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Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed : A Philosophical Guide (Hardcover) (Alfred L. Ivry)

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A classic of medieval Jewish philosophy, Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed has been as influential as it is difficult and demanding. Many of its terms and ideas have long since gone out of fashion. And by Maimonides’ own admission, not only does the work contain contrary, even contradictory, statements, but has been written for different audiences, with different meanings intended to be conveyed to each. Alfred L. Ivry, whose life-long study of this influential thinker has made him a master of his thought, has written a unique guide to the Guide—one that makes it comprehensible and even exciting to someone relatively unacquainted with Maimonides’ thought while offering an original and provocative interpretation that will command the interest of scholars. Ivry divides his treatment into two sections: a chapter-by-chapter paraphrase of the text for students and a corresponding thematically-connected analysis of several chapters together for scholars and those wishing to dive more deeply into the text. The chapter paraphrases serve to explain and clarify the text, concepts, and terms Maimonides uses. In the analytical sections Ivry explores philosophical issues, many dealing with metaphysics in both its ontological and epistemological aspects, showing how they reverberate in Maimonides’ discussions of the nature of God, providence, prophecy, immortality, and happiness. Keyed to the acknowledged standard Shlomo Pines English translation, Ivry’s book is an indispensibleGuide to the “Guide” for anyone wishing to understand this masterpiece of relgion and philosophy.

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