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Prof. Steven Harvey

Jacobovitz Building, floor 4, room 406
Fields of Interest
Medieval Jewish, Islamic, and Christian philosophy, Medieval Arabic and Hebrew commentaries on Plato and Aristotle, the Impact of Islamic Philosophy upon medieval Jewish thought, Greek Philosophy, Medieval Islamic and Jewish Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Love.
Reception Hours
Monday: 14:00-16:00

    Professor Steven Harvey teaches medieval Jewish and Islamic Philosophy, and twice has served as Chair of the department. He is President of the Commission for Jewish Philosophy of the Société Internationale pour l'Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale (S.I.E.P.M.). He has published extensively on the medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophers, with special focus on Averroes’ commentaries on Aristotle and on the influence of the Islamic philosophers on Jewish thought (see: Publications). In 2012 he was the Crane Foundation Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University; in 2011 he was visiting professor at the Tikvah Fellowship in New York; in 2004 he was the Lubell Distinguished Visiting Professor of Judaic Studies in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Tulsa; and in 1987 he was a Fulbright Senior Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he taught an advanced seminar on Averroes’ commentaries on Aristotle. He is the author of Falaquera’s Epistle of the Debate: An Introduction to Jewish Philosophy (1987) and editor of The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy (2000) and Anthology of the Writings of Avicenna (2009, in Hebrew). He received his Ph.D. with a specialization in medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy at Harvard University, where he studied with Professor Isadore Twersky and Professor Muhsin Mahdi.



    1. Edited. Anthology of the Writings of Avicenna [Hebrew]. Tel-Aviv University Press, 2009.


    1. Edited. The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000.


    1. Falaquera’s Epistle of the Debate: An Introduction to Jewish Philosophy. Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies. Cambridge, Mass.:  Harvard University Press, 1987.  Italian version: L’”Opuscolo della contesa” di Falaquera.  Genova: Il Melangolo, 2005.


    1. Averroes’ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics.  Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (in preparation).




    1. “Law and Society.” In Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy. Ed. by Richard C. Taylor and Luis Xavier López-Farjeat. London: Routledge, 2016, 360-370.


    1. “Some Notes on ‘Avicenna among Medieval Jews.’” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 25 (2015), 249-277.


    1. “The Changing Image of al-Ghazālī in Medieval Jewish Thought.” In Islam and Rationality: the Impact of al-Ghazālī. Ed. by Georges Tamer. Leiden: Brill, 2015, 288-302.


    1. “The Influence of the Nicomachean Ethics on Medieval Jewish Thought.” Mélanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph, Beyrouth 65 (2014), 119-140.


    1. “Averroes’ Middle Commentary on Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics” [with Frédérique Woerther]. Oriens 42 (2014), 254-287.



    1.  “Avicenna and Maimonides on Prayer and Intellectual Worship.” In Exchange and Transmission across Cultural Boundaries: Philosophy, Mysticism and Science in the Mediterranean World. Ed. Haggai Ben- Shammai. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2013, 82-105.


    1. “Philosophies juive et musulmane: similitudes et differences.” In Histoire des relations entre juifs et musulmans des origines à nos jours. Ed. Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora. Paris: Albin Michel, 2013, 737-757. English version:  A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013, 737-757.


    1. “Are the Medieval Hebrew Translations of Averroes’ Commentaries on Aristotle Still of Value and Worth Editing?” In The Letter before the Spirit: The Importance of Text Editions for the Study of the Reception of Aristotle. Ed. by Aafke M. I. van Oppenraay with Resianne Fontaine. Leiden: Brill, 2012, 195-210.


    1. “Jewish Philosophy in Hebrew.” The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy. Ed. by John Marenbon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, 148-165.


    1. “Alfarabi, Averroes, and the Medieval Islamic Understanding of Phrónesis.” In Phronesis – Die Tugend der Geisteswissenschaften? Ed. by Gyburg Radke-Uhlmann. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012, 177-194.


    1. “Reflections on Ruth Glasner’s Averroes' Physics”. Aleph 12 (2012), 403-412.


    1. “Creating a New Literary Genre: Steinschneider’s Leiden Catalogue” [with Resianne Fontaine]. In Studies on Steinschneider Moritz Steinschneider and the Emergence of the Science of Judaism in Nineteenth-Century Germany. Ed. by Gad Freudenthal and Reimund Leicht. Leiden: Brill, 2012, 277-299.


