Randy L. Friedman State University of New York at Binghamton
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  • Faculty, State University of New York at Binghamton

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About me
My research in philosophy of religion engages modern Jewish thought and American pragmatism. My recent published work challenges the standard interpretations of Emerson, James, and Dewey as well as the tradition as a whole by concentrating on the continuing role of the religious in classical American pragmatism. This complements my current writings on the reconstruction of the central theological categories of creation, revelation, and redemption and the constitution of ethical community in the work of Mordecai Kaplan and Martin Buber.
My works
10 items found.
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  1. Randy L. Friedman (2013). Levinas as Jewish Philosopher. [REVIEW] H-Net Reviews.
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  2. Randall E. Auxier, Shane J. Ralston, Randy L. Friedman, Michael Futch, Tadd Ruetenik, István Aranyosi & Marilyn Fischer (2012). 1. Front Matter Front Matter (Pp. I-Iii). The Pluralist 7 (1).
     
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  3. Randy L. Friedman (2012). Levinas's Empiricism and James's Phenomenology. Journal of Scriptural Reasoning 11 (2).
    Genealogies in philosophy can be tricky and even a little dangerous. Lines of influence and inheritance run much more linearly on paper than in reality. I am often reminded of Robert Frost's "Mending Walls" and the attention that must be paid to what is being walled in and what is being walled out. In other words, William James and Emmanuel Levinas are not natural conversation partners. I have always read James as a fellow traveler of Edmund Husserl, and placed both (...)
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  4. Randy L. Friedman (2012). Religious Self-Reliance. Pluralist 7 (1):27-53.
    Robert Frost read "The Gift Outright" to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at William & Mary College almost one hundred years after Emerson delivered his famous lecture "The American Scholar" before the Society's Harvard chapter. In his talk, Emerson proclaims, "Our day of dependence, our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands, draws to a close" (Essays and Poems 53). It is no accident that Frost's poem brings to mind Emerson.1 The possession of the American imagination by other lands (...)
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  5. Randy L. Friedman (2011). Dewey's Naturalistic Metaphysics: Expostulations and Replies. Education and Culture 27 (2):48-73.
    Critics of Dewey’s metaphysics point to his dismissal of any philosophy which locates ideals in a realm beyond experience. However, Dewey’s sustained critique of dualistic philosophies is but a first step in his reconstruction and recovery of the function of the metaphysical. Detaching the discussion of values from inquiry, whether scientific, philosophical or educational, produces the same end as relegating values to a transcendent realm that is beyond ordinary human discourse. Dewey’s naturalistic metaphysics supports his progressive educational philosophy. The duty (...)
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  6. Randy L. Friedman (2009). Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading (Review). Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 45 (1):pp. 114-120.
    Reading a book for a review is not the same as reading for pleasure or research. The voice of the ‘critic’—or the critic one would like to be—muffles the voice of the text. Reviewing a book on reading, written by a writer, is as disconcerting as speaking with an old high school English teacher. I take courage from Emerson. In “The Poet,” an essay to which Richard Deming often returns, Emerson offers: Doubt not, O poet, but persist. Say, “It is (...)
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  7. Randy L. Friedman (2007). Traditions of Pragmatism and the Myth of the Emersonian Democrat. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (1):154-184.
    : Beginning with Emerson's turn from his pulpit, many argue that American philosophy has rigorously held forth against supernaturalism and metaphysics. While most read self-reliance as a call for individualism, I argue that self-reliance is the application of the moral sentiment to the source of existence Emerson calls the Over-soul. Figures like George Kateb, Stanley Cavell, and Jeffrey Stout have presented a very different picture of American pragmatism. Stout, in particular, is responsible for building up what I call "the myth (...)
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  8. Randy L. Friedman (2006). Deweyan Pragmatism. William James Studies 1 (1).
    a decisive move on his part beyond James. Many have pointed out that it was James who turned Dewey from Hegelianism to what becomes his instrumentalist rendition of Jamesian pragmatism.2 In this article, I will concentrate on what Dewey borrows (and changes) from James: a notion of experience meant to bridge the gap between traditional philosophical rationalism and empiricism (and meant to take the place of both), and an emphasis on meliorism. I agree with those who argue that Dewey "naturalizes" (...)
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  9. Randy L. Friedman (2006). The Challenge of Selective Conscientious Objection in Israel. Theoria 53 (109):79-99.
    Whether refusal is an act of civil disobedience meant to challenge the state politically as a form of protest, or an action which reflects a deep moral objection to the policies of the state, selective conscientious objection presents the state and its citizens with a number of difficult legal and moral challenges. Appeals to authority outside of the state, whether religious or secular, influence both citizenship and the behavior of the government itself. As Israel raises funds to defend IDF officers (...)
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  10. R. Friedman (1987). Books in Review. Political Theory 15 (3):451-456.
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