Did Maimonides Recommend Reading Averroes' Commentaries on Aristotle? - 10.1628/jsq-2021-0009 - Mohr Siebeck
Jewish Studies

Steven Harvey

Did Maimonides Recommend Reading Averroes' Commentaries on Aristotle?

Section: Articles
Jewish Studies Quarterly (JSQ)

Volume 28 () / Issue 2, pp. 159-190 (32)
Published 09.06.2021

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An article published in 2016 by Doron Forte claimed that the universally cited version of the concluding bibliographical section of Maimonides' letter to the translator of the Guide of the Perplexed, Samuel Ibn Tibbon, is both late and corrupt (Jewish Studies Quarterly 23). This claim entails that Maimonides did not recommend Averroes' commentaries on Aristotle in the letter. The current paper argues against this claim. It comprises seven considerations: two philological (based on testimonia Forte chose to ignore), two terminological and three just common sense. I present these considerations as complementary, one supporting the other, that together make clear that the most-often cited version of the letter is very old, the most reliable and likely the most authentic version. In fact, current evidence now points to Ibn Tibbon as the translator of this version, which shows that Maimonides indeed recommended Averroes' commentaries in this letter.

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