Higayon: Studies in Rabbinic Logic
It is impossible to fully appreciate Talmudic literature without some
understanding of Rabbinic logic.
The Talmud includes discussions of a broad range of methods for
establishing facts, reasoning with uncertainty and resolving conflicting
principles. It is reasonable to inquire to what extent these methods are
syntactic and independent of the particular contexts in which they are
employed, and whether or not they are founded upon some uniform approach to
the problem of logical inference.
A fuller comprehension of underlying principles of Rabbinic thought is
essential to its generalization and application. For example, many
contemporary halachic problems, particularly in the State of Israel, are
issues of public administration -- medicine, transportation, communication,
social services, etc. -- which can be dealt with in a meaningful way only
through the use of statistical information. Therefore, a thorough analysis
of the methods employed by the Rabbis for reasoning with uncertainty is
needed in order to construct a coherent approach to statistical inference.
Perhaps one of the reasons that the formal analysis of Rabbinic logic has
not previously been undertaken is the dominant role played by classical
Greek logic in the formal study of logic for many centuries. Any attempt to
interpret Rabbinic thought in terms of this classical logic would
inevitably lead to some degree of distortion. It is possible that the
contemporary study of alternative logics may provide us with more
appropriate models for the interpretation of Rabbinic logic.
In light of this, the purpose of HIGAYON is to encourage the analysis of
Jewish sources and the elaboration of the original ideas implicit in them.
We publish papers which deal directly with the general issues presented
here and also papers which shed light on these issues through discussion of
more specific topics. We are happy to receive papers reflecting a wide
variety of approaches, be they historical, literary, formal, comparative,
etc. The journal is bilingual (Hebrew and English) and appears whenever we
have enough good papers to fill a volume (every two years or so). So far
four volumes and a book have appeared.
For more information please
email Moshe Koppel
Last modified: Sun Jan 12 10:46:10 IST