PHILOSOPHY OF JUDAISM
Welcome! This site is a space promoting rigorous philosophical analysis of any aspect of Judaism. We look forward to your participation. THIS WEBSITE HAS MOVED! IT CAN NOW BE FOUND AT http://www.theapj.com/blog
Sunday, 18 March 2012
The symposium on halakha and the philosophy of law (21-28 March) will take place on the new site. The symposium is entitled "Authority, Halacha, and the Official Vigilante," and will center around a discussion of the problems of authority and law in relation to Mishna Sanhedrin 9:6, in particular the rule that zealots may attack the Jewish man who is having sexual relations with a Gentile woman. On March 20th materials will be posted on the new website which will contain some discussion of the issues by the symposium participants Sari Kisilevsky (CUNY), Ken Ehrenberg (SUNY), and Laliv Clenman (Leo Baeck). Of particular relevance will be the following texts: Mishna Sanhedrin 9:6, Babylonian Talmud 81b-82b, and Palestinian Talmud 16:11 27b
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Philosophy in Halakhah and Philosophy of Judaism: Introducing “Philosophy in Halakhah: The Case of Intentional Action”
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Thursday, 1 December 2011
Judaism differs considerably from other theistic religions. One of the main features is that Jewish religious laws are not dogmatic but based on specific legal reasoning. This reasoning was already used by the first Judaic commentators of the Bible (Tannaim) for inferring Judaic laws from the Pentateuch. Hence, Judaic logic that was aimed to be a methodology for deducing religious laws has been developed in Judaism. Rambam claimed that this logic was invented by nobody, but it is a part of the Torah. Indeed, this logic differs from other formal systems (Stoic propositional logic, Aristotelean syllogistic, etc.). On the one hand, Judaic logic is analytic as well as other systems. On the other hand, it contains so many ad hoc rules that we may ask whether it is a prpiori in fact? The paper by Curtis Franks http://www.nd.edu/~cfranks/frankssacredinference.pdf considers cases when we may not draw an inference from something which itself has been inferred. Under these circumstances, we could assume that Judaic logic is analytic a posteriori. The status of analytic a posteriori was grounded first by Saul Kripke and Stephen Palmquis. Also, we could attempt to answer, whether the Lord is analytic a posteriori? As we know, in Kant's opinion, the Lord is a construction a priori. This means that God exists just in our thoughts and nowhere else. According to modern logicians, there is analytic a posteriori. Perhaps the Lord is analytic a posteriori, too? This means that we could investigate His Will logically, i.e. analytically, and at the same time He is in reality, i.e. a posteriori.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
The symposium on Hilary Putnam's paper scheduled for 14-21 November, has been postponed. Apologies. The symposium on Curtis Franks's paper will now be held between 01-08 December. Professors Franks and Andrew Schumann have kindly agreed to participate in the symposium.
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Friday, 14 October 2011
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
This article (from 1997) belongs to a genre that is becoming increasingly popular among analytic philosophers, thanks to pioneering efforts by Eleonore Stump, Charlotte Katzoff and (without a predominantly analytic emphasis) the Shalem Center: namely, the philosophical analysis of biblical narratives. As editors Charles Manekin and Robert Eisen remark in their introduction to Philosophers and the Jewish Bible, “While the contemporary project of philosophical exegesis differs greatly from the medieval project, both share a fascination with the Bible and a desire to make sense of it in philosophical terms” (p. 5). Just as medieval philosophers sought to harmonize Scripture and philosophy and to use philosophy as an exegetical tool, analytic philosophers who are committed to what can loosely and evasively be called "traditional philosophical theology" utilize philosophical analyses to remove inconsistencies between the Bible and philosophy and to understand narratives more deeply. It scarcely needs to be added that philosophers who are not theists may -- and do-- use philosophical theories and methods to analyze biblical narratives, and that philosophers committed to "traditional philosophical theology" may, like everyone else, use philosophy to interpret narratives without relating them to theological concerns. Also, some philosophers (like Howard Wettstein) stress the gap between traditional philosophical theology and the Bible.
Thursday, 1 September 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
The religious significance of Metaphysics: A tangent from the symposium on Eli Hirsch's paper on Identity in the Talmud
Monday, 15 August 2011
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
To be more precise, in the above text the famous dictum is stated by Rabbi Yehudah in Rav’s name with respect to the verses in Jeremiah 9: 11-13.
9. I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the dwellings of the wilderness, because they are withered and without any one passing through, and the lowing of the cattle is not heard; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast have fled and are gone.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Monday, 1 August 2011
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011
My Rabbi sent me the link to a blog called "On the Mainline," which looks like it might have some more useful stuff. (Correction: definitely interesting stuff, see also the writer's other blog, English Hebraica)
Sunday, 24 July 2011
- A being with a free will often has the choice between two mutually exclusive actions, action x and action y, at some time, t.
- God is omniscient, and therefore knows that I will chose to perform, say, action x at time t.
- Knowledge is factive, which is to say that it’s either a relation between a mind and a fact, or at least, a relation between a mind and a true proposition; a proposition made true by a fact. Knowledge is, therefore, always accompanied by the existence of a fact.
- Given 3, if God knows that I will perform action x at time t, then it is a fact that I will perform action x at time t.
- If it is a fact that I will perform action x at time t, then I cannot choose to perform action y at the same time.
- Therefore, I am not a free being with control over the course of my own life. Given any choice, I am always bound to act in the way that God already knows that I will act.
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
"The Realm of the Sacred, wherein We may not Draw an Inference from Something which Itself has been Inferred: a reading of Talmud Bavli Zevachim folio 50" by Curtis Franks
Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
"The Evolution of Talmudic Reasoning." History and Philosophy of Logic 32 (1):9-28 by Norman Solomon, Oriental Institute, Oxford University.
Sunday, 17 July 2011
The exceprt talks about a person who is delivering a Get (a bill of divorce) from a husband to a wife. The divorce doesn't take effect until the Get reaches the hand of the wife (or her appointed agent). Only a living man can divorce his wife, so the rabbis discuss what justifies the messenger's assumption that the husband is still alive at the point of delivery to the wife.