(Freedom) Jewish Philosophy (Photographic) Place (Vilém Flusser)


I’m finishing up with Vilém Flusser’s Towards a Philosophy of Photography but wanted to add this bit of self-reflection. “Jewish Philosophy Place” is a photographic place. When I first started thinking about the blog I realized that I was not going to do it without pictures and photographs. JPP is both composed of little ad hoc picture-thoughts, while subsisting in a larger photographic universe. As per Flusser, the whole thing is built upon the interface between image, apparatus, program, and information in relation to the possibility of human freedom. For Flusser in his philosophy of photography, this freedom is the freedom to play against the camera (pp.80, 81). In contrast, the freedom I want for Jewish philosophy is the ability to play with the camera in order to play it, the camera or the image, against the apparatus and program of Jewish philosophy, i.e. the canon of texts and ideas that have defined Jewish philosophy hitherto. I would like to think that one might recognize in this what Rosenzweig called, in his essay “The Builders,” the transition from “path” into “pathlessness.”

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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