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Moses Maimonides (1135–1204)

Author of The Guide for the Perplexed

333+ Works 3,130 Members 15 Reviews 11 Favorited

About the Author

Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon) was born in Cordoba, Spain, but spent his most productive years in Cairo, where he served as a royal physician. The Arabic cultural environment brought him into contact with classical Greek philosophy. Maimonides fused neo-Aristotelian philosophy with the Jewish legal show more tradition into a systemic whole. His main philosophic work, "The Guide for the Perplexed," is an apologetic appeal to rationalists troubled by the corporeality of God in the biblical accounts. He proposes a philosophic interpretation of the Bible that emphasizes abstract and spiritual meaning over literal interpretation. Maimonides formulated the 13 principles of faith that represent the irreducible core of Judaism. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: From Wikimedia Commons


Works by Moses Maimonides

The Guide for the Perplexed (1190) 1,196 copies, 9 reviews
The Guide of the Perplexed, Vol. 1 (1974) 216 copies, 1 review
Le Livre de la connaissance (1981) 22 copies
Treatise on asthma (2002) 6 copies
GUIA DE LOS PERPLEJOS 1 (2001) 5 copies
Epîtres (1993) 5 copies
Letters of Maimonides (1977) 4 copies
Moses Maimonides (Rambam) (1966) 3 copies
Traité de logique (1996) 2 copies
מלות ההגיון (2004) 2 copies
Lettera sull'astrologia (1994) 2 copies
On evil 1 copy
Work 1 copy
Teadmise raamat (2023) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Philosopher's Handbook: Essential Readings from Plato to Kant (2000) — Contributor — 207 copies, 1 review
A Golden Treasure of Jewish Literature (1937) — Contributor — 76 copies, 1 review
The Sheed and Ward Anthology of Catholic Philosophy (2005) — Contributor — 28 copies
Het derde Testament : Joodse verhalen (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 7 copies
Haut ab!: Haltungen zur rituellen Beschneidung (2014) — Contributor — 3 copies, 1 review
Maimonides, der Mann, sein Werk und seine Wirkung — Associated Name — 2 copies


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Maimonides, Moses
Legal name
ben Maimun, Moshe
Other names
RamBam (רמב"ם)
Abu Imran Musa bin Maimun ibn Abdallah al-Qurtubi al-Israili
أبو عمران موسى بن ميمون بن عبد الله القرطبي الإسرائيلي
Date of death
Burial location
Tiberias, Israel
Spain (birth)
Country (for map)
Cordoba, Spain
Place of death
Fostat, Egypt
Places of residence
Córdoba, Spain (birth)
Fes, Morocco
Fostat, Egypt (death)
Maimonides, Obadyah (grandson)
אברהם בן משה בן מימון (son)
Short biography
Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon is known in English as Maimonides and in Hebrew by the acronym of his name, Rambam. His importance and influence in Jewish legal and philosophical thought is embodied in the saying, "From Moses (of the 10 Commandments) to Moses (Maimonides) there was none like Moses." Numerous schools around the world are named for him.



Come dare un 'giudizio' a un'opera di questo calibro?
Rendere 'giustizia', con poche parole, sarebbe solamente per 'grazia'.

Da riprendere e tenere alla portata di mano, una pietra che potrebbe essere considerata di fondamento per ogni intelletto.

Un testo che occupa sia spazio che tempo ma su cui puoi tranquillamente appurare la non appartenenza allo spazio e al tempo.

Buona Lettura
giacomomanta | 8 other reviews | Aug 23, 2022 |
Looking to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy and Jewish theology, Moses Maimonides wrote The Guide for the Perplexed. A three part letter to his student, the book was influential not only to Jewish thought but Christian and Islamic thought throughout the Middle Ages while still giving those in the 21st Century insights to consider.

The first part focuses on Maimonides arguing against the anthropomorphism of God, basically stating God is incorporeal, and all references in the Bible to God doing physical things are essentially figurative language to allow the human mind to understand the works of God. This leads into a discussion by Maimonides that states that God cannot be described in positive terms only negative conceptions because while positive terms put limits on God, the negative does not. This leads into a discussion of philosophy and mysticism of various kinds. The second part begins on Maimonides expounding on the physical structure of the universe, an essentially Aristotelian world-view, which eventually leads into a debate on if the universe is eternal or created. Though Maimonides admits that Aristotle’s arguments for an eternal universe are better, Divine Revelation decides the matter. Maimonides then expounds on the Creation presented in Genesis and theories on the possible end of the world. The last part is explained as the climax of the whole work as Maimonides expounds on the mystical passage of the Chariot found in Ezekiel, which isn’t supposed to be directly taught only hinted at though over time direct instruction has become the normal. This is followed by analysis of the moral aspects of the universe and explaining the reasons for the 613 laws in the Torah. Maimonides ends the book with how God is worshipped correctly, through wisdom.

The comparison of and thesis of complimenting of long held Jewish theological thought and Aristotelian philosophy by Maimonides could have been hard to follow, the text was more than readable and thus the arguments very understandable. While his arguments and logic are insight and enlightening, Maimonides is yet another religious individual who has married ‘pagan’ philosophy with divine revelation to the determinant of the latter like many of his Christian contemporaries were doing and their predecessors before them and many would do after. This is the book’s biggest flaw, but instead of being a reason not to read it is the main one to read it and thus understand the arguments of those who want to merge two separate worldviews into one.

The Guide for the Perplexed was intended by Maimonides for learned individuals to give his view on philosophy more than theology, however the two could not be connected within the text. While I do not adhere to the vast majority of the thoughts the author expounded upon, the insight into medieval thought were invaluable and insightful.
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mattries37315 | 8 other reviews | Dec 25, 2018 |
I used to have quite a thing for reading Maimonides, but not much has stuck with me. Just one sentence from the Pirkei Avot, which gave me great comfort when my father died. It went something like this: the table is set with linen and crystal, there is wine and food, the guests are seated and all that remains is for you to join them.

Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
Reading used to be simpler. One just had to find a comfortable chair, turn on a good reading light, open the book and read. Now reading has become a project or rather, in my case, two projects.

First, I am reading The Guide of the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides. The edition we (the reading is part of a class in the Basic Program of Liberal Education of the University of Chicago) are using is the translation by Shlomo Pines.
A close reading of this two volume work requires not only attention to the text, but accompanying support of the following volumes from my library: The Oxford NIV Schofield Study Bible, my (two volume) edition of the Complete Works of Aristotle; Geddes MacGregor's Dictionary of Religion and Philosophy; and an English language dictionary. The translator's introduction suggests that I may have further recourse to Plato, Epicurus, Galen and others (this may require a camp out at the Chicago Public Library). Admittedly, these are requirements for reading a serious work of philosophy that inter alia attempts to reconcile the old testament prophets with ancient Greek philosophy.… (more)
jwhenderson | Apr 18, 2012 |



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