compelled to deny at the same time some proposition obtained from reason or sense perception” (Lewy 154). Where there is truth in the present proposition there is no way in denying the previous proposition. Another example is our belief that a man posses a soul.

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