    1. “Similarities and Differences among Averroes’ Three Commentaries on Aristotle’s Physics.” In La lumière de l’intellect: La pensée scientifique et philosophique d’Averroès dans son temps. Ed. by Ahmad Hasnawi. Leuven: Peeters, 2011, 81-97.


    1. “The Introductions of Thirteenth-Century Arabic-to-Hebrew Translators of Philosophic and Scientific Texts.” In Vehicles of Transmission, Translation, and Transformation in Medieval Textual Culture. Ed. by Carlos Fraenkel, Jamie C. Fumo, Faith Wallis and Robert Wisnovsky. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011, 223-234.


    1. “Jewish Philosophy on the Eve of the Age of Averroism: Ibn Daud’s Necessary Existent and His Use of Avicennian Science” [with Resianne Fontaine]. In The Age of Averroes: Arabic Philosophy in the Sixth/Twelfth Century. Ed. by Peter Adamson. London: Warburg Institute, 2011, 215-227.


    1. “Avicenna’s Influence on Jewish Thought: Some Reflections.” Avicenna and his Legacy: A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy. Ed. by Y. Tzvi Langermann. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009, 327-340.


    1. “When Did Jews Begin to Consider Averroes the Commentator?” Florilegium mediaevale. Ed. by José Meirinhos and Olga Weijers. Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d’Études Médievales, 2009, 279-296.


    1. “Author’s Introductions as a Gauge for Monitoring Philosophic Influence: The Case of Alghazali.” In Studies in Jewish and Muslim Thought Presented to Professor Michael Schwarz. Ed. Sara Klein-Braslavy, Binyamin Abrahamov and Joseph Sadan. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press, 2009, 53-66.


    1. “Logic, Theology, and the Beginning of Medieval Jewish Philosophy.” In The Word in Medieval Logic, Theology, and Psychology. Ed. by Tetsuro Shimizu and Charles Burnett. ­Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009, 233-244.


    1. “Maimonides and the Art of Writing Introductions.” Maimonidean Studies 5 (2008), 85-105.


    1. “Shem-Tov Falaquera, a Paragon of an Epigone, and the Epigone's Importance for the Study of Jewish Intellectual History.” Studia Rosenthaliana 40 (2007-2008), 61-74.


    1. “The Nature and Importance of Averroes’ Middle Commentary on the Ethics and the Extent of Its Influence on Medieval Jewish Thought.” In Averroes et les averroïsmes juif et latin. Ed. By J.-B. Brenet. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007, 257-273.


    1. “The Value of Julius Guttmann’s Die Philosophie des Judentums for Understanding Medieval Jewish Philosophy.” In Studies in Hebrew Literature and Jewish Culture: Presented to Albert van der Heide on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Ed. by Martin F. J. Baasten and Reinier Munk. Dordrecht: Springer, 2007, 297-308.


    1. “The Introductions of Early Enlightenment Thinkers as Harbingers of the Renewed Interest in the Medieval Jewish Philosophers.”  In Sepharad in Ashkenaz: Medieval Knowledge and Eighteenth-Century Enlightened Jewish Discourse. Ed. by Resianne Fontaine, Andrea Schatz, and Irene Zwiep. Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007, 85-104.


    1. “The Greek Library of the Medieval Jewish Philosophers.” In The Libraries of the Neoplatonists. Ed. by Cristina D’Ancona. Leiden: Brill, 2007, 493-506.


    1.  “The Place of the De anima in the Orderly Study of Philosophy.” In Intellect et imagination dans la Philosophie Médiévale. Ed. María Cândida Pacheco and José F. Meirinhos. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2006, vol. 1, 677-688.


    1. “The Curious Segullat Melakhim by Abraham Avigdor” [with Charles H. Manekin]. In Écriture et réécriture des textes philosophiques médiévaux: Volume d’hommage offert a Colette Sirat. Ed. by J. Hamesse et O. Weijers. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2006, 215-252.


    1. “Logistical and Other Otherworldly Problems in Saadya.” In Esoteric and Exoteric Aspects in Judeo-Arabic Culture. Ed. by Benjamin H. Hary and Haggai Ben-Shammai.  Leiden: Brill, 2006, 55-84.


