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Is There a Jewish Philosophy?Rethinking Fundamentals$
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Leon Roth

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774556

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774556.001.0001

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(p.169) Maimonides
Is There a Jewish Philosophy?

Leon Roth

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on Maimonides. His works, all composed under the stress of travel or business, included commentaries on some tractates of the Talmud; a complete Commentary, still widely used, on the early (second- and third-century) rabbinic code, the Mishnah; an original Code of his own, the Mishneh torah (Repetition of the Law), preceded by a Book of Precepts in which the attempt is made to systematize the approach to the content of Judaism as a religious and moral discipline expressed in the commandments of the Pentateuch; some short medical treatises; some polemical writing; and many ‘encyclical’ letters to Jewish communities, far and near, on points of law and on public issues of importance. These were his basic preoccupations and interests, and his philosophy was only incidental. The only technically philosophical work is his first, the very slight Logical Terminology, a brief account of the elements of Aristotelian logic which concludes with a summary conspectus of the main divisions of the Aristotelian system as a whole. There is also The Guide for the Perplexed, which is not a set philosophical treatise but, professedly, an unsystematic essay on some problems of philosophical theology.

Keywords:   Maimonides, philosophical treatise, philosophical theology, Western thought, The Guide for the Perplexed, Logical Terminology

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