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The Jew as a Parable / יהודים כמשל

יובל לוריא and Yuval Lurie
Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly / עיון: רבעון פילוסופי
כרך ל"ז‎, חוברת ב‎ (ניסן תשמ"ח), pp. 95-127
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23349923
Page Count: 33
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The Jew as a Parable / יהודים כמשל
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Abstract

There are numerous remarks in Culture and Value in which Wittgenstein writes about Jews and about what he describes as their Jewish mind. His aim in these remarks is to draw a distinction between two different spiritual forces operating in Western culture. On one side of the divide he posits a force which is driven by intellect and which he claims is typical of Jews. On the other side, he posits a spiritual force which is more fundamental and which, he claims, is typical of non-Jews. The latter force is the spiritual basis for the emergence of culture and is said to be found in men of genius. The former force is what turns a culture into a civilization and is said to be found in talented men. This distinction results from his mixing Spengler's views about the nature of spirit and culture with Weininger's views about the nature of Jews and character. Due to philosophical considerations regarding the concept of family resemblance and political events in the early thirties, Wittgenstein abandoned all reference to Jews in his subsequent remarks. However, he never abandoned the view which he had earlier expressed thereby.

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