Memory of the West

The Contemporaneity of Forgotten Jewish Thinkers


This book looks back in order to look forward. It is a sustained reflection on the great disillusion Europe experienced after World War I. Europeans understood that bombs had buried the Enlightenment. They knew that, to avoid catastrophe, they had to think anew. The catastrophe came, but Cohen, Benjamin, Kafka, and Rosenzweig had sounded the warning.

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Reyes Mate earned his doctorate from the Westfällische Wilhelms-Universität of Münster, Germany, and the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, Spain. He is currently Research Professor at the Instituto de Filosofía of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (C. S. I. C.) in Madrid, where he directs the research project “La filosofía después del Holocausto”. Mate is the author of La razón de los vencidos (1991; translated into French in 1993 as La raison des vaincus); Memoria de Occidente: Actualidad de pensadores judíos olvidados (1997); Heidegger y el Judaísmo (1998); De Atenas a Jerusalén (1999); Penser en espagnol (2001); and Auschwitz: Actualidad moral y política (2003). He is also the editor of La filosofía después del holocausto (2002). Since 1989 he has been the director of the Enciclopedia Iberoamericana de Filosofía, a thirty-five volume work with contributions by some five hundred Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking scholars. He served as director of the Instituto de Filosofía of the C. S. I. C. from 1990 to 1998. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of El País and El Periodico de Catalunya.
Editorial Foreword
ONE The Death of Reason, the End of History, and the Decline of Philosophy? Approaching the Present
TWO The Jewish Question
THREE The Theoretical Strategy of Judaism
FOUR A Philosophy of Experience
FIVE Toward an Ethic of Compassion
Works Cited
About the Author
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