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"There is a saying that the history of Jewish doctrine goes runs from 'Moses to Moses'; the second of which is Moses Maimonides. Maimonides (1120-1190) was a brilliant Hispanic Jewish scholar who lived in Spain and Egypt in the 12th century. In addition to being a philosopher, Maimonides also worked as a medical doctor. The Guide for the Perplexed, originally written in Arabic, and soon translated into Hebrew and widely read, is his best known work. The framing story is that it is a letter written to one of his students, to prepare him to understand the background of the Merkabah (the Chariot of Ezekiel) narrative. In the course of this, Maimonides delves into the most difficult questions of theology and reality itself, many of which are still controversial today. Did the universe have a beginning? Will it ever end? What is the nature of evil? Does the complexity of organic life imply some kind of rational design?

The Guide consists of three books. The first book deals with the nature of God, concluding that God cannot be described in positive terms. He uses this argument to systematically deconstruct the Islamic Kalam literalist school of thought, which anthropomorphized God. The second book examines natural philosophy, particularly Aristotle's system of concentric spheres, and theories of the creation and duration of the universe, and the theory of angels and prophecy. In the last Book, he expounds the mystical Merkabah section of Ezekiel, skirting the traditional prohibition of direct explanation of this passage. After this he covers the 613 laws of the Pentateuch, organized into 14 branches, attempting to present rational explanations for each law. Throughout, Maimonides stresses that the student needs to consider all theories.

He draws from Jewish, Islamic and ancient Greek philosophers, and evaluates each one on their merits. Most notably, he scrutinizes Aristotle's natural science in the light of scripture and physcial evidence--sometimes critically, foreshadowing the spirit of the Renaissance. The seed of the scientific method is also present in his discussion of permitted cures, reflecting his medical background: "the Law permits as medicine everything that has been verified by experiment." Controversial when it was written, the Guide continues to be a key reference point in the evolution of philosophy, and will be a rewarding journey for the modern reader. " (Quote from sacred-texts.com)

Table of Contents:

Publisher's Preface; Preface; Preface To Volume One Of The First Edition; The Life Of Moses Maimonides; The Moreh Nebuchim Literature; Analysis Of The Guide For The Perplexed; Introduction; Letter Of The Author To His Pupil, R. Joseph Ibn Aknin; Prefatory Remarks; Directions For The Study Of This Work; Introductory Remarks; Part I.; Chapter I.; Chapter ii.; Chapter iii.; Chapter iv.; Chapter V.; Chapter vi.; Chapter vii.; Chapter viii.; Chapter ix.; Chapter X.; Chapter xi.; Chapter xii.; Chapter xiii.; Chapter xiv.; Chapter xv.; Chapter xvi.; Chapter xvii.; Chapter xviii.; Chapter xix.; Chapter xx.; Chapter xxi.; Chapter xxii.; Chapter xxiii.; Chapter xxiv.; Chapter xxv.; Chapter xxvi.; Chapter xxvii.; Chapter xxviii.; Chapter xxix.; Chapter xxx.; Chapter xxxi.; Chapter xxxii.; Chapter xxxiii.; Chapter xxxiv.; Chapter xxxv.; Chapter xxxvi.; Chapter xxxvii.; Chapter xxxviii.; Chapter xxxix.; Chapter Xl.; Chapter Xli.; Chapter Xlii.; Chapter Xliii.; Chapter Xliv.; Chapter Xlv.; Chapter Xlvi.; Chapter Xlvii.; Chapter Xlviii.; Chapter Xlix.; Chapter L.; Chapter Li.; Chapter Lii.; Chapter Liii.; Chapter Liv.; Chapter Lv.; Chapter Lvi.; Chapter Lvii.; Chapter Lviii.; Chapter Lix.; Chapter Lx.; Chapter Lxi.; Chapter Lxii.; Chapter Lxiii.; Chapter Lxiv.; Chapter Lxv.; Chapter Lxvi.; Chapter Lxvii.; Chapter Lxviii.; Chapter Lxix.; Chapter Lxx.; Chapter Lx

Klappentext: This is the full, unabridged text of one of the greatest philosophic works of all time. Written by a 12th- century thinker who was equally active as an original philosopher and as a Biblical and Talmudic scholar, it is both a classic of great historical importance and a work of living significance today.
The Guide for the Perplexed was written for scholars who were bewildered by the conflict between religion and the scientific and philosophic thought of the day. It is concerned, basically, with finding a concord between the religion of the Old Testament and its commentaries, and Aristotelian philosophy. After analyzing the ideas of the Old Testament by means of "homonyms," Maimonides examines other reconciliations of religion and philosophy (the Moslem rationalists) and then proposes his own resolution with contemporary Aristotelianism.
The Guide for the Perplexed was at once recognized as a masterwork, and it strongly influenced Jewish, Christian, and Moslem thought of the Middle Ages. It is necessary reading for any full comprehension of the thought of such scholastics as Aquinas and Scotus, and indispensable for everyone interested in the Middle Ages, Judaism, medieval philosophy, or the larger problems which Maimonides discusses.

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