German Idealism and the Jew: The Inner Anti-Semitism of - download pdf or read online

By Michael Mack

In German Idealism and the Jew, Michael Mack uncovers the deep roots of anti-Semitism within the German philosophical culture. whereas many have learn German anti-Semitism as a response opposed to Enlightenment philosophy, Mack as a substitute contends that the redefinition of the Jews as irrational, oriental Others varieties the very cornerstone of German idealism, together with Kant's belief of common reason.

Offering the 1st analytical account of the relationship among anti-Semitism and philosophy, Mack starts off his exploration by means of displaying how the basic thinkers within the German idealist tradition—Kant, Hegel, and, via them, Feuerbach and Wagner—argued that the human international may still practice and enact the guarantees held out by way of a belief of an otherworldly heaven. yet their respective philosophies all ran aground at the trust that the worldly proved incapable of reworking itself into this otherworldly perfect. To reconcile this incommensurability, Mack argues, philosophers created a development of Jews as symbolic of the "worldliness" that hindered the improvement of a physique politic and that served as a foil to Kantian autonomy and rationality.

In the second one half, Mack examines how Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Franz Rosenzweig, and Freud, between others, grappled with being either German and Jewish. each one philosopher accredited the philosophies of Kant and Hegel, in various levels, whereas at the same time critiquing anti-Semitism so as to enhance the trendy Jewish thought of what it intended to be enlightened—a idea that differed considerably from that of Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Wagner. via talking the unstated in German philosophy, this e-book profoundly reshapes our realizing of it.

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Extra resources for German Idealism and the Jew: The Inner Anti-Semitism of Philosophy and German Jewish Responses

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This question may be ad- KANT / 39 dressed by a brief discussion of the particular historical context in which Kant developed his moral philosophy. Attention to this discourse brings into focus the pseudotheology to which Kant referred in order to give content to his autonomy-heteronomy divide. Like many other philosophical systems, the Kantian autonomy-heteronomy divide at one level constitutes a purely formal aspect of his architectonic. Yet at another, more unarticulated level, Kant exemplified this universal formality with reference to a particular historical and religious context.

In Rotenstreich’s interpretation, on the other hand, historical issues do not receive sufficient attention, and consequently he does not accurately analyze the role of Judaism in Hegel as the opposite of modernity understood as secularized Christianity.

Rather, it belonged to the sphere of human self-consciousness. On the epistemological level, which determines the moral one, heteronomy therefore amounts to selfdeception. Within this epistemological and sociopolitical context, Kant targeted the Jew as the embodiment of the heteronomous. As the manifestation of heteronomy, the Jew was not only the opposite of the Christian, who was defined in terms of autonomous reason. More important, he also represented the stranger in a Kantian civil society, whose very laws presupposed an autonomous state of indetermination by objects of empirical reality (see below).

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