Yiftach J. H. Fehige University of Toronto
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  • Faculty, University of Toronto
  • PhD, Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz, 2004.

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About me
My academic home is the University of Toronto, where I hold an appointment for 'Christianity and Science' since 2007. In accordance with my interdisciplinary training, I have been working on a number of topics, including the metaphysics of human sexuality, the rationality of theism, the Christian-Jewish dialogue, and thought experiments.
My works
48 items found.
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  1. Yiftach Fehige & Michael T. Stuart (2014). Introduction. Perspectives on Science 22 (2):167-178.
    Most people are aware of at least one thought experiment, whether it’s Archimedes in the bathtub, Schrödinger’s cat, or Einstein chasing after a beam of light. Thought experiments are used extensively in the so-called “hard sciences,” but they are also common in philosophy, history, economics, political science, and mathematics. They are important to a number of fields for a number of reasons, including entertainment, pedagogy and conceptual exploration.Apparently, thought experiments also help us to make scientific progress: they provide evidence for (...)
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  2. Yiftach Fehige & Michael T. Stuart (2014). On the Origins of the Philosophy of Thought Experiments: The Forerun. Perspectives on Science 22 (2):179-220.
    Philosophical debate about the nature and function of thought experiments would be impoverished without good historical sources. And while valuable work is being done on the history of thought experiments, a comprehensive discussion of the history of philosophical investigation into thought experiments is still absent in the literature (but see Kühne 2005; Moue et al. 2006). In what follows we take the first steps towards providing a more complete picture of the diverse attempts to shed light on thought experiments.The term (...)
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  3. Yiftach Fehige (2013). Poems of Productive Imagination: Thought Experiments, Christianity, and Science in Novalis. Neue Zeitschrift Für Systematische Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 55 (1):54-83.
    Thought experiments are employed for a number of reasons and in many different disciplines. This paper explores the work of Novalis in relation to the method of thought experiments in theology, with a special focus on the encounter between Christianity and the science of his day. In a first step I revisit the ongoing philosophical discussion on thought experiments in order to highlight the lack of interest in the literary features of thought experiments. Step two is dedicated to a discussion (...)
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  4. Yiftach Fehige (2013). Sexual Diversity and Divine Creation: A Tightrope Walk Between Christianity and Science. Zygon 48 (1):35-59.
    Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of the larger (...)
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  5. Yiftach Fehige (2013). The Relativized a Priori and the Laboratory of the Mind: Towards a Neo-Kantian Account of Thought Experiments in Science. Epistemologia 36 (1):55-73.
    Building on a previously published contextualization of Marco Buzzoni’s Neo- Kantian account of scientific thought-experiments, this paper examines the explanatory power of this account. It is argued that Buzzoni’s account suffers from a number of shortcomings. Einstein’s clock-in-the-box thought experiment facilitates the demonstration of these deficits. In the light of both the identified inadequacies of Buzzoni’s account and the long-standing history of Kantian approaches to thought experiments, this paper finally sketches an alternative Neo-Kantian account. This alternative utilizes Michael Friedman’s reading (...)
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  6. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2012). 'Experiments of Pure Reason': Kantianism and Thought Experiments in Science. Epistemologia 35 (1):141-160.
    Marco Buzzoni has presented a Kantian account of thought experiments in science as a serious rival to the current empiricist and Platonic accounts. This paper takes the first steps of a comprehensive assessment of this account in order to further the more general discussion of the feasibility of a Kantian theory of scientific thought experiments. Such a discussion is overdue. To this effect the broader question is addressed as to what motivates a Kantian approach. Buzzoni's account and the assessment developed (...)
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  7. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2012). Miracles and Science: Mora Than a Miraculous Relationship. Toronto Journal of Theology 28 (1):159-163.
    A solicited response to Robert Larmer's defence of the supernaturalist model of miracles. I show why Larmer fails to make his claim plausible that there aren't any good theological reasons to turn away from the supernaturalist model of miracles.
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  8. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2012). Quantum Physics and Theology: John Polkinghorne on Thought Experiments. Zygon 47 (2):256-288.
    Abstract Thought experimentation is part of accepted scientific practice, and this makes it surprising that philosophers of science did not seriously engage with it for a very long time. The situation changed in the 1990s, resulting in a highly intriguing debate over thought experiments. Initially, the discussion focused mostly on thought experiments in physics, philosophy, and mathematics. Other disciplines have since become the subject of interest. Yet, nothing substantial has been said about the role of thought experiments in nonphilosophical theology. (...)
