Saturday, December 02, 2017

Moreh Nevuchim

I recently finished reading Moreh Nevuchim. Here are my notes, organized by page number in the Friedlander translation. If you want to look up an issue, which is not directly referred to in Friedlander's chapter titles, this may be a useful guide.

44 Revelation is an inferior way of communicating what those who are capable should learn through philosophy (also 394)
78 Change implies imperfection either before or after. God as perfect being cannot have changed. Thus can only act on others, not be acted upon
84 Whenever you prove God doesn't have a certain quality, you become more perfect. The more qualities, the higher level you are relative to other people
95 YKVK=existence
99 One can use an interpretation which solves a problem, even if it violates certain grammar rules
104 God is the (Platonic) form of forms
130 Earth is round (also 277)
139 Omnipotence doesn't mean that God can do impossibilities
155 Purpose of the book
178 No-proof is better than a wrong proof
184 Proof from design and diversity (also 291)
195 Being moral helps you reason correctly
196 Directed to a specific person?
198 Aristotle's system is correct refarding the earth, but not the sky/spheres
199 Eternal universe contradicts Tanach less than does incorporeality and other important ideas
210 Miracles built into nature
212 Time created as part of creation
216 Secrets
218 Language is conventional, not natural
228 Intellect leads to logic and imagination. Prophet=both. Intellect vs senses. Teaching is better than learning
232 Torah is not painful, but seems cruel to the carnal
239 Anagrams in Tanach
248 Long lives in Breishit
250 Providence and free will
257 Disagrees with Onkelus re Yehezkel
261 Yetzer hatov <= platonic forms. Yetzer hara <= physical substance
264 Hebrew doesn't have words for bodily functions
265 Physicality = wall between us and God
266 Evil = absence of good. (Its cause: absence of wisdom)
297 Interpretation of Job excites Rambam
310 Only difference between philosophers and us is eternal universe
353 Midrash
356 Belief in God, angels, prophecy, law in that order
375 Torah, like nature, is only partly comprehensible - but that part is sufficient to give us a sense of wonder
385 True worship of God means thinking deeply about the idea of God
386 love of God=knowledge of God
387 intellectual worship of God, not "hollow emotions"
392 Loving God comes from theology, fear from mitzvah performance

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