JEWISH PHILOSOPHERS & THINKERS
JINFO.ORG

SHORT LIST
  • Sir Alfred (A. J.) Ayer 2
  • Henri Bergson
  • Sir Isaiah Berlin
  • Niels Bohr 3
  • Georg Cantor 5
  • Noam Chomsky
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Albert Einstein
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Edmund Husserl
  • Saul Kripke
  • Thomas Kuhn 
  • Moses Maimonides
  • Karl Marx
  • Philo of Alexandria (Philo Judaeus)
  • Sir Karl Popper
  • Hilary Putnam 
  • Baruch (Benedict) de Spinoza
  • Alfred Tarski
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein 19
LONG LIST
  • Isaac Abravanel
  • Judah Abravanel (Leone Ebreo)
  • Alfred Adler
  • Felix Adler
  • Mortimer Adler
  • Theodor Adorno 1
  • Samuel Alexander
  • Günther Anders
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Aristobulus of Paneas
  • Raymond Aron
  • Sir Alfred (A. J.) Ayer 2
  • Yehoshua Bar-Hillel
  • David Baumgardt
  • Paul Benacerraf
  • Julien Benda
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Gustav Bergmann
  • Henri Bergson
  • Eliezer Berkovits
  • Sir Isaiah Berlin
  • Paul Bernays
  • Max Black
  • Ernst Bloch
  • Ned Block
  • Leonard Bloomfield
  • Franz Boas
  • George Boas
  • David Bohm
  • Niels Bohr 3
  • George Boolos 4
  • Leon Brunschvicg
  • Martin Buber
  • Georg Cantor 5
  • Ernst Cassirer
  • Stanley Cavell
  • David Chalmers 6
  • Noam Chomsky
  • Hermann Cohen
  • Morris Raphael Cohen
  • Jonas Cohn
  • Hasdai Crescas
  • Arthur C. Danto
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Hubert Dreyfus
  • Emile Durkheim
  • Ronald Dworkin
  • Paul Edwards
  • Albert Einstein
  • Solomon Feferman
  • Herbert Feigl
  • Arthur Fine
  • Alain Finkielkraut
  • Jerry Fodor
  • Abraham A. Fraenkel
  • Adolphe Franck
  • Philipp Frank
  • Semyon Frank
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Erich Fromm
  • Solomon Ibn Gabirol (Avicebron)
  • Ernest Gellner
  • Gersonides
  • André Glucksmann
  • Alvin Goldman
  • Sir Ernst Gombrich
  • Theodor Gomperz
  • Nelson Goodman 7
  • Kurt Grelling 8
  • Adolf Grünbaum
  • Hans Hahn
  • Judah Halevi
  • Gilbert Harman
  • Zellig Harris
  • Herbert L. A. Hart
  • Jeanne Hersch
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • Douglas Hoftstadter
  • Sidney Hook
  • Max Horkheimer
  • Edmund Husserl
  • Isaac b. Solomon Israeli
  • Edmond Jabčs
  • Roman Jakobson
  • Vladimir Jankélévitch
  • Richard Jeffrey
  • Hans Jonas
  • Horace Kallen
  • Jerrold Katz
  • Felix Kaufmann
  • Walter Kaufmann
  • Hans Kelsen
  • Raymond Klibansky
  • Kurt Koffka
  • Aurel Kolnai
  • Alexandre Koyré
  • Georg Kreisel
  • Saul Kripke
  • Paul Kristeller
  • Leopold Kronecker
  • Richard Kroner
  • Thomas Kuhn
  • Imre Lakatos
  • Emmanuel Levinas
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss
  • Bernard-Henri Lévy
  • Lucien Lévy-Bruhl
  • Adolf Lindenbaum
  • Karl Löwith
  • Gyorgy Lukács
  • Isaac Luria
  • Moses Maimonides
  • Karl Mannheim
  • Gabriel Marcel 9
  • Ruth Barcan Marcus
  • Herbert Marcuse
  • Karl Marx
  • Fritz Mauthner
  • Alexander Men
  • Moses Mendelssohn
  • Emile Meyerson
  • Marvin Minsky
  • Ludwig von Mises
  • Richard von Mises
  • Michel de Montaigne 10
  • Sidney Morgenbesser
  • Ernest Nagel
  • Thomas Nagel
  • Leonhard Nelson
  • John von Neumann
  • Otto Neurath 11
  • Robert Nozick
  • Martha Nussbaum 12
  • Arthur Pap
  • Philo of Alexandria (Philo Judaeus)
  • Michael Polanyi
  • Richard Popkin
  • Sir Karl Popper
  • Emil Post
  • Moritz Presburger
  • Ilya Prigogine
  • Hilary Putnam 13
  • Ayn Rand
  • Wilhelm Reich
  • Hans Reichenbach 14
  • Abraham Robinson
  • Franz Rosenzweig
  • Saadiah Gaon
  • Edward Sapir
  • Israel Scheffler
  • Max Scheler 15
  • Alfred Schutz
  • Lev Shestov
  • Abner Shimony
  • Georg Simmel
  • Herbert Simon 16
  • Peter Singer
  • Joseph Soloveitchik
  • Baruch (Benedict) de Spinoza
  • Edith Stein
  • William Stern
  • Leo Strauss
  • Alfred Tarski
  • Teresa of Ávila, Saint 17
  • Ernst Tugendhat
  • Juan Luis Vives 18
  • Jean Wahl
  • Friedrich Waismann
  • Simone Weil
  • Paul Weiss
  • Max Wertheimer
  • Morton White
  • Norbert Wiener
  • Eugene Wigner
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein 19
NOTES
1. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
2. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ayer.
3. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.
4. Half-Jewish, according to a private communication from a distinguished former colleague of the late Prof. Boolos.

