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Maimonides’ Curious Formulation of the 4th Premise of the Mutakallimūn: Meaningful or Meaningless Inspections of Terminology?

Tzvi Langermann


Pages 277 - 287



Moses Maimonides alerts readers of his seminal Guide of the Perplexed that he has taken the greatest care in writing this book. As a result, readers have dissected almost every word or phrase in their attempt to ferret out the author’s true intent. But was every word chosen with such care? The late Herbert Davidson, until his recent passing the dean of Maimonidean scholars worldwide, challenged that belief. A passage from Maimonides’ presentation of the basic doctrines of the kalām, which seems to contain an extraneous technical term, may support Davidson’s claim. At the very least, a close examination reveals much about the problematics of translating and interpreting the Guide.



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