Religious Language (B): Perfections and Simplicity

Daniel Davies

in Method and Metaphysics in Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199768738
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918980 | DOI:

Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series

Religious Language (B): Perfections and Simplicity

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This chapter addresses the apparent conflict between Maimonides' negative theology and his statements that God is perfect. It distinguishes between the kinds of perfections that exist in the world and absolute, unlimited, uncreated perfections. Uncreated perfections cannot fall under the same definition as those perfections of which words can be used; they cannot be defined at all. Therefore, they can be said to exist in God without compromising either the divine unity or the limits that Maimonides draws to human knowledge and language. This argument is made by drawing out the implications of what Maimonides says about existence, as well as the metaphysical assumptions grounding his position, and considering what can be understood by divine unity.

Keywords: perfections; language; existence; limits

Chapter.  8189 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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