In Defense of Religious Liberty contains David Novak’s vigorous—and paradoxical—argument that the primacy of divine law is the best foundation for a secular, multicultural democracy. Novak presents his claim, which will astound both liberal and conservative advocates of democracy, in political, philosophical, and theological terms. He shows how the universal norms of divine law are knowable as natural law, that they are the best formulations of the human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that (...) their assertion includes an explicit recognition of God as cosmic lawgiver. Furthermore, Novak maintains that the seemingly disparate ideas of divine command, natural law, and human rights can be integrated into one overall political theory. Novak reveals this integration at work in the classical texts of his own Jewish tradition, as well as in the canonical philosophical tradition of the West, from Plato to the Stoics to Grotius to Kant. He also convincingly makes the case that those who reject any legitimate role for religion in discussions of public morality inevitably substitute arbitrary human power for divine command, arbitrary positive law for natural law, and arbitrary governmental entitlements for human rights that exist prior to the establishment of the state. Novak concludes that religious traditions like Judaism, precisely because they incorporate the doctrines of God the cosmic lawgiver, natural law, and human rights, provide the most coherent ontological foundation for democracy in today’s world. (shrink)
Covenantal Rights is a groundbreaking work of political theory: a comprehensive, philosophically sophisticated attempt to bring insights from the Jewish political tradition into current political and legal debates about rights and to bring rights discourse more fully into Jewish thought. David Novak pursues these aims by presenting a theory of rights founded on the covenant between God and the Jewish people as that covenant is constituted by Scripture and the rabbinic tradition. In doing so, he presents a powerful challenge (...) to prevailing liberal and conservative positions on rights and duties and opens a new chapter in contemporary Jewish political thinking.For Novak, "covenantal rights" are rooted in God's primary rights as creator of the universe and as the elector of a particular community whose members relate to this God as their sovereign. The subsequent rights of individuals and communities flow from God's covenantal promises, which function as irrevocable entitlements. This presents a sharp contrast to the liberal tradition, in which rights flow above all from individuals. It also challenges the conservative idea that duties can take precedence over rights, since Novak argues that there are no covenantal duties that are not backed by correlative rights. Novak explains carefully and clearly how this theory of covenantal rights fits into Jewish tradition and applies to the relationships among God, the covenanted community, and individuals. This work is a profound and provocative contribution to contemporary religious and political theory. (shrink)
This book breaks new ground in the study of Judaism, in philosophy, and in comparative ethics. It demonstrates that the assumption that Judaism has no natural law theory to speak of, held by the vast majority of scholars, is simply wrong. The book shows how natural law theory, using a variety of different terms for itself throughout the ages, has been a constant element in Jewish thought. The book sorts out the varieties of Jewish natural law theory, illuminating their strengths (...) and weaknesses. It also presents a case for utilising natural law theory in order to deal with current theological and philosophical questions in Judaism's ongoing reflection on its own meaning and its meaning for the wider world. David Novak combines great erudition in the Jewish tradition, the history of philosophy and law, and the imagination to argue for Judaism in the context of current debates, both theoretical and practical. (shrink)
Leading contemporary Jewish thinker David Novak has here compiled ten of his essays on a variety of issues in Jewish ethics. Drawing constantly on classical Jewish tradition, Novak also looks at a wide range of modern critical scholarship on the ancient sources. He aims to point out certain common features of Jewish and Christian ethics and the normative implications of this overlapping of traditions; he assumes the reality of a "Judeo-Christian ethic," while refusing to minimize the doctrinal differences (...) between the two traditions. The essays address such major normative issues in social justice as ecology, war and peace, the treatment of minorities, and the approach to AIDS patients. This combination of theoretical reflection and practical application, along with careful and detailed analysis of classical Jewish texts, makes the book a welcome contribution to contemporary ethical theory and normative ethics as well as a work of original Jewish theology. (shrink)
This article originally appeared in The Commonweal (October 5, 1962): 31–3. Michael Novak, a graduate student at the time, met Marcel while he was at Harvard University to deliver the William James lectures in the fall of 1961. Those lectures were subsequently printed in the volume, The Existential Background ofHuman Dignity (1963). The article is reprinted here with the kind permission of Michael Novak and the Commonweal magazine.
