In our cultural moment, society’s disregard of qualitative reasoning in favor of quantitative analysis – what spiritual master Rene Guenon dubbed “The Reign of Quantity” – has left a gaping hole in issues relating to morality, spirituality, and meaning. We will ask: “What is reason in the 21st century?” To this end, we will ask essential questions like: Do the worlds of philosophical reasoning and empirical analysis speak different languages? Can these languages be meaningfully brought into conversation with one another? Where do they exhibit similarities and how do they differ?
This course will analyze the fundamental building blocks of these questions, and students will share reflections at the end of the course on how this study will impact the way they approach the world.
- Rabbi Dr. Isadore Twersky, Visions of Jewish Education
- Rabbi Kalonymous Kalmish Shapira, The Students’ Obligation
- René Descartes, Discourse on Method
- Pope Benedict XVI, “Faith, Reason and the University”
Meet the Instructors
The Tikvah Fund
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and founding Dean of the Tikvah Institute for High School Students at Yale University. Prior to joining Tikvah, Rabbi Gottlieb served as Head of School at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and Principal of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, and has taught at The Frisch School, Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Hebrew Theological College, Loyola University in Chicago, and the University of Chicago. He received his B.A. from Yeshiva College, rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where his doctoral studies focused on the moral and political thought of Alasdair MacIntyre. Rabbi Gottlieb is a member of the Orthodox Forum Steering Committee and serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. He lives in Teaneck, NJ, with his wife and five children.
R. J. Snell directs the Center on Ethics and the University at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ, and is senior fellow at the Agora Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good. Prior to those appointments he was Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Program at Eastern University and the Templeton Honors College. He earned his M.A. in philosophy at Boston College, and his Ph.D. in philosophy at Marquette University. Research interests include the liberal arts, ethics, natural law theory, Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the work of Bernard Lonergan, SJ. He is the author of Through a Glass Darkly: Bernard Lonergan and Richard Rorty on Knowing without a God’s-eye View (Marquette, 2006), Authentic Cosmopolitanism (with Steve Cone, Pickwick, 2013), The Perspective of Love: Natural Law in a New Mode (Pickwick, 2014), Acedia and Its Discontents (Angelico, 2015), and co-editor of Subjectivity: Ancient and Modern and Nature: Ancient and Modern, as well as articles, chapters, and essays in a variety of scholarly and popular venues. He and his family reside in the Princeton area.
Kate Havard Rozansky