Call for Papers: Sociality in Modern Jewish Philosophy and German Idealism
Workshop at Yale University (online*), May 2021
Conference organizers: Shira Billet and Paul Franks
We seek papers on all forms of sociality and relationality (including but not limited to intersubjectivity) and their philosophical uses (epistemological, ontological, ethical, political) in both German Idealism and modern Jewish thought into the twenty-first century. We are especially interested in papers that put the fields into conversation with one another, but we also welcome papers that either focus exclusively on German Idealism or on modern Jewish philosophy. Panels will be constructed to facilitate productive conversations across both fields.
The year 2021 stands at the midpoint of several centenary years of groundbreaking works of modern Jewish philosophy that marked the moment when the intersubjective relationship between the self and the other and its parallel divine-human relationship, arguably the centerpiece of twentieth-century Jewish philosophy, first emerged in that field, with Cohen’s Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism (1919), Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption (1921), and Buber’s I and Thou (1923). The year 2021 is thus an ideal moment to reexamine that tradition.
In one prominent narrative, the intersubjective turn in Jewish philosophy was a novum in modern theological, ethical, and philosophical thought. Post-Holocaust developments of this tradition, responding to the century’s horrors, furthered the notion of a break with the philosophical past. However, although intersubjectivity and sociality were put to new epistemological, theological and ethical uses in twentieth-century Jewish thought, there is a significantly underappreciated debt to the philosophical tradition of German Idealism and its philosophical uses of social concepts, most famously in the philosophical accounts of reciprocal recognition developed by Fichte and Hegel, and also in a broader turn to sociality evident throughout the German Idealism tradition. We seek to highlight and examine the philosophical debt and the philosophical critique, in order to better understand the provenance of a central tradition of modern Jewish philosophy, and to better understand the continued legacy of German Idealism in contemporary thought. We also seek to expand the discussion of sociality in both modern Jewish philosophy and German Idealism beyond intersubjectivity alone, to consider philosophical uses of other forms of sociality and relationality, whether complementary to the concerns of intersubjectivity, or in profound tension with them.
We seek to generate a productive exchange among scholars of modern Jewish philosophy and scholars of German Idealism on the philosophical uses of social concepts in both fields and their various implications, and to consider the relationship between them.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Michelle Kosch (Cornell University) and Michael L. Morgan (Indiana University)
*Conference venue: Online (Zoom or another better-suited online conference forum), with scheduling times that enable participation from several time zones to accommodate an international cohort of scholars. Due to the emerging nature of the technology as well as the wisdom regarding best practices for effective online conferences, we will communicate exact details to conference participants, over the coming months, regarding dates and times (in May 2021).
To propose a paper, please send a 300 word abstract and a C.V. to firstname.lastname@example.org
by August 31, 2020.
Contact: Shira Billet (Postdoctoral Associate in Jewish Thought, Yale University)
Contact email: email@example.com