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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 signicance today.

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The Guide for the Perplexed


About Book The Guide for the Perplexed

FRONT MATTERTitle PageCopyright PagePrefacePreface to Vol. One of the First EditionContentsThe Life of Moses MaimonidesThe Moreh Nebuchim LiteratureAnalysis of the Guide for the PerplexedINTRODUCTIONPART ONEI. The homonymity of ZelemII. On Genesis iii. 5.III. On tabnit and temunahIV. On raah, hibbit and hazahV. On Exod. xxiv. 10. VI. On ish and ishshah, ah and ahotVII. On yaladVIII. On makomIX. On kisseX. On ‘alab, yaradXI. On yashabXII. On kamXIII. On ‘amadXIV. On adamXV. On nazab, yazabXVI. On ZurXVII. On Mishnah Hagigah ii. 1XVIII. On karab, naga‘, niggashXIX. On maleXX. On ram, nissaXXI. On ‘abarXXII. On baXXIII. On Raza, shubXXIV. On halakXXV. On shakenXXVI. On “The Torah speaketh the language of man”XXVII. On Targum of Gen. xlvi. 4XXVIII. On regelXXIX. On ‘azebXXX. On akalXXXI. On the Limit of Man's IntellectXXXII. On the Limit of Man's IntellectXXXIII. On the Study and the Teaching of MetaphysicsXXXIV. On the Study and the Teaching of MetaphysicsXXXV. On the Study and the Teaching of MetaphysicsXXXVI. On the Study and the Teaching of MetaphysicsXXXVII. On panimXXXVIII. On ahorXXXIX. On lebXL. On ruahXLI. On nefeshXLII. On hayyim-mavetXLIII. On kanafXLIV. On ‘ayinXLV. On shama‘XLVI. On the Attribution of Senses and Sensations to GodXLVII. On the Attribution of Senses and Sensations to GodXLVIII. The Targum of shama‘ and raahXLIX. Figurative Expressions applied to AngelsL. On FaithLI. On the Necessity of Proving the Inadmissibility of Attributes in reference to GodLII. Classification of AttributesLIII. The Arguments of the AttributistsLIV. On Exod. xxxiii. 13; xxxiv. 7LV. On Attributes implying Corporeality, Emotion, Non-existence and Comparison LVI. On Attributes denoting Existence, Life, Power, Wisdom and WillLVII. On the Identity of the Essence of God and His AttributesLVIII. On the Negative Sense of the True Attributes of GodLIX. On the Character of the Knowledge of God Consisting of NegationsLX. On the Difference between Positive and Negative AttributesLXI. On the Names of GodLXII. On the Divine Names composed of Four, Twelve and Forty-two LettersLXIII. On Ehyeb, Rah and ShaddaiLXIV. On “The Name of the Lord,” and “The Glory of God”LXV. On the phrase “God spake”LXVI. On Exod. xxxii. 16LXVII. On shabat and nahLXVIII. On the Terms: The Intellectus, the Intelligens and the IntelligibileLXIX. On the Primal CauseLXX. On the attribute rokeb ba‘arabotLXXI. The Origin of the KalamLXXII. A Parallel between the Universe and ManLXXIII. Twelve Propositions of the KalamLXXIV. Proofs of the Kalam for the creatio ex nihiloLXXV. Proofs of the Kalam for the Unity of GodLXXVI. Proofs of the Kalam for the Incorporeality of GodPART TWO.IntroductionI. Philosophical proofs for the Existence, Incorporeality, and Unity of the First CauseII. On the Existence of Intelligences or purely Spiritual BeingsIII. The Author adopts the Theory of Aristotle as least open to Objections IV. The Spheres and the Causes of their MotionV. Agreement of the Aristotelian Theory with the Teaching of ScriptureVI. What is meant by the Scriptural Term “Angels”VII. The Homonymity of the term “Angel”VIII. On the Music of the SpheresIX. On the Number of the Heavenly SpheresX. The Influence of the Spheres upon the Earth manifests itself in four different ways XI. The Theory of Eccentricity Preferable to that of EpicyclesXII. On the Nature of the Divine Influence and that of the SpheresXIII. Three Different Theories about the Beginning of the UniverseXIV. Seven Methods by which the Philosophers sought to prove the Eternity of the UniverseXV. Aristotle does not scientifically demonstrate his TheoryXVI. The Author refutes all Objections to Creatio ex nihiloXVII. The Laws of Nature apply to Things Created, but do not regulate the Creative Act which produces themXVIII. Examinations of the Proofs of Philosophers for the Eternity of the UniverseXIX. Design in NatureXX. The Opinion of Aristotle as regards Design in NatureXXI. Explanation of the Aristotelian Theory that the Universe is the necessary Result of the First CauseXXII. Objections to the Theory of the Eternity of the UniverseXXIII. The Theory of Creatio ex nihilo is preferable to that of the Eternity of the UniverseXXIV. Difficulty of Comprehending the Nature and the Motion of the Spheres according to the Theory of AristotleXXV. The Theory of Creation is adopted because of its own Superiority, the Proofs based on Scripture being InconclusiveXXVI. Examination of a passage from Pirke di-Rabbi Eliezer in reference to CreationXXVII. The Theory of a Future Destruction of the Universe is not part of the Religious Belief taught in the BibleXXVIII. Scriptural Teaching is in favour of the Indestructibility of the UniverseXXIX. Explanation of Scriptural Phrases implying the Destruction of Heaven and EarthXXX. Philosophical Interpretation of Genesis i.