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  9. Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Harald Wiltsche (2012). The Body, Thought Experiments, and Phenomenology. In Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts.
    An explorative contribution to the ongoing discussion of thought experiments. While endorsing the majority view that skepticism about thought experiments is not well justified, in what follows we attempt to show that there is a kind of “bodiliness” missing from current accounts of thought experiments. That is, we suggest a phenomenological addition to the literature. First, we contextualize our claim that the importance of the body in thought experiments has been widely underestimated. Then we discuss David Gooding's work, which contains (...)
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  10. Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Harald Wiltsche (2012). Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts.
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  11. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2011). Gedankenexperimente in der Offenbarungstheologie? Eine Erste Annäherung/ Thought Experiments in Revealed Theology? A First Approach. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 59 (1):209-229.
    Thought experiments play an important cognitive role in many fields of inquiry, especially in physics and philosophy. Do they also matter in revealed theology? In addressing this question, I will argue first why it is important to do so, then elaborate on the characteristic features of such thought experiments in revealed theology, and finally discuss two instances of thought experimenting in Augustine.
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  12. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2011). Transsexuality: Reconciling Christianity and Science. Toronto Journal of Theology 27 (1):51-71.
    Furthering the dialogue with J. Wentzel van Huyssteen over his way of reconciling Christianity and science while reflecting on human uniqueness, I offer a philosophical analysis of the phenomenon of transsexuality. The focus of my analysis is the implications of transsexuality for the metaphysics of reductive naturalism. Envisioning a pluralistic ontology of the sexed human body, I propose to account for human sexuality within the general framework of normative pragmatism. The context of my reflections is a theology of sexual diversity, (...)
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  13. James Robert Brown & Yiftach J. H. Fehige, Thought Experiments. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  14. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2010). Quantum Physics and Theology. [REVIEW] American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):186-188.
  15. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2010). The Negation of Nonsense is Nonsense: Hilary Putnam on Science and Religion. Neue Zeitschrift Für Systematische Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 52 (4):350-376.
    While the influential analytical philosopher Hilary Putnam has made significant contributions to philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and philosophy of science, he isn't generally regarded as a philosopher of religion or a theologian. Nonetheless, I argue that his work should be of great interest to philosophers of religion and theologians. Focusing on the relationship between science and religion, this paper explores the importance of Putnam's attempt to reconcile his anti-metaphysical stance and his commitment to a religious form of life (...)
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  16. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2010). The "Art of Dialogue" and the Christian-Jewish Encounter. A First Approach. Jahrbuch für Religionsphilosophie 9:67-93.
    In this paper I raise awareness of a crucial blind spot in scholarship on the Christian-Jewish dialogue. The main argument of the paper is that a closer examination of the dialogue form is necessary in order to assess the tenability of Christian-Jewish dialogue. Despite the widespread talk and intensive scholarship about the Jewish-Christian dialogue two things remain unclear: (a) what concept of dialogue is presupposed; (b) what makes the dialogue form appropriate for the Christian-Jewish encounter. This paper discusses the possibility (...)
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  17. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Gottesbeweis Oder Gedankenexperiment Christlicher Theologie? Zu Dombrowskis Verteidigung des Ontologischen Arguments. Jahrbuch für Religionsphilosophie 8:69-91.
    In this paper I argue that Daniel A. Dombrowski's defence of a version of Anselm's ontological argument fails.
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  18. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life. [REVIEW] European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):139-143.
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  19. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Sexualized Brains. [REVIEW] Isis: 100 (4):887-888.
  20. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering. [REVIEW] American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4):636-639.
  21. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Thought Experimenting with God. Revisiting the Ontological Argument. Neue Zeitschrift Für Systematische Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 51 (3):249-267.
    The ontological argument is one of the most intriguing lines of reasoning in Western thought. Leaving behind debates over the proper relation between science and religion, it makes a simple move from conceptual analysis to existence in order to prove the existence of god. The ontological argument will be reviewed against the background of the contemporary debate on thought experiments. Assuming that the ontological argument fails as a philosophical proof, I will argue that its move from concept to existence might (...)
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  22. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Transsexualität Zwischen Genetik Und Sozialer Praxis. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 57 (5):757-780.
    Transsexuality has been subject to careful reflections in many disciplines outside philosophy. I first contextualize my philosophical approach by relating to the existing scholarship on transsexuality. Focusing on matters of sexual identity, I then propose a characterization of what might be considered the philosophical dimension of transsexual identity. Paying particular attention to the propositional consciousness of transsexuals, I develop the main thesis that transsexuality helps philosophers of sex to forcefully establish the contingency of sexual identity in terms of the underlying (...)
