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Philosophy

Ayn Rand delivers manuscript of "The Fountainhead" to her publisher

December 31, 1942

Ayn Rand, celebrated novelist and creator of Objectivism, delivered the completed manuscript of her novel "The Fountainhead" to her publisher.

Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem" appears in "The New Yorker"

February 16, 1963

The first of the articles that, in expanded form, would become "Eichmann in Jerusalem," Hannah Arendt's most controversial work, was published in "The New Yorker."

Susan Sontag

In her essays, or "case-studies," examining art and the "modern sensibility," Susan Sontag covered topics from photography to illness to fascism. One of the most widely read cultural critics of her generation, she was a lightning rod for both praise and vilification.

Sabbateanism

Uniquely in the history of rabbinic Judaism, which exempted women from much of its formal cult, and which generally barred them from all positions of public office and authority, Sabbateanism displayed a particular interest in women and was especially attractive to them from the outset.

Ayn Rand

The life and work of Ayn Rand, the novelist and philosopher who promoted an ethics called “Objectivism,” provide ample evidence for those who believe that human beings are inherently self-contradictory and illogical.

Judith Jarvis Thomson

In her thirty-five-year career as a philosopher, Judith Jarvis Thomson has published important papers in ethics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of law, including the widely anthologized essays “A Defense of Abortion” (1971) and “The Trolley Problem” (1985), both of which apply the techniques of analytic philosophy to questions of morality.

Ruth Barcan Marcus

A logician and philosopher who made pioneering contributions to modal logic and metaphysics, Ruth Barcan Marcus has for almost fifty years been a key figure in philosophical debates. Early in her career, she proposed the widely discussed Barcan formula, a postulate in quantified modal logic. Her later work includes influential papers in the philosophy of logic and language, epistemology, and ethics. A widely lauded collection of her essays, Modalities, was published in 1993.

Tehilla Lichtenstein

In 1951, the New York–based Society of Jewish Science published a small pamphlet entitled “What to Tell your Friends About Jewish Science.” Written by the society’s leader, Tehilla Lichtenstein, the pamphlet sought to clarify the differences between the religions of Jewish Science and Christian Science. Portraying Christian Science as the outgrowth of a Christian philosophy of denial, Lichtenstein defined Jewish Science as the positive application of Jewish teachings to everyday life. She elaborated on this idea in over five hundred sermons delivered between 1938 and 1972, becoming the first Jewish American woman to serve as the spiritual leader of an ongoing Jewish congregation. While the society, which continues to exist, never sought formal affiliation with any of American Judaism’s major religious movements, it retains strong historical and theological ties to classical Reform Judaism.

Sarah Kofman

The Holocaust, the study of philosophy and the undergoing of analysis—all three profoundly marked the course of Sarah Kofman’s life and are what link the texts that she authored. Thus one cannot adequately summarize Kofman’s texts and intellectual positions without invoking her biography. Yet she repeatedly denied that her autobiography could be found anywhere other than in her most impressive bibliography.

Margarete Kahn

Margarete Kahn was a student of the great mathematician David Hilbert (1862–1943), who decisively influenced the development of mathematics around the turn of the century. Of his sixty-nine doctoral students, six were women—four foreigners and two German-born Jewish women. Both the latter wrote their doctoral theses on topology and worked on Problem sixteen of the famous Twenty-three Mathematical Problems presented by Hilbert in a lecture he delivered in 1900 at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Philosophy." (Viewed on December 12, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/philosophy>.

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