Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Between Autonomy and Hetronomy

Prof Aharon Shear-Yashuv.

What is the importance of revelation in an age of critique of religion after Kant, Fcuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein? What is the relation and tension between religion and philosophy, revelation and reason? What is the importance of religion in an age of critique of metaphysical approaches for ethics? Can modern man still be based on heteronomous ethics? What is the relation between universal ethics and Jewish Law? I try to answer these questions based on traditional Jewish sources, as expressed in the biblical-talmudic tradition and especially in Jewish philosophies from Maimonides to Moses and Medelssohn and modern thinkers, like the Neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen and the 'existentialist' Franz Rosnzweig. As a 'religiously' inclined thinker I stress the importance of religious ethics in our age after the holocaust, dealing with a 'theology' nuance of the holocaust and also define religion versus Judaism, thus showing that heteronomous ethics do include autonomous ethics. This is true with respect to the particularistic aspects of Jewish Law, as well as with respect to the universalistic aspects, which are spelled out in a theology of the Noachides.


Prof Aharon Shear-Yashuv  (Israel)
Senior Lecturer
Department of Philosophy

  • Autonomy
  • Heteronomy
  • Reason and Revelation

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)