    1. “Alghazali and Maimonides and Their Books of Knowledge.” In Be’erot Yitzhak: Studies in Memory of Isadore Twersky.  Ed. by Jay M. Harris.  Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2005, 99-117.


    1. “Islamic Philosophy and Jewish Philosophy.”  In The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy.   Ed. Peter Adamson and Richard Taylor.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, 349-369.


    1. “The Impact of Philoponus’ Commentary on the Physics on Averroes’ Three Commentaries on the Physics.”  In Philosophy, Science and Exegesis in Greek, Arabic and Latin Commentaries. Ed. by Peter Adamson, Han Baltussen and M.W.F. Stone. London: Insititute of Classical Studies, 2004, 89-105.                                
    2. “The Author’s Introduction as a Key To Understanding Trends in Islamic Philosophy.” In Words, Texts and Concepts Cruising the Mediterranean Sea: Studies on the Sources, Contents and Influences of Islamic Civilization and Arabic Philosophy and Science Dedicated to Gerhard Endress on His Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Ed. by Rüdiger Arnzen and Jörn Thielmann. Leuven: Peeters, 2004, 15-32.


    37.“Did Alfarabi Read Plato’s Laws?” Medioevo, Rivista di storiadella filosofia medievale 28 (2003), 51-68.


    38.“Arabic into Hebrew: the Hebrew Translation Movement and the Influence of Averroes upon Medieval Jewish Thought.” In The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy. Ed. by Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 258-280.


    39.“Can a Tenth-Century Islamic Aristotelian Help Us Understand Plato’s Laws?”  In Plato’s Laws: From Theory into Practice.  Ed. by Luc Brisson and Samuel Scolnicov.  Sankt Augustin, Germany: Academia Verlag, 2003, 320-330.


    1. “Die Einleitung des Autors als Schlüssel zum Verstehen von Strömungen mittelalterlicher jüdischer Philosophie: Von Saadia Gaon bis Ibn Da’ud.”  Im Gespräch 6 (2003), 54-68.


    1. “Falaquera’s Alfarabi: An Example of the Judaization of the Islamic Falâsifah.”  Trumah: Zeitschrift der Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg 12 (2002), 97-112.


    1. “Preface” to Isaac Husik, A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy.  Reprint, Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 2002, i-vi.


    1. “Rabbi Hasdai Crescas’s Attitude toward al-Ghazâlî” [Hebrew, with W. Zev Harvey].  The Intertwined Worlds of Islam: Essays in Memory of Hava Lazarus-Yafeh.  Ed by Nahem Ilan.  Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute, 2002, 191-210.


    1. “Why Did Fourteenth-Century Jews Turn to Alghazali’s Account of Natural Science?” Jewish Quarterly Review 91 (2001), 359-376.


    1. “De Maimónides a Crescas.”  In Pensamiento y mística hispanojudía y sefardí.  Ed. by Ángel Sáenz-Badillos and Judit Taragona Borrás.  Cuenca: Universidad Castilla-La Mancha, 2001, 125-144.


    1. “Introduction” to Steven Harvey, The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy.  Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000, 1-28.


    1. “Shem-Tov ibn Falaquera’s Deot ha-Filosofim: It’s Sources and Use of Sources.” In Harvey, The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy, 211-237.


    1. “On the Nature and Extent of Jewish Averroism: Renan’s Averroès et l’averroïsme Revisited.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 7 (2000), 100-119.


    1. “The Contribution of Lawrence V. Berman to the Study of Medieval Jewish Philosophy” [Hebrew].  Daat 42 (1999), 165-169.


    1. “Conspicuous by His Absence: Averroes’ Place Today as an Interpreter of Aristotle.” In Averroes and the Aristotelian Tradition.  Ed. by Gerhard Endress and Jan A. Aertsen. Leiden: Brill, 1999, 32-49.


    1. “Foreword” to Averroes' Middle Commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics in the Hebrew Version of Samuel ben Judah.  Ed. by L. V. Berman. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1999, vii-xiii.


    1. “The Quiddity of Philosophy according to Averroes and Falaquera, A Muslim Philosopher and his Jewish Interpreter.” Miscellanea Mediaevalia 26 (1998), 904-913.


