Research Group: The Reception and Impact of Aristotelian Logic in Medieval Jewish Culture

medieval jewish

[RG # 156]  The Reception and Impact of Aristotelian Logic in Medieval Jewish Culture

Sept. 1, 2018 - July 1, 2019

Charles Manekin (University of Maryland),
Yehuda Halper (Bar-Ilan University)

The purpose of the research group is to investigate: the reception, followed by the naturalization, of Aristotelian logic into medieval Jewish cultures in Europe; and the repercussions of the introduction of logic into the Jewish intellectual matrix in numerous other areas of Jewish thought, beyond the field of logic itself. The proposed group will bring together scholars from various corners of medieval intellectual history: two historians of logic (specializing in the history of logic in Hebrew and Arabic); historians of medieval science, medicine, and philosophy; and scholars who study medieval religious polemic and Biblical exegesis, with an emphasis on the use of logic therein. Among the questions to be considered will be: What was the place of logic in the overall transfer of rationalist philosophical/scientific culture to European Jews in the Middle Ages (12th-15th centuries)? How did the study of logic affect intellectual activity in various areas, including traditional Jewish subjects (e.g. religious polemics; medicine; biblical exegesis; Talmud study).

By highlighting the interdisciplinary importance of medieval logic in Hebrew, we anticipate that the impact of this group will extend beyond the history of medieval philosophy, into the fields of general European medieval culture and history, Christian intellectual history, history of philosophy and logic, history of medicine, kabbalah, etc. We hope to bring to the attention of scholars of Jewish intellectual history and historians of logic just how widespread the study of logic by Jews in the Middle Ages was, and how it impacted their other intellectual endeavors.



Gad Freudenthal

Gad Freudenthal


Gad Freudenthal is Senior Research Fellow Emeritus with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. He has written on the reception of science and philosophy in Jewish cultures, mainly in the Middle Ages and in the eighteenth century, and has focused his research on Greek philosophies of matter.

Joseph Stern

Joseph Stern

University of Chicago

Josef Stern is William H. Colvin Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago and was the Inaugural Director of the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies (2009-14).