Jews Out of the Question. A Critique of Anti-Anti-Semitism

Jews Out of the Question. A Critique of Anti-Anti-Semitism

399 pages


Genre: Nonfiction, Essay, Politics, Philosophy
A provocative study of opposition to anti-Semitism in contemporary political philosophy.

In post-Holocaust philosophy, anti-Semitism has come to be seen as a paradigmatic political and ideological evil. Jews Out of the Question examines the role that opposition to anti-Semitism has played in shaping contemporary political philosophy. Elad Lapidot argues that post-Holocaust philosophy identifies the fundamental, epistemological evil of anti-Semitic thought not in thinking against Jews, but in thinking of Jews. In other words, what philosophy denounces as anti-Semitic is the figure of “the Jew” in thought. Lapidot reveals how, paradoxically, opposition to anti-Semitism has generated a rejection of Jewish thought in post-Holocaust philosophy. Through critical readings of political philosophers such as Adorno, Horkheimer, Sartre, Arendt, Badiou, and Nancy, the book contends that by rejecting Jewish thought, the opposition to anti-Semitism comes dangerously close to anti-Semitism itself, and at work in this rejection, is a problematic understanding of the relations between politics and thought—a troubling political epistemology. Lapidot’s critique of this political epistemology is the book’s ultimate aim.

German title: Anti-Anti-Semitismus - Eine philosophische Kritik
ISBN: 978-3-95757-945-4
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2021
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Complete English original text available

Complete German translation available

Elad Lapidot is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He is coeditor (with Micha Brumlik) of Heidegger and Jewish Thought: Difficult Others.

„The book is not only an urgent call to critically engage with one of the most established sites of consensus of our time but also reveals the enormous shortcomings of that consensus, even among its most stellar and respected representatives.” Gil Anidjar