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Halakhic Man As Cognitive Man

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the sources used to substantiate the figure of cognitive man, in order to clarify the basis for Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik's description of Halakhic Man. These sources show fashion Halakhic Man according to the idealism of Hermann Cohen and according to various trends in the philosophy of science. The chapter describes the emergence of religious consciousness and the way Halakhah is related to its objectification. The analogy to the mathematical natural sciences, presenting the epistemic outlook of Halakhic Man as fitting that of cognitive man is discussed. The chapter shows that the cognition and consciousness of Halakhic Man are fully explained in light of Hermann Cohen's epistemic idealism. R. Soloveitchik traces the contradictory path that guides Halakhic Man throughout: the skipping between two types of Halakhic Man, one striving to realize his cognition in the real world, and the other altogether indifferent to the world outside it.

Keywords: cognitive man; epistemic idealism; Halakhic Man; Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik



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