The paradoxical intellectualism of Gershom Scholem

Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) is widely known as the founder of the academic study of Jewish mysticism or Kabbalah. In the nearly thirty-five years since his death, Scholem’s star has continue to
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Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) is widely known as the founder of the academic study of Jewish mysticism or Kabbalah. In the nearly thirty-five years since his death, Scholem’s star has continued to shine brightly in the intellectual firmament and perhaps even more brightly now than in his lifetime. This year alone, two books about Scholem are appearing in English, with a third scheduled for next year, and several more in the pipeline. What accounts for this growing fascination with a figure whose field of research was highly esoteric, and inaccessible to those without specialized knowledge? The answer to this question is both sociological and intellectual. Scholem occupied an unusual place among German intellectuals of the twentieth century. A committed Zionist, he left Germany for Palestine in 1923. But, from a cultural point of view, he never really left. He continued throughout his long career to write and publish in German. When Hitler came to power and a flood of German Jewish. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

<strong>Thoreau</strong> comes down to us as an earnest man committed to worthy causes. We do him a disservice when we fail to get his jokes

Thoreau comes down to us as an earnest man committed to worthy causes. We do him a disservice when we fail to get his
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Thoreau comes down to us as an earnest man committed to worthy causes. We do him a disservice when we fail to get his jokes

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Marx's disciples praise his conviction and his bold proclamations. In reality, however, he was a doubter, a rethinker, a worrier &mdash; the <strong>first post-Marxist</strong>

Marx&#39;s disciples praise his conviction and his bold proclamations. In reality, however, he was a doubter, a rethinker, a worrier &amp;mdash; the first
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Marx's disciples praise his conviction and his bold proclamations. In reality, however, he was a doubter, a rethinker, a worrier — the first post-Marxist

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

For Schlegel, Tzara, and Schiller, art was by definition incomprehensible. Case in point: the <strong>Voynich Manuscript</strong>, which is quite possibly nonsense

For Schlegel, Tzara, and Schiller, art was by definition incomprehensible. Case in point: the Voynich Manuscript, which is quite possibly
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For Schlegel, Tzara, and Schiller, art was by definition incomprehensible. Case in point: the Voynich Manuscript, which is quite possibly nonsense

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Democritus

[Revised entry by Sylvia Berryman on December 2, 2016. Changes to: Main text] Democritus, known in antiquity as the &#39;laughing philosopher&#39; because of his emphasis on the value of &#39;cheerfulness,&#39;
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[Revised entry by Sylvia Berryman on December 2, 2016. Changes to: Main text] Democritus, known in antiquity as the 'laughing philosopher' because of his emphasis on the value of 'cheerfulness,' was one of the two founders of ancient atomist theory. He elaborated a system originated by his teacher Leucippus into a materialist account of the natural world. The atomists held that there are smallest indivisible bodies from which everything else is composed, and that these move about in an infinite...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Leucippus

[Revised entry by Sylvia Berryman on December 2, 2016. Changes to: Bibliography] The Greek tradition regarded Leucippus as the founder of atomism in ancient Greek philosophy. Little is known about
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[Revised entry by Sylvia Berryman on December 2, 2016. Changes to: Bibliography] The Greek tradition regarded Leucippus as the founder of atomism in ancient Greek philosophy. Little is known about him, and his views are hard to distinguish from those of his associate Democritus. He is sometimes said to have been a student of Zeno of Elea, and to have devised the atomist philosophy in order to escape from the problems raised by Parmenides and his followers....

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The poet <strong>Delmore Schwartz</strong> bounced between the academy and his East Village haunts. Posthumously, he hovers between canonization and obscurity

The poet Delmore Schwartz bounced between the academy and his East Village haunts. Posthumously, he hovers between canonization and
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The poet Delmore Schwartz bounced between the academy and his East Village haunts. Posthumously, he hovers between canonization and obscurity

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News source: Arts & Letters Daily

Fake News I: Critical Thinking

Embed from Getty Images While fake news presumably dates to the origin of news, the 2016 United States presidential election saw a huge surge in the volume of fakery. While some of it arose from
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Embed from Getty Images While fake news presumably dates to the origin of news, the 2016 United States presidential election saw a huge surge in the volume of fakery. While some of it arose from partisan maneuvering, the majority seems to have been driven by the profit motive: fake news drives revenue generating clicks. While the motive might have been money, there has been serious speculation that the fake news (especially on Facebook) helped Trump win the election. While those who backed Trump would presumably be pleased by this outcome, the plague of fake news should be worrisome to anyone who values the truth, regardless of their political ideology. After all, fake news could presumably be just as helpful to the left as the right. In any case, fake news is clearly damaging in regards to the truth and is worth combating. While it is often claimed that most people simply do not have the time to be informed about the world, if someone has the time to read fake news, then they. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

Virtual Colloquium: Luis Oliveira, “Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil”

Today’s Virtual Colloquium paper is “Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil” by Luis Oliveira. Dr. Oliveira recently received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is now a
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Today’s Virtual Colloquium paper is “Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil” by Luis Oliveira. Dr. Oliveira recently received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is now a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His papers have appeared in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and Pacific [...]

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News source: The Prosblogion

Virtual Colloquium: Luis Oliviera, “Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil”

Today’s Virtual Colloquium paper is “Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil” by Luis Oliveira. Dr. Oliveira recently received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is now a
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Today’s Virtual Colloquium paper is “Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil” by Luis Oliveira. Dr. Oliveira recently received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is now a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His papers have appeared in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and Pacific [...]

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News source: The Prosblogion