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Maimonides'S Earlier Philosophical Writings The Introductions To The Mishnah

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Chapter Summary

Maimonides wrote his books intentionally in a pre-planned order. He progressed from Torahitic treatises with a philosophic goal in view, to philosophic treatises that refer to Torah. This chapter starts with his commentary to the Mishnah. The general introduction tells us little about Maimonides's philosophy. In keeping with the Mishnah's tripartite formula, Maimonides's thirteen principles fall into three groups: general theological principles, Torahitic principles, and political principles. The chapter demonstrates how the Thirteen Principles parallel the tripartite formulation of the Mishnah. In the first group, there is complete identity between the Torahitic formulation and their philosophical content. The second group may have some connection with the Aristotelian theory of prophecy, but it is not subject matter for philosophy per se. Finally the chapter explains the third group of principles, which in their plain sense are clearly unacceptable to Aristotelian philosophy.

Keywords: Maimonides philosophy; Mishnah; political principles; theological principles; Torahitic principles

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