In his early teaching, from the 1920s through the 1950s, YeshayahuLeibowitz (1903-1994) stands out as one of the most fascinating religious Zionist thinkers. He strives to establish a Jewish democratic state whose democratic aspects will be channeled toward the establishment of an exemplary society, one that can express its religious roots within a modern democratic context. Leibowitz thus attaches enormous importance to democracy in terms of both its political components and its modern Orthodox aspirations. In this (...) respect, he is the most radical spokesman of the Neo-Orthodox notion of Torah with Derekh Eretz , as translated into religious-Zionist terms. (shrink)
Most "art and science" books focus on the science of perspective or the psychology of perception. Hidden Harmony does not. Instead, the book addresses the surprising common ground between physics and art from a novel and personal perspective. Viewing the two disciplines as creative processes, J. R. Leibowitz supplements existing and original research with illustrations to demonstrate that physics and art share guiding aesthetics and compositional demands and to show how each speaks meaningfully to the other. Leibowitz widens (...) our experience and understanding of both domains by exploring how concepts such as balance and re-balance, coherence and unity, and symmetry and "broken" symmetry affect and are affected by artistic vision and scientific principle. He reveals shared themes and understandings in each field and adroitly illustrates the parallels between the dabs of color and layers of images in a work of art and the particles of matter and packets of energy that compose the observable, physical world. Featuring examples of art images and complementary examples of physics concepts, this contemplative work helps us see art and physics as artists and physicists do. (shrink)
This article is an analysis of the theological-philosophical revolution that Leibowitz's thought represents in the philosophy of religion in general and in Jewish philosophy in particular. This revolution relies on a positivist viewpoint, which denies any possibility of making statements about God. In his approach, statements about God are interpreted as statements denoting the relationship between the individual and God. Conventional religious beliefs -- such as the belief in the creation or in revelation -- become meaningless. Leibowitz therefore (...) suggests a new interpretation, both of theoretical religious beliefs and of the normative system -- the Halakha. The belief in revelation is construed as a human judgment, which endows the halakhic system with divine validity. Halakha does not draw its meaning from its divine source but from its inner religious meaning, which Leibowitz sees in worship. (shrink)
Moral philosophers are, among other things, in the business of constructing moral theories. And moral theories are, among other things, supposed to explain moral phenomena. Consequently, one’s views about the nature of moral explanation will influence the kinds of moral theories one is willing to countenance. Many moral philosophers are (explicitly or implicitly) committed to a deductive model of explanation. As I see it, this commitment lies at the heart of the current debate between moral particularists and moral generalists. In (...) this paper I argue that we have good reasons to give up this commitment. In fact, I show that an examination of the literature on scientific explanation reveals that we are used to, and comfortable with, non-deductive explanations in almost all areas of inquiry. As a result, I argue that we have reason to believe that moral explanations need not be grounded in exceptionless moral principles. (shrink)
In this essay I offer a new particularist reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. I argue that the interpretation I present not only helps us to resolve some puzzles about Aristotle’s goals and methods, but it also gives rise to a novel account of morality—an account that is both interesting and plausible in its own right. The goal of this paper is, in part, exegetical—that is, to figure out how to best understand the text of the Nicomachean Ethics. But this paper (...) also aims to contribute to the current exciting and controversial debate over particularism. By taking the first steps towards a comprehensive particularist reading of Aristotle’s Ethics I hope to demonstrate that some of the mistrust of particularism is misplaces and that what is, perhaps, the most influential moral theory in the history of philosophy is, arguably, a particularist moral theory. (shrink)
In this paper I assess the viability of a particularist explanation of moral knowledge. First, I consider two arguments by Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge that purport to show that a generalist, principle-based explanation of practical wisdom—understood as the ability to acquire moral knowledge in a wide range of situations—is superior to a particularist, non-principle-based account. I contend that both arguments are unsuccessful. Then, I propose a particularist-friendly explanation of knowledge of particular moral facts. I argue that when we are (...) careful to keep separate the various explanatory tasks at hand we can see that a particularist-friendly explanation of the fact that (e.g.,) Jane knows that A is morally right might not be so difficult to come by. Moreover, I suggest that a particularist approach to explaining knowledge of particular moral facts may go some way towards discharging the challenge of moral scepticism. (shrink)
