Alexander Kaye Lounge Seminar
"Dworkin on Kibbutz: American Legal Realism and Modern Jewish Thought"
Wednesday April 17, 2013 - Religion Department Lounge - 1879 Hall
Alexander Kaye is a Tikvah Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Thought at Princeton University. He received his doctorate from the history department of Columbia University where his dissertation was entitled The Legal Philosophies of Religious Zionism 1937-1967. His current research engages with the history of Jewish legal interpretation in the context of modern philosophy and the nation state. In particular, this paper will look at the way in which themes in American legal realism were mobilized in debates over the future of halakha, traditional Jewish law, that took place in the context of the establishment of the State of Israel. It will concentrate on one kibbutz intellectual, Eliezer Goldman, and his formulation of a meta-halakhic discourse that surprisingly prefigured Ronald Dworkin's philosophy of law.