This introductory chapter first considers the concept of human nature, raising questions such as how human nature and nature as such are related, and how are both related to person. It then turns to what the Jewish tradition says about human nature. It sets out the book's focus, namely a dialogue between contemporary perspectives and traditional Jewish thoughts on human nature. Both sides have something to gain from the dialogue; both have something to lose from shunning it. Judaism risks intellectual irrelevance by failing to engage with the challenges of contemporary thought. Contemporary thought risks attenuating its moral seriousness if it ignores one of the sources of Western civilization. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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