Jews, 1931: Wittgenstein’s Marginalia on Jews, Jewishness, and “Reproductive” Jewish Thought

On Wittgenstein & Jewish Thought by Menachem Feuer.

Schlemiel Theory

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Some of the most interesting things that come out of our lives can be found in the margins. Freud – like a good detective – took marginalia seriously. An occasional or out-of-the-ordinary slip can disclose a lot more than a narrative. In fact, the hidden secret of a narrative can be found by way of focusing in on these small things in the margins.  Writing, like a microscope, can reveal these small things; reading can amplify them.   You and I can get a whiff of what Wittgenstein* thought about what it means to be a Jewish thinker.

Reading Ludwig Wittgenstein’s marginalia from 1914 to 1950 – collected under the title Culture and Value – I was surprised to find a series of telling ontological reflections about Jews, Jewishness, and Jewish thought. Wittgenstein had a Jewish parent, and, as David Stern notes in his essay “Was Wittgenstein a Jew?” Wittgenstein…

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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One Response to Jews, 1931: Wittgenstein’s Marginalia on Jews, Jewishness, and “Reproductive” Jewish Thought

  1. ej says:

    Ranjit Chaterjee devoted many years to this question which finally resulted in an interesting book on the topic. A review can be found here:
    https://philosophynow.org/issues/56/Wittgenstein_and_Judaism_by_Ranjit_Chatterjee

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