What makes some acts morally right and others morally wrong? Traditionally, philosophers have thought that in order to answer this question we must find and formulate exceptionless moral principles—principles that capture all and only morally right actions. Utilitarianism and Kantianism are paradigmatic examples of such attempts. In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in a novel approach—Particularism—although its precise content is still a matter of controversy. In this paper I develop and motivate a new formulation of particularism (...) as a research program and I show that my formulation is not vulnerable to the most common objections to particularism. Moreover, I argue that the particularist research program shows enough promise to warrant further exploration. (shrink)
Monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about the structure of the best explanation of the rightness (wrongness) of actions. In this paper I argue that the availability of good moral advice gives us reason to prefer particularist theories and pluralist theories to monist theories. First, I identify two distinct roles of moral theorizing—explaining the rightness (wrongness) of actions, and providing moral advice—and I explain how these two roles are related. Next, I explain what monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about. Finally, I (...) argue that particularists and pluralists are better situated than monists to explain why it is a good idea to think before we act, and that this gives us reason to favor particularism and pluralism over monism. (shrink)
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 (...) from charges of human rights violations in the United Kingdom, it may find itself in need of a better defense against those citizens hesitant to be placed in harm's way, militarily and legally. At some point in the future it may find itself unable to field soldiers for whom service in the Occupied Territories is prohibited by inviolable secular or religious law. And for those who will continue to argue that they cannot abide service in an army of occupation, an expression sounded in 1968 by YeshayahuLeibowitz, the moral crisis of an individual conscience rent between obligations to the state and obligations to self, will linger along with the pain of a conscience nurtured and then rejected by this democratic society. (shrink)
Are toleration and pluralism possible in Jewish religion? -- Yeshayahu Leibovitz : the man against his thought -- Leibowitz and Camus : between faith and the absurd -- Jewish religion without theology -- The critique of theodicy : from metaphysics to praxis -- The Holocaust : a theological or a religious-existentialist problem? -- Tikkun Olam : between utopian idea and socio-historical process.
This article focuses on ethical concerns about modifying physical activities within a variety of education, recreation, rehabilitation and competition contexts. An ecological frame of reference common within current educational and rehabilitation theories is utilised for reflecting upon adapted physical activity practices. Ethical principles challenged in the article are (a) the utilitarian consequence to all participants; (b) professional paternalism; and (c) empowerment of individuals with a disability. Concerns arising with respect to these ethical principles in adapted physical activity practices are discussed (...) across modifications in terms of (i) the tasks involved; (ii) the environmental conditions; (iii) the equipment used; (iv) the game rules; and (v) the instruction methods. (shrink)
This article proposes a unified theory of the relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance (CFP). The theory provides a framework for rationalizing the various and contradictory findings in past empirical research. The theory is based on the parallels between the business and CSR domains, and thus draws on models from economics.
The Jewish Philosophy Reader is the first comprehensive anthology of classic writings on Jewish philosophy from the Bible to postmodernism. The Reader is clearly divided into four separate parts: Foundations and First Principles, Medieval and Renaissance Jewish Philosophy, Modern Jewish Thought, and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy. Each part is clearly introduced by the editors. The readings featured are representative writings of each era listed above and are from the following major thinkers: Abrabanel, Baeck, Bergman, Borowitz, Buber, Cohen, Crescas, Fackenheim, Geiger, Gersonides, (...) Goodman, Graetz, Halevi, Hartman, Heschel, Hess, Hirsch, Ibn Ezra, Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Paquda, Kellner, Kook, Krochmal, Leibowitz, Levinas, Maimonides, Maybaum, Mendelssohn, Novak, Philo, Plaskow, Rosenzweig, Saadia, Scholem, Seeskin, Soloveitchik, Spinoza, Strauss, Wolf, Zunz. (shrink)