5. In Men of Mathematics, Eric Temple Bell described Cantor as being "of pure Jewish descent on both sides," although both parents were baptized.  In a 1971 article entitled "Towards a Biography of Georg Cantor," the British historian of mathematics Ivor Grattan-Guinness claimed (Annals of Science 27, pp. 345-391, 1971) to be unable to find any evidence of Jewish  ancestry (although he conceded that Cantor's wife, Vally Guttmann, was Jewish).   However, a letter written by Georg Cantor to Paul Tannery in 1896 (Paul Tannery, Memoires Scientifique 13 Correspondance, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1934, p. 306) explicitly acknowledges that Cantor's paternal grandparents were members of the Sephardic Jewish community of Copenhagen.  Specifically, Cantor states in describing his father: "Er ist aber in Kopenhagen geboren, von israelitischen Eltern, die der dortigen portugisischen Judengemeinde..."  ("He was born in Copenhagen of Jewish parents from the local Portuguese-Jewish community.")  In a recent book, The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity (Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 2000, pp. 94, 144), Amir Aczel provides new evidence concerning the ancestry of Cantor's mother in the form of  an excerpt from a  letter that was written by Georg Cantor's brother Ludwig to their mother [reproduced in its entirety, but in French translation from the original German, by Nathalie Charraud in her book Infini et Inconscient: Essai sur Georg Cantor (Anthropos - Economica, Paris, 1994, p. 8)]. This letter begins [in the original German, a fragment of which appears in Georg Cantor: 1845-1918, by Walter Purkert and Hans Joachim Ilgauds (Birkhäuser, Basel, 1987, p. 15)]: "Mögen wir zehnmal von Juden abstammen und ich im Princip noch so sehr für Gleichberechtigung der Hebräer sein, im socialen Leben sind mir Christen lieber ..."  The translation of this sentence is: "We may be descended from Jews ten times over and I (may be) in principle ever so much for the equal rights of the Hebrews, (but) in social life I prefer Christians...," or equivalently: "Even though we are descended from Jews ten times over and I am in principle ever so much for the equal rights of the Hebrews, in social life I still prefer Christians..."   Charraud renders the (complete) sentence in a slightly different manner as follows: "Męme si c'est dix fois vrai que nous descendons de juifs et si je suis en principe entičrement pour l'égalité des droits avec les Hébreux, dans la vie sociale je préfčre les chrétiens et je ne me sentirai jamais ŕ l'aise dans une société exclusivement juive."   Later on in the same letter, Ludwig states: "Mais nous sommes, bien que je possčde moi-męme un nez juif, dans nos principes et nos habitudes tellement non-juifs...," which translates as: "But we are -  even though I myself possess Jewish features - so non-Jewish in our beliefs and customs..."  In other words, Ludwig is arguing that even though the family is ethnically Jewish, it is culturally non-Jewish.  What is significant about this letter, as Aczel first pointed out, is that it was written to the mother of Georg Cantor and would, therefore, have made little sense if she hadn't herself been of Jewish descent.  According to Ismerjük''oket?: zsidó származású nevezetes magyarok arcképcsarnoka, by István Reményi Gyenes (Ex Libris, Budapest, 1997, pp. 132-133), Cantor's maternal great uncle (i.e., the brother of his maternal grandfather), the great violin pedagogue Josef Böhm, was a Jew by birth.  [N.B.: There are now erroneous translations of the sentence: "Mögen wir zehnmal von Juden abstammen..." appearing elsewhere on the Internet.  The sentence has the basic structure "even if A and B, nevertheless C," where the  enumeration of A and B is clearly intended to mitigate the expression of prejudice in C, i.e., the term "even if" is employed in the sense of "even though."  These other translations attempt to render the sentence: "Even if it were the case A and even though it is the case B, nevertheless C."  Since the term "Mögen" (which generates the "even if" expression) appears only once in the original German, it must  assume the same meaning in both cases if it is distributed over A and B in translation (i.e., if the sentence is rendered: "Even if A and even if B, nevertheless C.").  Furthermore, in our translations of the sentence, we gave the word "zehnmal" its literal meaning, viz., "ten times," which, of course,  does not make literal sense when used to modify the term "descended from."  It is fairly clear that the word is employed in this context to signify "overwhelmingly" or "completely"; perhaps the best translation of the word in this context is "one thousand percent."  From that standpoint, even if the "we" in the sentence was somehow intended to refer to the Cantor children only (and not to their mother, to whom the letter is addressed), it would still imply that she was "descended from Jews."] 

6. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
Family surname originally "Shalom."
7. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
8. See http://gestalttheory.net/archive/kgbio.html.
9. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.  See Metzler Philosophen Lexikon, edited by Bernd Lutz (Metzler, Stuttgart, 1989, p. 503).

10. Mother of Spanish-Jewish descent, non-Jewish father; see Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds, by Harold Bloom (Warner, 2002, New York, p.44) or http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10512c.htm.


11. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother; see Vienna and the Jews: 1867-1938, by Steven Beller (Cambridge, 1990, pp. 15-16).
12. Convert to Judaism; see http://www.arlindo-correia.com/080702.html.

13. See A Certain People, by Charles E. Silberman (Summit Books, New York, 1985, pp. 247-248).  Putnam has described himself as a "practicing Jew."  See also Hilary Putnam's Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein (Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002, p. 2). 
14. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother; see http://faculty.oxy.edu/traiger/publications/reichenbach.html.
15. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 14 (Keter, Jerusalem, 1972, p. 952).
16. Jewish father, mother of partial Jewish ancestry; see Models of My Life by Herbert A. Simon (BasicBooks, New York,NY, 1991, pp. 3, 17, 112, 262).
17. Father and grandfather were both tried and convicted by the Inquisition for secretly practicing Judaism; see "Teresa's Jewish Roots": http://www.helpfellowship.org/Articles%20of%20Interest/teresa_of_avila_by_raymond_helmick_SJ.htm.
18. See Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 16 (Keter, Jerusalem, 1972, p. 197).
19. Jewish father, half-Jewish mother; see, e.g., Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, by Ray Monk (Penguin, New York and London, 1990, pp. 4-7).



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