Chapter

The Sources of Multiplicity

Daniel H. Weiss

in Paradox and the Prophets

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199895908
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949854 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895908.003.0003
The Sources of Multiplicity

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This chapter centers around a close reading of Cohen’s introduction to Religion of Reason. By looking at Cohen’s own account of his project, we can gain insight into the proper way to read the main body of his text. The chapter begins by assessing Cohen’s critique of the inductive method of historicism. It then examines Cohen’s account of the basic structure relating reason, philosophy, and religion. Though his attempt to uphold both philosophy and religion as distinct sub-realms within reason seems leads to an irremediable contradiction, he does not reject or deprioritize either of the two. Without resolving this contradiction, he turns to the classical Jewish literary sources—including the Bible, Talmud, and Midrash—in order to highlight a mode of reasoning that encompasses theoretical multiplicity while maintaining practical unity, thus anticipating his own methodological approach.

Keywords: reason; religion; philosophy; ethics; contradiction; historicism; Bible; Talmud; Midrash; multiplicity

Chapter.  13295 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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