Many studies written about the Jewish-Christian relationship are primarily historical overviews that focus on the Jewish background of Christianity, the separation of Christianity from Judiasm, or the medieval disputations between the two faiths. This book is one of the first studies to examine the relationship from a philosophical and theological viewpoint. Carefully drawing on Jewish classical sources, Novak argues that there is actual justification for the new relationship between Judaism and Christianity from within Jewish religious tradition. He demonstrates that (...) this new relationship is possible between religiously committed Jews and Christians without the two major impediments to dialogue: triumphalism and relativism. One of the very few books on this topic written by a Jewish theologian who speaks specifically to modern Christian concerns, it will provide the groundwork for a more serious development of Jewish-Christian dialogue in our day. (shrink)
This essay presents and analyzes the recent work of four prominent contemporary Jewish ethicists: Eugene Borowitz, David Novak, Byron Sherwin, and Walter Wurzburger. These authors are united in their affirmation of covenant as the central category of Jewish moral obligation and their concern to construct a Jewish ethic out of the classical sources of Judaism. Yet, as an individual analysis of their books will show, they adopt markedly different views of the authority of traditional Jewish law , the respective (...) roles of individual and community in moral deliberation, and the degree to which changing historical circumstances alter moral truths. (shrink)
Writing as a philosopher, not as a social scientist, the author takes a radically different approach to the study of criminality, asking not 'what are the causes of crime?' but 'what are the causes of virtue?' Novak concentrates on what builds character and why there is a serious lack of character in our culture and society today.
Lackey’s (2007) class of “selfless assertions” is controversial in at least two respects: it allows propositions that express Moorean absurdity to be asserted warrantedly, and it challenges the orthodox view that the speaker’s belief is a necessary condition for warranted assertibility. With regard to the former point, I critically examine Lackey’s broadly Gricean treatment of Moorean absurdity and McKinnon’s (2015) epistemic approach. With regard to the latter point, I defend the received view by supporting the knowledge account, on which knowledge (...) is the necessary condition for warranted assertion. After examining two defenses of KA, by Montminy and Turri, I propose two alternative approaches. Although I remain neutral between them, I develop in more detail the view which classifies “selfless assertions” as “presentations”, a type of assertives distinct from genuine assertions. This account is motivated further by allowing for the expansion of the normative approach to other assertives, a feature we may be interested in, in the light of a recent wave of normative accounts of speech acts. (shrink)
Institutional review board delays may hinder the successful completion of federally funded research in the U.S. military. When this happens, time-sensitive, mission-relevant questions go unanswered. Research participants face unnecessary burdens and risks if delays squeeze recruitment timelines, resulting in inadequate sample sizes for definitive analyses. More broadly, military members are exposed to untested or undertested interventions, implemented by well-intentioned leaders who bypass the research process altogether. To illustrate, we offer two case examples. We posit that IRB delays often appear in (...) the service of managing institutional risk, rather than protecting research participants. Regulators may see more risk associated with moving quickly than risk related to delay, choosing to err on the side of bureaucracy. The authors of this article, all of whom are military-funded researchers, government stakeholders, and/or human subject protection experts, offer feasible recommendations to improv... (shrink)
In this article I argue that Gilles Deleuze's reading of David Hume in his early work Empiricism and Subjectivity avoids the central claim made by speculative realists that all post-Kantian philosophy suffers from what they call correlationism. My claim is not that Deleuze's reading of Hume produces a non-correlationist ontology, but that it leads him to a non-ontological constructivist philosophy. In Deleuze's terms, this produces a transcendental empiricism of "thinking with AND, instead of thinking IS, instead of thinking for IS."1I (...) begin with a recap of the argument that Immanuel Kant understood Hume as an epistemological skeptic and that Kant's use of the transcendental deduction to respond to Hume led... (shrink)
This paper discusses how an understanding of Jung's psychological types is important for the relevance of Gilbert's multi-modal argumentation theory. Moreover, it highlights how the types have been confirmed by contemporary neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Based on Gilbert's approach, I extend multi-modal argumentation to the area of legal argumentation. It seems that when we leave behind the traditional fortress of “logical” legal argumentation, we "discover" alternate modes that have always been present, concealed in the theoretically underestimated rhetorical skills of arguers.
