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The Guide for the Perplexed (Forgotten Books) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Moses Maimonides
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2. Februar 2008
Book Description:

"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

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

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  • Taschenbuch: 692 Seiten
  • Verlag: Forgotten Books (2. Februar 2008)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1605067555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605067551
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,8 x 15,2 x 4,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.201.781 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)



"With every advance in knowledge, scholars of the Middle Ages, much like scholars of the 21st century, were at a loss to explain the gap between religion and the science and philosophy of the day. In this 12th-century volume, Maimonides bridges that gap. As a result, The Guide for the Perplexed, widely considered Maimonides most universal work, influenced not only Jewish scholarship but Moslem and Christian ideas as well. Intended especially for the serious student of Judaism or medieval scholarship, this volume, here in its complete and unabridged form, is a reissue of what has long been recognized as one of the most important works of religious philosophy ever written. Spanish Jewish philosopher and Talmudic scholar MOSES MAIMONIDES (1135 1204) was the leading intellectual figure of medieval Judaism. In addition to his works on religious philosophy, he is the author of numerous writings on law, medicine, mathematics, and logic." -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

About the Author:

"Moses Maimonides (March 28, 1138 Cordoba, Spain - December 13, 1204 Fostat, Egypt), was a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Andalusia, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. He was one of the various medieval Jewish philosophers who also influenced the non-Jewish world. Although his copious works on Jewish law and ethics were initially met with opposition during his lifetime, he was posthumously acknowledged to be one of the foremost rabbinical arbiters and philosophers in Jewish history. Today, his works and his views are considered a cornerstone of Jewish thought and study." (Quote from

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3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Essential Reading for Serious Jews 20. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Maimonides' philosophical opus presents his views on biblical interpretation, creation, the nature of prophecy, the reasons for the commandments, divine providence, free will, and many other topics. The Guide is one of the most influential works of Jewish philosophy ever written, and is well worth the effort of reading. Unfortunately, it is an effort with this edition, as the type is absurdly small.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  25 Rezensionen
81 von 85 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Could Maimonides Have Fewer Than 5 Stars? 28. November 2001
Von Rivkah Maccaby - Veröffentlicht auf
I'm going to try to separate my critique of the text as it is presented, and Maimonides work.
The typeface used here is awfully small, and crammed onto the pages with a crowbar, it seems. The margins must be measured with a micrometer. I suppose the publishers were determined to get the thing into one volume, but this book is really pretty slender; I don't see why it couldn't be larger to accommodate larger print, with more white space, so the words aren't crammed together like passengers in steerage.
The translation is dated, and takes some getting used to, if you haven't had a lot of exposure to late Victorian English, the language may be off-putting. I happen to have a degree in English literature, and have read many styles extensively, and barely notice how dated the language was. There are other translations, but Freidlander, in this translation is very cautious in keeping his words consistent. This is important, because a large part of Guide for the Perplexed is defining Biblical terms.
The Guide for the Perplexed is a brilliant work. Maimonides is my nomination for "most important post-Talmudic scholar."
The Guide is not a simple work; Maimonides does not spell things out; he doesn't give succinct answers to ages old questions. One doesn't go to this book, look up "Cain," and say, "Ah, there's where he got his wife."
This is a book to aid the reader in becoming a better scholar. Where Maimonides does not give answers, he presents the tools that may assist the reader in studying the Torah, and coming up with his (or her!) own answers.
Words are defined, and also analyzed in an etymological way, which is really more mystical than scientific, but we're talking Torah.
Maimonides knows better than to give tools for interpretation without also giving lessons in interpretation. Some of his own mishnot come through as he discusses interpreting the Torah. He also discusses prophecy and free will, but eventually brings it all back to Torah.
Anyone who wants to be a serious Torah scholar needs this book.
65 von 70 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Great Book, Terrible Translation 5. Januar 2002
Von R. J. Corbett - Veröffentlicht auf
Maimonides' Guide is a masterwork of philosophic interest to Jews and non-Jews interested in the problem posed by philosophy to revealed religion, but Friedlander's translation is not the way to approach it. Besides removing the ambiguity of Maimonides' title by rendering it "The Guide *for* the Perplexed", he translates technical Rabbanic hermaneutical terms into awkward and sometimes inappropriate Latin 'equivilants'. Anyone who needs such translation won't be able to understand Maimonides' thought anyway, steeped in Rabbinics as it is; anyone looking to learn something of the Guide will be unable to do so with this translation. Shlomo Pines' translation is universally considered superior; be sure to get both volumes.
43 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Outdated translation 1. Juli 2001
Von Avid reader - Veröffentlicht auf
This turn-of-the- (20th) century tranlation from the Arabic has been absolutely superceded by the Pines-Strauss University of Chicago edition. No one really interested in studying Maimonides can afford to use this translation.Maimonides in his introduction makes it clear just how careful he was in his choice of words, so someone who has to read the book in translation cannot afford to save a few bucks and buy a flawed version
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must for anyone interested in religion and/or Judaism 15. Februar 2004
Von Frikle - Veröffentlicht auf
This has become one of my favourite non-fiction books. The Rambam (Maimonides) is an absolute giant of learning and explanations. In this volume, he presents many of the philosophical sides of Judaism which are rarely encountered.
The text is divided into 3 books.
The first book starts with discussing the use of homonyms in the Bible, especially in relation to describing God. The thesis that emerges is that it is only superficially that the Bible describes God as corporeal but the real doctrine precludes corporeality. The second topic discussed is the nature of esoteric study in Judaism and why it should only be taught in a restricted manner. The third topic is where Rambam protests against people using positive attributes to describe God and tries to prove that God is beyond such attributes. Then, he describes the Kalam argument (an Islamic school of thought that tried to prove the existence of God amongst other things) and points out his view of the flaws in it.
The second book starts with a discussion of Aristotelian philosophy in terms of cosmology and metaphysics and compares that with Judaism, especially the mystical tradition. Rambam then gives his own view of the world structure which is at times very amusing in terms of what we know of science but still very interesting. Then, he describes the nature of prophecy and what exactly it meant to be a Biblical prophet.
The third book opens with a hinted exposition of mystical passages in the Bible, such as Ezekiel's Chariot (Ezek Chap 1 and others). Then, he talks about God and the problem of Evil as well as providence. Finally, he describes the perfect worship of God as well as the purpose of most of the major commandments in the Torah. It is here that I could see why there was much opposition to the work from within the Jewish community - as he tends to provide unorthodox rationalisations that go against traditional expositions.
As you cna see, he convers sooooo much that a serious believer or non-believer would wish to consider that it's an absolute gem. The translation is dense, both in language and print but at least it's accessible in terms of being in one volume as well as the price. If you can penetrate the at-times-archaic language, I think this book will greatly enrich your life.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Things Come in Small Type 7. Dezember 2000
Von Jasek - Veröffentlicht auf
I gave it 5 stars, because it is a great piece of work - essential in Jewish studies - in its full, unabridged version. In keeping the price of the book low, the creators of the work left the readers a couple of problems. One, the type is way too small. Two, aside from the introduction, there are no notes or commentary, leaving the unexperienced reader with little resources for such an extremely intricate work. The creators should have tripled the size of this book and put it out in two volumes. I, and I'm sure many others, would have had no problem paying triple for it, if that were the case, for it is a work that is well worth the price. But that does not diminish its current greatness.
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