Philosophy

The enfant terrible of post-war international Jewish philosophy is probably the best way to describe Jacob Taubes. Admired and sought after by all his contemporaries, Taubes embodies a figure that is repeated in the history of thought: that of the genius without work. But Taubes does not exactly fit this image. For throughout his life, rather than a work, the genius left… a mixed impression. Scholem even hid in obscure corners when he was likely to come across him by chance, while others, not least, were eager to get to know him, even to support him. It is of this strange Mr. Taubes that Jerry Z. Muller has just written a major biography:’ Professor of Apocalypse. The many lives of Jacob Taubes’. For K. Mitchell Abidor offers a review that plunges us into the wild life of a character oscillating between Shlemiel and false messiah.

The concept of “metaphysical antisemitism” was first used by Bernard Lazarus – notably to explain the sophisticated antisemitism of intellectuals and philosophers – before being used by Gershom Scholem and Hans Jonas to identify Heidegger’s antisemitism. It implies the conception of an alienated reality, within which the Jew and the Jewish worldview are fundamentally at fault.

Hannah Arendt is one of the major intellectual figures of the 20th century. A volume of the prestigious ‘Cahiers de l’Herne’ devoted to Arendt has just been published in French.  The volume introduces the French public to writings that had not been published in their language and invites all of us to discover new facets of Hannah Arendt, political theorist, committed thinker of her time, and Jewish intellectual. Avishag Zafrani, for K and Akadem, spoke with the philosophers Martine Leibovici and Aurore Mréjen who edited this publication. They discuss Arendt’s links with Heidegger, her reflections on political anti-Semitism, her relationship to Zionism…

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