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Maimonides on the Origin of the World

$29.00 USD

  • Date Published: December 2007
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511345876

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About the Authors
  • Although Maimonides' discussion of creation is one of his greatest contributions - he himself claims that belief in creation is second in importance only to belief in God - there is still considerable debate on what that contribution was. Kenneth Seeskin takes a close look at the problems Maimonides faced and the sources from which he drew. He argues that Maimonides meant exactly what he said: the world was created by a free act of God so that the existence of everything other than God is contingent. In religious terms, existence is a gift. In order to reach this conclusion, Seeskin examines Maimonides' view of God, miracles, the limits of human knowledge, and the claims of astronomy to be a science. Clearly written and closely argued, Maimonides on the Origin of the World takes up questions of perennial interest.

    • No other book in English examines this topic by itself
    • Writing is exceptionally clear
    • Looks closely at the problems and issues Maimonides inherited from others
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In short, this is a mature work of a scholar who need not parade his talents … I would recommend it as a text for any course in Jewish philosophy or of medieval philosophy more generally.' David Burrell, University of Notre Dame

    'This is an excellent piece of work, easily up to the usual high standard of the author's output. The topic is a very controversial one in Jewish philosophy … so it is a major point of interest in the area. What Seeskin does well is run through the whole philosophical background to the issue in Maimonides, in so far as it impinged on him, and this is very useful. The discussion of the whole context within which Maimonides produced his views is uniformly rigorous, balanced, and enlightening.' Oliver Leaman, University of Kentucky

    'Seeskin's book is a solid contribution to the growing literature on the greatest of the medieval Jewish thinkers …' Daniel H. Frank, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

    '… reads well. … a good introduction to the issues.' Ars Disputandi

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2007
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511345876
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. God and the problem of origin
    2. Creation in the Timaeus
    3. Aristotle and the arguments for eternity
    4. Plotinus and the metaphysical causation
    5. Particularity
    6. Nature, miracles and the end of the world
    7. Aftermath and conclusion.

  • Author

    Kenneth Seeskin, Northwestern University, Illinois
    Kenneth Seeskin, a Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and winner of a Koret Jewish Book Award (2001), is the author of Jewish Philosophy in a Secular Age, Maimonides: a Guide for Today's Perplexed, No Other Gods: the Modern Struggle Against Idolatry, Searching for a Distant God: The Legacy of Maimonides and Autonomy in Jewish Philosophy. He is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides.

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