    1. “The Sources of the Quotations from Aristotle’s Ethics in the Guide of the Perplexed and the Guide to the Guide” [Hebrew].  Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought 14 (1998), 87-102.


    1. “Averroes’ Use of Examples in His Middle Commentary on the Prior Analytics, and Some Remarks on His Role as Commentator.”  Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 7 (1997), 91-113.


    1. “The Meaning of Terms Designating Love in Judaeo-Arabic Thought and Some Remarks on the Judaeo-Arabic Interpretation of Maimonides.”  In Studies in Muslim-Jewish Relations III.  Ed. by N. Golb. Reading, UK: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996, 175-196.


    1. “A Note on the Paraphrases of Alfarabi’s Political Writings in the Beginning of Wisdom” [Hebrew].  Tarbiz 65 (1996), 729-742.


    1. “Maimonide e l'interpretazione filosofica della Bibbia.”  In La lettura ebraica delle Scritture. Ed. by S. Sierra. Bologna: EDB, 1995, 221-235.


    1. “The Place of the Philosopher in the City according to Ibn Bajjah.”  In The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy.  Ed. by C. E. Butterworth. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992, 199-233.


    1. “Falaquera's Epistle of the Debate and the Maimonidean Controversy of the 1230s.”  In Torah and Wisdom, Essays in Honor of Arthur Hyman.  Ed. by R. Link-Salinger. New York: Shengold Publishers, 1992, 75-86.


    1. “A New Islamic Source of the Guide of the Perplexed.”  Maimonidean Studies 2 (1992), 31-59.


    1. “Did Maimonides' Letter to Samuel Ibn Tibbon Determine Which Philosophers Would Be Studied by Later Jewish Thinkers?”  Jewish Quarterly Review  83 (1992), 51-70.


    1. “Maimonides in the Sultan's Palace.”  In Perspectives on Maimonides. Ed. by J. Kraemer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, 47-75.


    1. “A Note on the Arabic Term ‘Anniyyah/’Aniyyah/’Inniyyah” [Hebrew, with W. Zev Harvey].  Iyyun, The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 38 (1989), 167-171.


    1. “Did Gersonides Believe in the Absolute Generation of Prime Matter?” [Hebrew].  Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought 7 (1988), 307-318.


    1. “Love.”  In Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought.  Ed. by  A. A. Cohen and P. Mendes-Flohr.  New York: Scribners, 1987, 557-563.


    1. “A 14th Century Kabbalist's Excerpt from the Lost Arabic Original of Averroes’ Middle Commentary on the Physics.”  Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 6 (1985), 219-227.


    1. “The Hebrew Translation of Averroes' Prooemium to his Long Commentary on Aristotle's Physics.”  Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 52 (1985), 55-84.


    1. “A Unique Averroes MS in the British Museum.”  Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 45 (1982), 571-574.


         Articles accepted for publication:


    1. “Some Aspects of the Final Maqâlah of Saadya’s Kitâb al-Amânât.” In Studies in Muslim-Jewish Relations. Ed. by Paul B. Fenton and Haggai Ben-Shammai.


    1. “The Supercommentaries of Gersonides and his Students on Averroes’ Epitomes of the Physica and the Meteorologica” [with Resianne Fontaine]. In Gersonides through the Ages. Ed. Ofer Elior, Gad Freudenthal, and David Wirmer.


    1. “The Story of a Twentieth-century Jewish Scholar's Discovery of Plato’s Political Philosophy in Tenth-century Islam: Leo Strauss’ Early Interest in the Islamic Falāsifa.” In Beyond the Myth of Golden Spain: Patterns of Islamization in Modern Jewish Scholarship on Islam. Ed. Ottfried Fraisse and Christian Wiese.


    1. “Leo Strauss’ Developing Interest in Alfarabi and Its Reverberations in the Study of Medieval Islamic Philosophy.” In Reason and Revelation. Ed. Gregory A. McBrayer , Rene Paddags, and Waseem El-Rayes.


    1. “Key Terms in Translations of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed.” In The Guide of the Perplexed in Translation: A History of the Translations of Maimonides’ Guide and Their Impact, from Medieval Times to the Twentieth Century. Ed. James T. Robinson and Josef Stern.



