In a previous post (link), I proposed a resolution to the issue of Rambam's quoting sources without attribution and the rabbinic tradition to name your sources. This was also included in my Beis Yitzchak article last year, which does not seem to be posted yet on YUTorah. I saw that Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks proposes a different resolution in his recent book, Future Tense (pp. 221-222):
We can now state the difference between the two modes of knowledge. Chokhmah is the truth we discover; Torah is the truth we inherit. Chokhmah is the universal heritage of humankind; Torah is the specific heritage of Israel. Chokhmah is what we attain by being in the image of God; Torah is what guides Jews as the people of God. Chokhmah is acquired by seeing and reasoning; Torah is received by listening and responding. Chokhmah tells us about what is; Torah tells us what ought to be. Chokhmah is about facts; Torah is about commands. Chokhmah yields descriptive, scientific laws; Torah yields prescriptive, behavioural laws. Chokhmah is about creation; Torah is about revelation.
We can now resolve the apparent contradiction between a famous saying of Maimonides and another by the sages.
Click here for moreWe can now resolve the apparent contradiction between a famous saying of Maimonides and another by the sages. Maimonides declared, 'Accept the truth, whoever said it.' The sages said, 'Whoever recites a teaching in the name of the one who said it, brings redemption to the world.' Maimonides was interested in the truth of a proposition, not its author. For the sages, the reverse was true. Who said it is not irrelevant, but essential.
Maimonides and the sages were talking about different kinds of truth. Truth as chokhmah has nothing to do with its author. Had Einstein not discovered the theory of relativity, eventually someone else would have done. But when we speak of a revealed truth, it is vital to know the chain of transmission. Was the person who said it reliable? Was he part of the chain of tradition, from Moses across the generations? That is an essential difference between the truth we discover and the truth we inherit.