Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life (Hardcover)
Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein (Helen and Martin Schwartz Lectures in Jewish Studies)
Indiana University Press, 9780253351333, 121pp.
Publication Date: February 19, 2008
Distinguished philosopher Hilary Putnam, who is also a practicing Jew, questions the thought of three major Jewish philosophers of the 20th century--Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas--to help him reconcile the philosophical and religious sides of his life. An additional presence in the book is Ludwig Wittgenstein, who, although not a practicing Jew, thought about religion in ways that Putnam juxtaposes to the views of Rosenzweig, Buber, and Levinas. Putnam explains the leading ideas of each of these great thinkers, bringing out what, in his opinion, constitutes the decisive intellectual and spiritual contributions of each of them. Although the religion discussed is Judaism, the depth and originality of these philosophers, as incisively interpreted by Putnam, make their thought nothing less than a guide to life.