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In: Esoteric and Exoteric Aspects in Judeo-Arabic Culture
In: The Libraries of the Neoplatonists
In: Islam and Rationality
In: Islam and Rationality
In: Averroes and the Aristotelian Tradition


Maimonides (d. 1204) employs three different sets of terms for good and bad in his Guide of the Perplexed I, 2: one Hebrew set (from Gen. 3:5), ṭov and raʿ; and two Arabic sets, al-ḫayr and al-šarr, and al-ḥasan and al-qabīḥ. Guide I, 2 is one of the betterknown chapters of the book – one of the first chapters the beginning student of the Guide encounters and one whose important teachings have been the subject of many valuable studies. Curiously, leading translators and scholars do not see any meaningful distinction between the two sets of Arabic terms despite Maimonides’ well-known declaration that “the diction of this Treatise has not been chosen at haphazard” (see below, n. 19). This article seeks to understand and explain why Maimonides employs two different sets of Arabic terms here for the concepts of good and bad, with special focus on qabīḥ, a key term for him in this chapter and in others in the book.

In: Oriens
In: Studies on Steinschneider