    Book Reviews:


    1. Anna A. Akasoy and Guido Giglioni, eds. Renaissance Averroism and Its Aftermath: Arabic Philosophy in Early Modern Europe. Springer: Dordrecht, 2013. Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (2014), 612-614.


    1. Richard Taylor. Averroes (Ibn Rushd) of Cordoba: Long Commentary on the De Anima of Aristotle. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Journal of the American Oriental Society 131 (2011), 491-494.


    1. Anna A. Akasoy and Alexander Fidora, eds. The Arabic Version of the Nicomachean Ethics. Brill: Leiden, 2005. Journal of the American Oriental Society 128 (2009), 382-384.


    1. Muhsin Mahdi, Alfarabi and the Foundation of Islamic Political the Philosophy.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.  Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (2003), 443-446.


    1. Nicholas de Lange, ed., Hebrew Scholarship and the Medieval World.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.  Journal of the American Oriental Society 122 (2002), 863-864.


    1. Hans Daiber, Bibliography of Islamic Philosophy.  Leiden: Brill, 1999.  Iyyun, The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2001), 93-97.


    1. Lenn E. Goodman, Jewish and Islamic Philosophy: Crosspollinations in the Classical Age. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999. Mind, A Quarterly Review of Philosophy 110 (2001), 475-478.


    1. Debra Nails, Agora, Academy, and the Conduct of Philosophy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995.  Iyyun, The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 49 (2000), 451-456.   


    1. Resianne Fontaine, Otot ha-Shamayim: Samuel Ibn Tibbon’s Hebrew Version of Aristotle’s “Meteorology”.  Leiden: Brill, 1995. Journal of the History of Philosophy 36 (1998), 130-131.


    1. Shlomo Pines, The Collected Works of Shlomo Pines, vols. III-V.  Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1996-1997.  Ibid., Studies in Islamic Atomism.  Trans. Michael Schwarz, ed. Tzvi Langermann. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1996-1997.  Iyyun, The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 47 (1998), 81-88.


    1. Paul B. Fenton,Philosophie et exégèse dans Le Jardin de la métaphore de Moïse Ibn ʽEzra, philosophe et poète andalou du XIIe siècle.  Leiden: Brill, 1997.  Pe’amim 73 (1997), 147-152.


    1. Raphael Jospe, Torah and Sophia.  Cincinnati 1988. AJS Review 17 (1992), 100-104.


    1. Hava Lazarus-Yafeh, Intertwined Worlds.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992. Tarbiz 61 (1992), 577-581.


    1. Colette Sirat, A History of Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages. Cambridge 1985.  Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 22 (1988), 118-120.


    1. Oliver Leaman, An Introduction to Medieval Islamic Philosophy. Cambridge 1985.  Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 21 (1987), 96-98.


    1. Averroes, Middle Commentary on Topics (Cairo 1979), MiddleCommentary on Categories (Cairo 1980), Middle Commentary on De Interpretatione (Cairo 1981). The Review of Metaphysics 38 (1984), 376-380.


    1. Charles Butterworth, Averroes' Three Short Commentaries onAristotle's Topics, Rhetoric, and Poetics. Albany 1977. The Review of Metaphysics 33 (1980), 616-618.



    Encyclopedia entries:


    1. “Science and Mathematics, Jewish Involvement in.” The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture. Ed. by Judith R. Baskin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, 537-539.


    1. “Falsafah.” In Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Ed. by Dan Diner. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 2012, vol. 2, 314-320.


    1. “Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2007 edition). Ed. by Edward N. Zalta.


    1. “Averroes.” In The Encyclopedia Judaica. New edition, 2006.


    1. “Encyclopedias, Medieval Hebrew” In The Encyclopedia Judaica. New edition, 2006.


    Reports and Notices:


    1.  “Commission VII: Jewish Philosophy” [with Resianne Fontaine]. Bulletin de philosophie médiévale 54 (2012), 23-46.


    1.  “Commission VII: Jewish Philosophy” [with Resianne Fontaine]. Bulletin de philosophie médiévale 49 (2007), 27-44.


    1. In Memoriam: Muhsin Mahdi.”Bulletin de philosophie médiévale 49 (2007), 345-350.


    1. “Medieval Sources of Maimonides’ Guide.” Bulletin de philosophie médiévale 46 (2006), 283-288.

    Last Updated Date : 22/12/2022