In this Book

The Open Past
summary
The Open Past challenges a view of time that has dominated philosophical thought for the past two centuries. In that view, time originates from a relationship to the future, and the past can be only a fictitious beginning, the necessary phantom of a starting point, a chronological period of "before." This view of the past has permeated the study of the Talmud as well, resulting in the application of modern philosophical categories such as the "thinking subject," subjectivity, and temporality to the thinking displayed in the texts of the Talmud. The book seeks to reclaim the originary power and authority the past exerts in the Talmud. Central to the task of reclaiming a radical role for the past are medieval notions of the virtual and their contrasting modern appropriations, the thinking subject among them. These serve as both a bridging point and a demarcation between the practices of thinking and remembering displayed in the conversations held by the characters in the Talmud by contrast to other rhetorical or philosophical schools and disciplines of thought.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-17
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  1. Part I. Stakes
  2. pp. 19-32
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  1. 1. What Happens to Thinking?
  2. pp. 21-33
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  1. 2. Ego Cogito, Ego Meminí: I Think, Therefore I Remember
  2. pp. 34-43
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  1. 3. Through Talmud Criticism to the Talmud as Thought and Memory
  2. pp. 44-53
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  1. Part II. Who Speaks?
  2. pp. 55-68
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  1. Preamble: The Virtual Author
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. 4. Thought and Memory in the Talmud: The Ambiguous Status of “The Author”—and Beyond
  2. pp. 59-77
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  1. 5. Human Existence in the Talmud: Thinking as Multiplicity and Heterogeneity
  2. pp. 78-104
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  1. 6. Sense in the Making: Hermeneutical Practices of the Babylonian Talmud
  2. pp. 105-128
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  1. Part III. Who Thinks?
  2. pp. 129-142
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  1. Preamble: The Virtual Subject
  2. pp. 131-133
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  1. 7. Who Thinks in the Talmud?
  2. pp. 134-157
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  1. 8. The Hand of Augustine: Thought, Memory, and Performative Existence in the Talmud
  2. pp. 158-178
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  1. Part IV. Who Remembers?
  2. pp. 179-192
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  1. Preamble: The Virtual
  2. pp. 181-184
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  1. 9. What Is the Sophist? Who Is the Rabbi?: The Virtual of Thinking
  2. pp. 185-211
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  1. 10. The Talmud as Film
  2. pp. 212-246
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 247-256
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 307-356
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 357-368
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 369-370
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 371-379
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