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Samuel Lebens [22]Samuel R. Lebens [2]
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Samuel Lebens
University of Haifa
  1. Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: A History and Defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement.Samuel Lebens - 2017 - New York: Routledge.
    Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions offers the first book-length defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (MRTJ). Although the theory was much maligned by Wittgenstein and ultimately rejected by Russell himself, Lebens shows that it provides a rich and insightful way to understand the nature of propositional content. In Part I, Lebens charts the trajectory of Russell’s thought before he adopted the MRTJ. Part II reviews the historical story of the theory: What led Russell to deny the (...)
     
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  2.  93
    The Promise of a New Past.Samuel Lebens & Tyron Goldschmidt - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17:1-25.
    In light of Jewish tradition and the metaphysics of time, we argue that God can and will change the past. The argument makes for a new answer to the problem of evil and a new theory of atonement.
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  3.  55
    God and His Imaginary Friends: A Hassidic Metaphysics.Samuel Lebens - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (2):183-204.
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  4.  34
    Divine Contractions: Theism Gives Birth to Idealism.Tyron Goldschmidt & Samuel Lebens - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    The first part of the paper presents three little arguments from theism to idealism. The second part employs these arguments to make sense of a puzzling doctrine of Jewish mysticism: the doctrine of divine contraction (heb. tzimtzum).
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  5.  32
    Pascal, Pascalberg, and Friends.Samuel Lebens - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87 (1):109-130.
    Pascal’s wager has to face the many gods objection. The wager goes wrong when it asks us to chose between Christianity and atheism, as if there are no other options. Some have argued that we’re entitled to dismiss exotic, bizarre, or subjectively unappealing religions from the scope of the wager. But they have provided no satisfying justification for such a radical wager-saving dispensation. This paper fills that dialectical gap. It argues that some agents are blameless or even praiseworthy for ignoring (...)
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  6.  91
    The Epistemology of Religiosity: An Orthodox Jewish Perspective.Samuel Lebens - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (3):315-332.
    This paper focusses on the Rabbinic suggestion that the attitude of awe, rather than any particular belief, lies at the heart of religiosity. On the basis of these Rabbinic sources, and others, the paper puts forward three theses: (1) that belief is not a sufficiently absorbing epistemic attitude to bear towards the truths of religion; (2) that much of our religious knowledge isn’t mediated via belief; and (3) that make-believe is sometimes more important, in the cultivation of religiosity than is (...)
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  7.  12
    Dormant Dispositions, Agent Value, and the Trinity.Samuel R. Lebens & Dale Tuggy - 2019 - Journal of Analytic Theology 7 (1):142-155.
    In this paper we argue that the moral value of an agent is determined solely by their dispositions to act intentionally and freely. We then put this conclusion to work. It resolves a putative moral paradox first posed by Saul Smilansky, and it undermines a prominent line of argument for a variety of Trinitarian theology. Finally, we derive our conclusion about the moral worth of agents not only from our initial series of thought experiments, but also from Abrahamic theism itself. (...)
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  8. Jewish Philosophy in an Analytic Age.Samuel Lebens, Dani Rabinowitz & Aaron Segal (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
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  9.  66
    Would This Paper Exist If I Hadn’T Written It?Samuel Lebens - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):3059-3080.
    This paper wants to know whether it would exist, or could exist, in worlds in which I didn't write it. Before we can answer this question, we first of all have to inquire as to what, exactly, this paper is. After exploring two forms of Platonism, and a theory that defines literary works in terms of events, I shall argue that the term ‘this paper’ is actually infected with ambiguity. Does this paper need me? It depends upon what you mean (...)
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  10.  86
    Why so Negative About Negative Theology? The Search for a Plantinga-Proof Apophaticism.Samuel R. Lebens - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (3):259-275.
    In his warranted christian belief, Alvin Plantinga launches a forceful attack on apophaticism, the view that God is in some sense or other beyond description. This paper explores his attack before searching for a Plantinga-proof formulation of apophaticism.
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  11.  31
    Russell and Bradley: Rehabilitating the Creation Narrative of Analytic Philosophy.Samuel Lebens - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (7).
    According to Stewart Candlish, Russell and Moore had misunderstood F. H. Bradley’s monism. According to Jonathan Schaffer, they had misunderstood monism more generally. A key thread of the creation narrative of analytic philosophy, according to which Russell and Moore successfully undermined monism to give rise to a new movement is, therefore, in doubt. In this paper, I defend the standard narrative against those who seek to revise it.
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  12.  21
    The Life of Faith as a Work of Art: A Rabbinic Theology of Faith.Samuel Lebens - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):61-81.
    This paper argues that God, despite his Perfection, can have faith in us. The paper includes exegesis of various Midrasihc texts, so as to understand the Rabbinic claim that God manifested faith in creating the world. After the exegesis, the paper goes on to provide philosophical motivation for thinking that the Rabbinic claim is consistent with Perfect Being Theology, and consistent with a proper analysis of the nature of faith. Finally, the paper attempts to tie the virtue that faith can (...)
