By Hilary Putnam
Distinguished thinker Hilary Putnam, who's additionally a training Jew, questions the idea of 3 significant Jewish philosophers of the 20 th century—Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas—to aid him reconcile the philosophical and spiritual aspects of his existence. an extra presence within the e-book is Ludwig Wittgenstein, who, even if no longer a training Jew, thought of faith in ways in which Putnam juxtaposes to the perspectives of Rosenzweig, Buber, and Levinas. Putnam explains the best principles of every of those nice thinkers, bringing out what, in his opinion, constitutes the decisive highbrow and non secular contributions of every of them. even if the faith mentioned is Judaism, the intensity and originality of those philosophers, as incisively interpreted by means of Putnam, make their concept not anything below a consultant to life.
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Extra info for Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein (The Helen and Martin Schwartz Lectures in Jewish Studies)
Instruction in a religious faith, therefore, would have to take the form of a portrayal, a description, of that system of reference, while at the same time being an appeal to conscience [ein in’sGewissen-reden]. And this combination would have to result in the pupil himself, of his own accord, passionately taking hold of the system of reference. 31 F ea r of Lif e and Fear of Death It is important that Rosenzweig’s passionate attack on the quest for essences—whether the quest be for an essence of Man, an essence of the World, or for a grasp of the very essence of God—is not an attack on wonder.
Certainly not that all these historical and sociological explanations are false. ” But to say this is only to characterize Rosenzweig’s conception negatively, not to say positively what his conception was. But, as we just saw, Rosenzweig believes that the positive conception can only be given in “narrative form,” not in the form of the traditional philosophical essay. And it is a particular “narrative” that Rosenzweig offers us in Part II of the Star. As I shall explain in chapter 4, I also perceive a kind of hidden narrative in Levinas’s ethical philosophy.
That is why in Understanding the Sick and the Healthy, Rosenzweig mockingly describes ideas drawn from materialism, empiricism, positivism, Hans Vaihinger’s then well-known philosophy of “As If” [Als Ob],23 and not just Idealist ideas. Moreover, Understanding the Sick and the Healthy was intended for a general reader, and Rosenzweig certainly did not think that the typical assimilated German Jew of his time was in danger of becoming a convert to Hegelian or post-Hegelian metaphysics. What “philosophy” represents in Rosenzweig’s Understanding the Sick and the Healthy is not a technical subject at all, but a temptation to which all who think of themselves as religious may be subject at one time or another.
Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein (The Helen and Martin Schwartz Lectures in Jewish Studies) by Hilary Putnam