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Human Nature & Jewish ThoughtJudaism's Case for Why Persons Matter$
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Alan L. Mittleman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176277

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176277.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

Persons in a World of Things

Persons in a World of Things

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 Persons in a World of Things
Source:
Human Nature & Jewish Thought
Author(s):

Alan L. Mittleman

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691176277.003.0002

This chapter focuses on the reality of persons in a world of things. It begins and ends with some relevant views drawn from the Jewish philosophers Buber (1878–1965), Heschel (1907–72), and Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–93). Framed by the Jewish concerns, it turns to a philosophical exploration of human personhood. The chapter begins by consiering Sellars's classic essay on the scientific and manifest images of “man-in-the-world.” Sellars shows how urgent and difficult it is to sustain a recognizable image of ourselves as persons in the face of scientism. With additional help from Nagel and Kant, it argues that persons cannot be conceptually scanted in a world of things. Notwithstanding the explanatory power of science, there is more to life than explanation. Explanation of what we are needs supplementing by a conception of who we are, how we should live, and why we matter. Those are questions to which Jewish sources can speak.

Keywords:   human nature, Jewish philosophy, Jewish philosophers, Buber, Heschel, Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Sellars

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