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  13.  19
    The Ashes of Isaac and the Nature of Jewish Philosophy.Samuel Lebens - 2017 - Journal of Analytic Theology 5:500-514.
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  14.  2
    Hebrew Philosophy or Jewish Theology? A False Dichotomy.Samuel Lebens - 2014 - Journal of Analytic Theology 2:250-260.
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  15.  46
    A Substantive Non-Solution To The Problem Of Unity.Samuel Lebens - 2008 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 4:16.
    Russell is commonly accused of failing to solve Bradley’s problem of unity. In this paper I argue that the problem doesn’t really pose a distinctively philosophical question; that Russell’s account of unity exposes the problem as unworthy of an answer. I accept that this isn’t a solution, but it does constitute a substantive solution! Furthermore, some scholars have read in Russell’s writings a confession of guilt to the effect that he was defeated by the problem of unity: this, I argue, (...)
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  16.  40
    An Advertisement of a Promise: God and the Hyper-Past.Tyron Goldschmidt & Samuel Lebens - 2017 - Journal of Analytic Theology 5:629-636.
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  17.  15
    Is There a Primordial Torah?Samuel Lebens - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 82 (2):219-239.
    Is Orthodox Judaism committed to the existence of a Torah that pre-existed the world? This paper argues that Orthodoxy is so committed unless it can find compelling philosophical or theological reasons to reject the possibility of such an entity, and then to re-interpret allegorically all of the texts that speak of such a Torah. Providing an ontology of primordial texts, I argue that no compelling reason can be found to deny the existence of the primordial Torah.
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  18.  5
    Missing, Presumed Not Dead.Samuel Lebens - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (3):1043-1050.
    In this paper, I argue that if we have reason to believe that an immaterial soul exists, then it should be presumed to be immortal. The conclusion is weaker than Socrates’ conclusion that immaterial souls must be immortal, but the argument is stronger, I claim, for having this weaker conclusion. Moreover, a presumption of immortality is significant in its own right.
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  19. Nothing Else.Samuel Lebens - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (2):91-110.
    "Jewish Nothing-elsism" is the school of thought according to which there is nothing else besides God. This school is sometimes and erroneously interpreted as pantheistic or acosmic. In this paper I argue that Jewish Nothing-elsism is better interpreted as a form of “panentheistic priority holism”, and still better interpreted as a form of “idealistic priority monism”. On this final interpretation, Jewish Nothing-elsism is neither pantheist, panentheist, nor acosmic. Jewish Nothing-elsism is Hassidic idealism, and nothing else. Moreover, I argue that Jewish (...)
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  20.  15
    On the Genealogy of Universals: The Metaphysical Origins of Analytic Philosophy. [REVIEW]Samuel Lebens - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):877-880.
    On the Genealogy of Universals: The Metaphysical Origins of Analytic Philosophy. By Macbride Fraser.
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  21.  3
    Proselytism as Epistemic Violence: A Jewish Approach to the Ethics of Religious Persuasion.Samuel Lebens - 2021 - The Monist 104 (3):376-392.
    The purpose of this paper is two-fold: to provide a philosophical justification for the counterintuitive attitude that Judaism seems to have towards proselytism; and to extend the case so as to create a general argument, applicable to all religions, against many forms of proselytism.
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  22. Revelation Through Concealment: Kabbalistic Responses to God’s Hiddenness.Samuel Lebens - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (2):89-108.
    John Schellenberg presents an argument for atheism according to which theism would be easy to believe, if true. Since theism isn’t easy to believe, it must be false. In this paper, I argue that Kabbalistic Judaism has the resources to bypass this argument completely. The paper also explores a stream of Kabbalistic advice that the tradition offers to people of faith for those times at which God appears to us to be hidden.
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  23.  9
    The Unlikely Comeback of Pascal’s Wager: on the Instability of Secular Post-Modernism.Samuel Lebens & Daniel Statman - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-12.
    Pascal’s wager faces serious criticisms and is generally considered unconvincing. We argue that it can make a comeback powered by an unlikely ally: postmodernism. If one denies the existence of objective facts, then various non-theological considerations should come to the fore when considering the rationality of religious commitment and the choice of education for one’s children. In fact, we shall argue that, if one genuinely cares about one’s children, then – in many Western countries – one cannot consistently be both (...)
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  24.  10
    Will I get a job? Contextualism, belief, and faith.Samuel Lebens - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Does faith require belief? “Belief-plus” accounts of faith say yes. “Non-doxastic” accounts say no but tend to place a “no-disbelief constraint” on faith. Both sides, I argue, are mistaken for making belief explanatorily prior to faith. Indeed, both “faith” and “belief” have contextualist semantics, which leaves only a tenuous tie between the applications of the two words.
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