JEWISH AUTHORSHIP AMONG THE TWENTY-SEVEN WORKS OF PHILOSOPHY VOTED
THE 'MOST IMPORTANT' OF THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY
 

(37% of works; 42% of total votes)
JINFO.ORG

What follows is a list of works by twentieth century philosophers who were, or are, Jewish (or of half- or three-quarters-Jewish descent, as noted) that are among the 'twenty-five'1  most important, according to a survey of 414 North American philosophy educators conducted by Baruch College in 1999.2  Survey participants were each asked to submit their estimation of the five most important book-length works of philosophy that were written in the twentieth century.  The ranking of each work according to the number of votes it received is indicated below in square brackets.  A total of 1109 votes were cast for the books that made it onto the list, of which 465 (42%) were received by the ten works listed below.
  • [1] Ludwig Wittgenstein,3 Philosophical Investigations
  • [4] Ludwig Wittgenstein,3 Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
  • [7] Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity
  • [8] Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • [11] Sir Alfred (A. J.) Ayer,4 Language, Truth, and Logic
  • [17/18] Edmund Husserl, Logical Investigations
  • [17/18] Edmund Husserl, Ideas
  • [20/21] H. L. A. Hart, The Concept of Law
  • [22] Nelson Goodman,5 Fact, Fiction, and Forecast
  • [25/26/27] Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery
NOTES
1. The list actually contains twenty-seven works because of a three-way tie for twenty-fifth place.

2. Douglas P. Lackey, "What Are the Modern Classics? The Baruch Poll of Great Philosophy in the Twentieth Century," The Philosophical Forum (Vol. XXX, No.4, December 1999, pp. 329-346).  A total of 5,000 surveys were sent out, which yielded 414 responses.
3. 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).
4. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ayer.
5. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.

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