–iv.XXXI. The Institution of the Sabbath serves (1) to Teach the Theory of Creation, and (2) to promote Man's WelfareXXXII. Three Theories concerning ProphecyXXXIII. The Difference between Moses and the other Israelites as regards the Revelation on Mount SinaiXXXIV. Explanation of Exodus xxiii. 20XXXV. The Difference between Moses and the other Prophets as regards the Miracles wrought by themXXXVI. On the Mental, Physical and Moral Faculties of the ProphetsXXXVII. On the Divine Influence upon Man's Imaginative and Mental Faculties through the Active IntellectXXXVIII. Courage and Intuition reach the highest degree of Perfection in ProphetsXXXIX. Moses was the fittest Prophet to Receive and Promulgate the Immutable Law. . .XL. The Test of True ProphecyXLI. What is Meant by “Vision”XLII. Prophets Received Direct Communication only in Dreams or VisionsXLIII. On the Allegories of the ProphetsXLIV. On the Different Modes in which Prophets Receive Divine MessagesXLV. The Various Classes of ProphetsXLVI. The Allegorical Acts of Prophets formed Parts of Prophetic VisionsXLVII. On the Figurative Style of the Prophetic WritingsXLVIII. Scripture ascribes Phenomena directly produced by Natural Causes to God as the First Cause of all thingsPART THREE.IntroductionI. The “Four Faces” are Human Faces with four different peculiaritiesII. The Hayyot and the OfannimIII. Further Explanation of the Hayyot and the Ofannim derived from Ezek. x.IV. The rendering of Ofan by Gilgal in the Targum of JonathanV. The Vision of Ezekiel is divided into three stages. . .VI. On the Difference between the Vision of Ezekiel and that of Isaiah (vi.)VII. The Different Ways in which the Prophet perceived the Three Parts of the Mercabah (Chariot)VIII. Man has the Power to Control his Bodily Wants and Earthly DesiresIX. The Material Element in Man Prevents him from Attaining PerfectionX. God is not the Creator of EvilXI. Man is the Cause of his own MisfortunesXII. Three Kinds of Evil. . .XIII. The Universe has No other Purpose than its own ExistenceXIV. It is the Will of the Creator that the Spheres regulate the Affairs of MankindXV. Impossible Things are not ascribed to the Creator, but it is difficult to Prove the Impossibility. . .XVI. On God's OmniscienceXVII. Five Theories concerning ProvidenceXVIII. Every Individual Member of Mankind enjoys the Influence of Divine Providence. . .XIX. It is an ancient Error to Assume that God takes no Notice of ManXX. God's Knowledge is Different from Man's KnowledgeXXI. The Creators knowledge of His Production is PerfectXXIII. Job and his Friends Discuss the various Theories concerning ProvidenceXXIV. On Trials and TemptationsXXV. The Actions of God are Not PurposelessXXVI. The Divine Precepts Serve a certain PurposeXXVII. The Object of the Divine Precepts is to Secure the Well-being of Man's Soul and BodyXXVIII. This Object is easily seen in some Precepts, whilst in others it is only known after due ReflectionXXIX. On the Sabeans or Star-worshippersXXX. It is one of the Objects of the Law of Moses to Oppose IdolatryXXXI. The Law Promotes the Well-being of Man by teaching Truth, Morality and Social ConductXXXII. Why did God give Laws to Oppose Idolatry instead of Uprooting it directly?XXXIII. Another chief Object of the Law is to Train Man in Mastering his Appetites and DesiresXXXIV. The Law is based on the ordinary condition of manXXXV. Division of the Precepts into Fourteen ClassesXXXVI. First Class of Precepts, to Know, Love and Fear GodXXXVII. Second Class, Laws concerning IdolatryXXXVIII. Third Class, Moral PreceptsXXXIX. Fourth Class, Laws relating to CharityXL. Fifth Class, Compensation for Injury and the Duty of Preventing SinXLI. Sixth Class, Punishment of the SinnerXLII. Seventh Class, Equity and HonestyXLIII. Eighth Class, Sabbath and FestivalsXLIV. Ninth Class, Prayer, Tefillin, Zizit and MezuzahXLV. Tenth Class, The Temple, its Vessels and its MinistersXLVI. Eleventh Class, SacrificesXLVII. Twelfth Class, Distinction between Clean and Unclean; and on PurificationXLVIII. Thirteenth Class, Dietary LawsXLIX. Fourteenth Class, Marriage LawsL. On Scriptural Passages with seemingly Purposeless ContentsLI. How God is worshipped by a Perfect ManLII. On the Fear of GodLIII. Explanation of Hesed (Love), Mishpat ( Judgment), and Zedakah (Righteousness)LIV. On True WisdomINDEXIndex of Scriptural PassagesIndex of Quotations from the TargumimIndex of Quotations from the MidrashimIndex of Quotations from the TalmudReferences to Works of MaimonidesReferences to Works on Science and PhilosophyGeneral Index
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