Review Of "Method And Metaphysics In Maimonides' "Guide For The Perplexed"" By D. Davies

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Davies (Cambridge Univ.) offers an excellent exploration and analysis of Maimonides's Guide for the Perplexed. Competing interpretations of the Guide's meaning have been evident since it first appeared in 1190. In this well-documented and well-argued volume, Davies addresses the major controversies surrounding the Guide and argues that its perceived contradictions are explainable when seen in the context of the Guide's purpose--scriptural exegesis. Davies examines Maimonides's use of both dialectical and demonstrative arguments, his negative theology, and his complex methods of exposition through sophisticated readings of key issues in the Guide: creation; God's existence, simplicity, perfections, and knowledge. To make matters more complex, Maimonides sometimes speaks obliquely in order to obey the Torah's injunction to protect its secrets from the unworthy. In sum, Davies argues that a coherent theological view emerges from the many levels of the Guide. He also adds a new, important discussion of Maimonides's account of the chariot in Ezekiel. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and above.


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