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  23. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2008). Review Of: O. Gingerich: God’s Universe. [REVIEW] Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 11:232-234.
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  24. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2007). Gedankenexperimente. Die Genese Einer Wissenschaftsphilosophischen Forschungstradition Nach Ulrich Kühne. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie (1):149-157.
    This is a review essay of what is probably the best contribution to the history of the philosophical investigation into thought experiments.
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  25. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2007). Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (4):674-677.
  26. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2007). Putnams Semi-Fideismus. Theologische Quartalschrift 185 (3):215-234.
    In this paper I argue that Hilary Putnam is a semi-fideist.
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  27. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2007). Sexualphilosophie. LIT.
    This book is an introduction to philosophy of sex. The history of philosophy of sex is depicted (from Plato to Herman Schmitz) to set up the background against which the philosophy of sex by Herman Schmitz is analyzed. This leads to the discussion of topics like masturbation, the ontology of the sexed human body, and same-sex marriage.
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  28. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2007). The Meaning of the World’s Meaning. [REVIEW] EMBO 8 (5).
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  29. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2006). Die Frage Nach Gott Und Eine Kritik der Überzogenen Antwort von Norbert Hoerster. Theologie Und Philosophie 81 (4):93-103.
    In this paper I show why Norbert Hoerster's plea for atheism is rather unconvincing.
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  30. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2006). Die Geschlechtererosion des Semantischen Realismus. mentis.
    This work is a contribution to analytic philosophy of sex. It deals with the scientific concept of the sexed human body by focusing in particular on the logical and the semantic implications of such a concept.
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  31. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2005). Über Menschliche Freiheit. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger (58):230-239.
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  32. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2005). Kreativität Im Denken. Eine Kritik des Reliabilitätsarguments von John D. Norton Gegen Rationalistische Epistemologien Zur Methode des Gedankenexperiments. In Günter Abel (ed.), Kreativität. Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin.
    In this paper I argue that Norton's case against Brown's rationalism about thought experiments suffers from serious shortcomings, which relate to the nature of induction.
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  33. Joerg H. Fehige (2004). Wessen Wille geschehe? Fremdnützige Forschung an Nichteinwilligungsfähigen. Die Argumente in der philosophischen Kritik. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 58 (3):397 - 427.
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  34. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2004). Der Mentale Zugang Zur Welt. [REVIEW] Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 8 (1):231-238.
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  35. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2004). Giving an Account of Oneself. [REVIEW] Theologie Und Philosophie 79 (1):146-149.
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  36. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2004). Wessen Wille Geschehe? Fremdnützige Forschung an Nichteinwilligungsfähigen. Die Argumente in der Philosophischen Kritik. Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie Forschung 58 (3):397-427.
    This paper critically examines the predominant arguments that have been proposed either in favour or against non-benefit medical research with human subjects incapable of informed consent. It is argued that none of the arguments succeeds, while acknowledging that such research is necessary.
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  37. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2004). Wie Wirklich Ist der Gott der Theologen? Eine Entgegnung Auf Peter Byrnes Plädoyer für den Theologischen Agnostizismus. Theologie Und Philosophie 79 (4):562-572.
    In this paper I critically examine Peter Byrne's arguments against theological realism.
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  38. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2003). Erkenntnistheorie. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 56 (2):128-133.
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  39. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2003). Gender. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 56 (3).
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  40. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2003). Judith Butler. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 56 (1):75-77.
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  41. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2003). Judith Butler. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 56 (4):313-315.
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  42. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2002). Die Autonomie der Person. [REVIEW] Theologie Und Philosophie 77 (1):154-156.
  43. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2002). Feministische Theorien. Zur Einführung. [REVIEW] Theologie Und Philosophie 77 (3):474-476.
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  44. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2002). Judith Butler. Zur Einführung. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 55 (4):347-350.
  45. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2002). Medien der Vernunft. Eine Theorie des Geistes Und der Rationalität Auf der Grundlage Einer Theorie der Medien. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 55 (4):361-365.
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  46. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2002). ‘Sein, Das Verstanden Werden Kann, Ist Sprache’. Hommage an Hans-Georg Gadamer. [REVIEW] Theologie Und Philosophie 77 (3):460-462.
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  47. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2002). Wissenschaftstheorie. Eine Philosophische Einführung. [REVIEW] Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 55 (1):70-74.
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  48. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2001). Das Leibliche Selbst. Vorlesungen Zur Phänomenologie des Leibes. [REVIEW] Theologie Und Philosophie 76 (3):472-475.
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