The Talmudist Enlightenment: Talmudic Judaism’s Confrontational Rational Theology
Robert Brandom's "The Pragmatist Enlightenment" describes the advent of American pragmatism as signaling a sea-change in our understanding of human reason away from the top-down Euclidian models of reasoning, warrant and knowledge inspired by the physical sciences, toward the far more bottom-up, narrative, inherently fallible and dialogical forms of reasoning of the life and human sciences. It is against this backdrop that Talmudic Judaism emerges not only as an early anticipation of the pragmatist enlightenment, but as going a substantial and radical step beyond it, that in the context of religious commitment and reasoning, is unprecedented.
Brandom, Robert B. 2000. Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.
—. 2004. “The Pragmatist Enlightenment (and its Problematic Semantics)”. European Journal of Philosophy 12, no. 1: 1–16. doi:10.1111/j.0966-8373.2004.00196.x.
Elkana, Yehuda. 1978. “Two-Tier-Thinking: Philosophical Realism and Historical Relativism”. Social Studies of Science 8, no. 3: 309–26.
Fisch, Menachem. 1997. Rational Rabbis, Science and Talmudic Culture. Bloomington IN: Indiana Univ. Press.
—. 2008. “Judaism, and the Religious Crisis of Modern Science”. In Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions: 1700-present, edited by Jitse M. van der Meer and Scott Mandelbrote, 525–67. Boston, MA: Brill.
—. 2013. “Science, Religion, and Rationality: A Neo-Hegelian Approach”. Toronto Journal of Theology 29, no. 2: 319–36. doi:10.3138/tjt.1942.
—. 2017. Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency. Chicago, IL: Univ. of Chicago Press.
—. 2017. “Deciding by Argument versus Proving by Miracle: The Myth-History of Talmudic Judaism’s Coming of Age”. Toronto Journal of Theology 33, no. S1: 103–27. doi:10.3138/tjt.33.suppl_1.103.
—. 2019. Covenant of Confrontation: A Study of Non-Submissive Religiosity in Rabbinic Literature (Hebrew). Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan Univ. Press.
Fisch, Menachem, and Yitzhak Benbaji. 2011. The View From Within: Normativity and the Limits of Self-Criticism. South Bend, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press.
Harrison, Peter. 1998. The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Howell, Kenneth J. 2002. God’s Two Books: Copernican Cosmology and Biblical Interpretation in Early Modern Science. South Bend, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press.
Menand, Louis. 2002. The Metaphysical Club: The Story of Ideas in America. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Rorty, Richard. 1989. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Schremer, Adiel. 2002. “Between Radical Interpretation and Explicit Rejection (Hebrew)”. In Renewing Jewish Commitment: The Work and Thought of David Hartman, edited by Avi Sagi and Zvi Sagi, 747–69. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad.
Weiss, Dov. 2017. Pious Irreverence: Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism, Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.