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Was jüdische Philosophie sein könnte (wenn es sie gäbe)

Ein mediävistischer Blick

Zurück zum Heft: Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie 2017/2: Jüdische Philosophie
DOI: https://doi.org/10.28937/1000107992
EUR 16,90

In a classic paper, Leon Roth asked »Is there a Jewish Philosophy?« to which he replied No. In this paper, focusing on the case of Medieval Jewish Philosophy, I argue, first, that we cannot characterize Jewish philosophy in terms of the identity, religious or secular, of its philosophers, in terms of a language in which it was written or conducted, in terms of a particular style or school, or in terms of content: as philosophy specifically of Judaism the religion. I then go on to argue that all the medieval Jewish philosophers were doing was Philosophy, although I sketch two different conceptions of what a philosophical interpretation of Judaism and the Jews might be: a Saadyanic model and Maimonides’. However, even though there is no kind of philosophy called »Jewish philosophy« as opposed to simply »Philosophy,« I argue that we can identify (medieval) Jewish philosophy as a philosophical »tradition,« a causally related sequence of philosophers who influence and are influenced by each other and who engage in a distinguishable dialogue or conversation among themselves. In the last part of the paper, I critically discuss various recent arguments that purport to show that there is something paradoxical, self-contradictory, and philosophically illegitimate about the very idea of a Jewish philosophy.