Some Preliminary Observations on Truth and Argumentation in the Jewish Legal Tradition

In Bjarne Melkevek (ed.), Standing Tall: Hommages à Csaba Varga. Budapest: Pázmány Press. pp. 199-207 (2012)
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Abstract

After a section of Methodological Preliminaries, I consider Truth and Argumentation in the Jewish Legal Tradition, under the following subheadings: Truth in Judaism, Truth and Norms, Truth and Language, Truth and Logic, Truth and Argumentation. I thus use an external framework in order to pose questions to the Jewish legal tradition, and identify internal resources which may provide partial answers to these questions. But are these partial answers so peculiar, theological, culturally contingent as to lack any value in terms of a potential contribution to these same issues as posed within Western jurisprudence? This may be doubted, given the West’s adoption or construction of the divine right of kings on the one hand and of holistic theories of interpretation on the other, derived from the Bible and later Jewish tradition, mediated and fortified through a Christianised Rome.

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Bernard Jackson
University of Manchester

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