In virtue of what does a linguistic act count as an insult? I discuss five main approaches to this question, according to which an insult is determined by (i) the semantic properties of the expression used; (ii) the insulter, her intention, or attitudes; (iii) the addressee and her personal standard; (iv) the features of the speech act performed; and (v) the standard of the relevant social group. I endorse the last, objectivist account, according to which an act x counts as (...) an insult if and only if x is assessed as demeaning when addressed at A by the standard of the relevant social group at t. (shrink)
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, abstract art has formed a central stream of modern art. To attain purely aesthetic goals, many avant-garde artists turned painting in particular into a pursuit of breaking off the relations with natural forms. Instead of copying them, they have merely relied on their inner visions. When externalizing these visions directly on the canvas or sheets of paper, the practitioners of abstract art have inadvertently used the phenomenological method and its epoché. In this essay (...) I argue that the philosophies of Kupka and Husserl are largely compatible. This is not because the two use the same terminology, but because they virtually mean and do the same thing in their respective fields. Even where there are significant differences between them, these are not as great as it might at first seem. In the essay’s conclusion I sum up some of the most significant implications their compatible theories have for the philosophy of art and for various theories of art today. (shrink)
This volume re-examines some of the major themes at the intersection of traditional and contemporary metaphysics. The book uses as a point of departure Francisco Suárez’s _Metaphysical Disputations_ published in 1597. Minimalist metaphysics in empiricist/pragmatist clothing have today become mainstream in analytic philosophy. Independently of this development, the progress of scholarship in ancient and medieval philosophy makes clear that traditional forms of metaphysics have affinities with some of the streams in contemporary analytic metaphysics. The book brings together leading contemporary metaphysicians (...) to investigate the viability of a neo-Aristotelian metaphysics. (shrink)
This paper first reviews key Buddhist concepts of time anicca , khanavada and uji and then describes the way in which a particular form of Bhuddist meditation, vipassana, may be thought to actualize them in human experience. The chief aim of the paper is to present a heuristic model of how vipassana meditation, by eroding dispositional tendencies rooted in the body-unconscious alters psychological time, transforming our felt-experience of time from a binding to a liberating force.
In his 2001 book, With the Grain of the Universe, Stanley Hauerwas has made an extended case for Karl Barth as the model for how to do Christian ethics, and for Reinhold Niebuhr as the model for how not to do it. Though Barth's closer and deeper theological connection to the Christian tradition appeals to a Jewish traditionalist by analogy, nevertheless, Niebuhr's approach to social ethics, based as it is on a version of natural law, is of greater appeal. That (...) is because it is more philosophically arguable in a secular society and culture, and because it is more politically effective there. It is what made Niebuhr a more effective opponent of Nazism than was Barth. Also, Niebuhr's version of natural law is not a christianized version of Stoic natural law teaching but, rather, a profound use of the biblical prohibition of idolatry, having heretofore unnoticed affinities with rabbinic developments of that prohibition. (shrink)
The second volume of The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy provides a comprehensive overview of Jewish philosophy from the seventeenth century to the present day. Written by a distinguished group of experts in the field, its essays examine how Jewish thinking was modified in its encounter with modern Europe and America and challenge longstanding assumptions about the nature and purpose of modern Jewish philosophy. The volume also treats modern Jewish philosophy's continuities with premodern texts and thinkers, the relationship between philosophy (...) and theology, the ritual and political life of the people of Israel and the ways in which classic modern philosophical categories help or hinder Jewish self-articulation. These essays offer readers a multi-faceted understanding of the Jewish philosophical enterprise in the modern period. (shrink)
The paper offers a semantic and pragmatic analysis of statements of the form ‘x is beautiful’ as involving a double speech act: first, a report that x is beautiful relative to the speaker’s aesthetic standard, along the lines of naive contextualism; second, the speaker’s recommendation that her audience comes to share her appraisal of x as beautiful. We suggest that attributions of beauty tend to convey such a recommendation due to the role that aesthetic practices play in fostering and enhancing (...) interpersonal coordination. Aesthetic practices are driven by a disposition towards the attunement of attitudes and aesthetic recommendations contribute to forwarding such attunement. Our view is motivated by an attempt to satisfy the following set of desiderata: to account for the experiential nature of aesthetic judgments, disagreements in aesthetic debates, and the normative aspirations of aesthetic discourse, as well as to avoid appealing to error theory and realist ontological commitments. (shrink)
In this paper, we provide an overview of some of the results obtained in the mathematical theory of intermediate quantifiers that is part of fuzzy natural logic. We briefly introduce the mathematical formal system used, the general definition of intermediate quantifiers and define three specific ones, namely, “Almost all”, “Most” and “Many”. Using tools developed in FNL, we present a list of valid intermediate syllogisms and analyze a generalized 5-square of opposition.
