Maimonides / Edition 1

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This pioneering guide to Maimonides incorporates material from his philosophical, legal, and medical works, thus providing a synoptic picture of the philosophical views of one of the most important Jewish thinkers of all time. The book covers a broad range of topics, including divine predication, proofs for the existence of God, Maimonides' theory of creation, prophecy and miracles, the problem of evil and divine providence, moral theory and the rationality of the law. Rudavsky makes a persuasive case that Maimonides saw himself as being engaged in philosophical dialogue, drawing not only upon his own Jewish tradition, but also upon the ideas of ancient Greek and Islamic philosophers.

Unparalleled in scope and accessibility, this concise volume is an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Medieval Philosophy, Jewish Philosophy, and Jewish Studies, as well as non-specialists coming to Maimonides for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...I finish by noting that [this book] is aimed both at scholars in the field and at students, and also at those with no knowledge of Maimonides. All these groups will find it useful for different reasons. It will make an excellent first port of call for students looking for a serious way into Maimonides studies, and also for scholars in related fields, who will find a comprehensive account of the immense and daunting secondary literature, and of the questions discussed therein. Scholars of Maimonides will benefit from the philosophical clarity and the range of sources that Rudavsky brings to many of the discussions. She has done a good job of emulating Maimonides' own success in speaking to different audiences in a single book." (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 16 November 2011)

"In recent years there has been an outpouring of books on Maimonides. This is the best one as far as his philosophy is concerned. Readers will enjoy [Rudavsky's] presentation of the cut and thrust of debate at the time, and the ways it has been continued right up to today, and there is much to learn from this book. Anyone looking for a text to use in the classroom which will engage students on Maimonides' philosophy need look no further since here it is." (Journal of Jewish Studies, 1 March 2011)

"A thorough and accessible introduction to Maimonides, arguably one of the most important Jewish Philosophers of all time...The author offers both an intellectual biography and an exploration of the most important philosophical works in Maimonides' corpus, and persuasively argues that Maimonides did see himself as engaged in philosophical dialogue." (Studies in Spirituality, 2010)

(T. M. Rudavsky) interpretations are excellent summaries of the master's teachings and readers can gain much information and thought-provoking ideas from reading it. (The Jewish Eye, April 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405148986
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Series: Blackwell Great Minds Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,532,748
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

T. M. Rudavsky is Professor of Philosophy at The Ohio State University. She specializes in medieval Jewish philosophy, and is the author of Time Matters: Creation, Time and Cosmology in Medieval Jewish Philosophy (2000). She has edited three volumes: Divine Omniscience and Omnipotence in Medieval Philosophy: Islamic, Jewish, and Christian Perspectives (1984); Gender and Judaism: Tradition and Transformation (1995); and The Cambridge History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy (co-edited with Steven Nadler, 2009). In addition, she has written numerous articles pertaining to medieval Jewish philosophy.

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Table of Contents

preface vii

abbreviations xiii

1 life and works 1

2 language, logic, and the art of demonstration 19

3 what we can say about God 36

4 philosophical cosmology 61

5 philosophical anthropology 85

6 naturalism and supernaturalism: prophecy, miracles, and divine will 110

7 philosophical theology: divine providence, human freedom, and theodicy 137

8 morality, politics, and the law 161

9 on human felicity 184

bibliography 198

index 219

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