Maimonides on the Origin of the World
Author: Kenneth Seeskin
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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.
A Philosophy professor at Northwestern University in Illinois, Seeskin is the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence. With a Ph. D. from Yale University, he specializes in Jewish Philosophy, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion. Seeskin uses classic texts in the history of philosophy to shed light on problems of perennial interest. Previous books include Autonomy in Jewish Philosophy, Searching for a Distant God: The Legacy of Maimonides, Jewish Philosophy in a Secular Age and Maimonides: A Guide for Today's Perplexed.
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