An agent A blames B hypocritically for violating a moral norm N if and only if: A is likewise blameworthy for violating N, and A is not disposed to blame herself for violating N. Normally, an assertion involving blame is retracted following the objection that and hold. I discuss two prima facie explanations for such a withdrawal: that the objection hampers the speaker’s assertoric authority, rendering and the necessary condition to assert, and that the joint condition is, instead, merely a (...) regulative rule. Having shown that the former option is too revisory as it requires reformulation of all normative accounts of assertion on the table, and the latter false, I proceed to argue that and do not target assertions to begin with. An assertion involving blame is, instead, a clear case of a double speech act: after arguing for this claim, I proceed to show that qua assertion, the act is correct given one’s preferred normative account, whereas it is incorrect qua blaming, as in order to perform such an act, the speaker needs to satisfy the conditions and. (shrink)
An assertion is existentially known if and only if: (i) the speaker knows that the sentence she uses to make the assertion expresses a true proposition; (ii) she makes the assertion based on that knowledge; and (iii) she does not believe, have justification for, or know the proposition asserted. Accordingly, if existentially known assertions could be made correctly—as argued by Charlie Pelling in his ‘Assertion and the Provision of Knowledge’—this would show that the norm of assertion cannot be the speaker's (...) belief in, justification for or knowledge of the proposition. In this paper, I try to show that Pelling's argument is inconclusive, as it rests on two assumptions which can be resisted. In turn, I offer a pair of alternative strategies to explain how we can deal with existentially known assertions under the assumption that the speaker's knowledge is the norm of assertion. (shrink)
This paper is a contribution to the development of model theory of fuzzy logic in narrow sense. We consider a formal system EvŁ of fuzzy logic that has evaluated syntax, i. e. axioms need not be fully convincing and so, they form a fuzzy set only. Consequently, formulas are provable in some general degree. A generalization of Gödel's completeness theorem does hold in EvŁ. The truth values form an MV-algebra that is either finite or Łukasiewicz algebra on [0, 1].The classical (...) omitting types theorem states that given a formal theory T and a set Σ of formulas with the same free variables, we can construct a model of T which omits Σ, i. e. there is always a formula from Σ not true in it. In this paper, we generalize this theorem for EvŁ, that is, we prove that if T is a fuzzy theory and Σ forms a fuzzy set , then a model omitting Σ also exists. We will prove this theorem for two essential cases of EvŁ: either EvŁ has logical constants for all truth values, or it has these constants for truth values from [0, 1] ∩ ℚ only. (shrink)
Jewish ethics like Judaism itself has often been charged with being "particularistic," and in modernity it has been unfavorably compared with the universality of secular ethics. This charge has become acute philosophically when the comparison is made with the ethics of Kant. However, at this level, much of the ethical rejection of Jewish particularism, especially its being beholden to a God who is above the universe to whom this God prescribes moral norms and judges according to them, is also a (...) rejection of Christian (or any other monotheistic) ethics, no matter how otherwise universal. Yet this essay argues that Jewish ethics that prescribes norms for all humans, and that is knowable by all humans, actually constitutes a wider moral universe than does Kantian ethics, because it can include non-rational human objects and even non-human objects altogether. This essay also argues that a totally egalitarian moral universe, encompassing all human relations, becomes an infinite, totalizing universe, which can easily become the ideological justification (ratio essendi) of a totalitarian regime. (shrink)
Biographical novels about historical women artists have been experiencing a veritable boom in recent years. Written mostly by women, they can be understood as women authors’ attempts to reach out across time to other “artistic” women whose lives “speak to us” today. It has long been a key insight of historical fiction research that a historical novel reveals more about the time in which it was written than the time in which it is set. As such, it can be assumed (...) that contemporary novels about historical women speak as much to twenty-first-century conceptions of femininity as to particular historical moments of female subjectivity. This paper will compare two novels about historical women artists: Janice Galloway’s Clara about nineteenth-century German pianist Clara Wieck-Schumann and Priya Parmar’s Exit the Actress about Restoration actress Nell Gwyn. While based on historical facts, both these novels use the greater freedom of fiction to depart from biographical conventions. It will be demonstrated that although they resemble each other on the discourse level, employing shifts in the narrative perspective, conspicuous typography, and graphic elements, they differ markedly in the biographical and fictional subgenres in which they participate and, hence, in their gender politics. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to develop the many-valued first-order fuzzy logic. The set of its truth, values is supposed to be either a finite chain or the interval 0, 1 of reals. These are special cases of a residuated lattice L, , , , , 1, 0. It has been previously proved that the fuzzy propositional logic based on the same sets of truth values is semantically complete. In this paper the syntax and semantics of the first-order fuzzy logic (...) is developed. Except for the basic connectives and quantifiers, its language may contain also additional n-ary connectives and quantifiers. Many propositions analogous to those in the classical logic are proved. The notion of the fuzzy theory in the first-order fuzzy logic is introduced and its canonical model is constructed. Finally, the extensions of Gödel's completeness theorems are proved which confirm that the first-order fuzzy logic is also semantically complete. (shrink)
According to an “orthodox” reading proposed by Dummett and more recently endorsed by Lugg and Price, the later Wittgenstein rejects the idea of grouping together certain utterances as a single class of assertions. We offer an alternative commentary on the Philosophical Investigations §§21–24, developing what we call a Wittgensteinian role-based account of assertion. We then examine whether this role-based account can solve the problem of on-stage utterances. In the course of this, the merits of the account are shown and compared (...) to an alternative proposal offered by Searle. (shrink)