Jewish Philosophy: A Personal Account

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Hava Tirosh-Samuelson


This essay relates my life story as a Jewish philosopher who was born and raised in Israel but whose academic career has taken place in the United States. The essay explains how I developed my approach to Jewish philosophy as intellectual history, viewing philosophy as cultural practice. My research evolved over time from preoccupation with medieval and early-modern Jewish philosophy and mysticism to contemporary concerns of feminism, environmentalism, and transhumanism. Through a personal life story, the essay makes the case for doing philosophy in a contextual, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary way, integrating the desire for universality and the commitment for differentiated particularity. Jewish philosophy offers a viable model for the intellectual challenges facing all people in the twenty-first century.

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How to Cite
Tirosh-Samuelson, H. (2018). Jewish Philosophy: A Personal Account. Journal of World Philosophies, 3(2), 98-104. Retrieved from
Philosophical Journeys
Author Biography

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson (PhD Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1978) is a Regents’ Professor of History, Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism, and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Arizona State University. An intellectual historian by training, she writes on Jewish philosophy and mysticism, religion, science and technology, religion and ecology, and feminist philosophy. She is the author-editor of thirty books and over fifty articles. Among her books are the award-winning Between World: The Life and Thought of David ben Judah Messer Leon (1991), Happiness in Premodern Judaism (2003), Judaism and Ecology: Created World and Revealed Word (2003), Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy (2004), The Legacy of Hans Jonas: Judaism and the Phenomenon of Life (2008), Building Better Humans? Refocusing the Debate on Transhumanism (2012), Perfecting Human Futures; Transhumanist Vision and Technological Imaginations (2016), and The Future of Jewish Philosophy (2018). Tirosh-Samuelson is the editor-in-chief of the Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers (2013-2018), a set of twenty-one volumes.