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AI12 Ashkenazi Intellectualism II : Judaism of Ideas

As distinct from the Ideas of Judaism (AI101), this course on the Judaism of Ideas focuses on the application of the “human intellect alone” or “reason alone” to all the questions that preoccupied Ashkenazi minds beyond Judaism. This includes fields of inquiry such as economics to which Jews like David Ricardo, Karl Marx, and Milton Friedman made lasting contributions; psychology, which originated with Sigmund Freud and his circle of Viennese physicians; sociology, which was spearheaded by Emile Durkheim and his circle of French sociologists. The “heretical” thinking of Spinoza also belongs here. Also the non-Jewish modes of thinking inspired by Jewish ideas and facts, such as Levinas’s phenomenological ethics or Arendt’s analysis of totalitarianism.

Course Specifications
Type: Compulsory
Lesson type: Lecture
Hours: 28 (5 credits)
Requirement: 1 essay
Instructor: TBA
Status: The course will be available in the future.
Course Readings2
Patai Raphael, The Jewish Mind (Scribner, 1977)
Gay Peter, Freud, Jews and Other Germans: Masters and Victims in Modernist Culture (Oxford, 1978)