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Perspectives on MaimonidesPhilosophical and Historical Studies$
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Joel L. Kraemer

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780197100714

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780197100714.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Maimonides in the Sultan’s Palace

Maimonides in the Sultan’s Palace

(p.47) 3 Maimonides in the Sultan’s Palace
Perspectives on Maimonides

Steven Harvey

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the paradox that is Maimonides’ life. The same thinker who taught that the true human perfection and the ultimate end of man is only achieved through solitude and isolation, himself lived an unceasingly active and incredibly public life as private and court physician, business man, and Jewish communal leader, judge, and rabbi — a life which afforded little time for food and sleep, let alone the privacy requisite for contemplation and the intellectual worship of God. The chapter then presents three solutions to this paradox. It also looks at the purpose of the Guide of the Perplexed and Maimonides’ understanding of the Account of the Beginning and the Account of the Chariot. Finally, the chapter considers the parable of the sultan’s palace, as well as the limits of knowledge.

Keywords:   Maimonides, human perfection, end of man, solitude, isolation, Guide of the Perplexed, Account of the Beginning, Account of the Chariot, sultan’s palace, knowledge

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