Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

My first debt of thanks goes to Professor Manfred Voigts. Not only has his work on Oskar Goldberg, including his scholarly editions of Goldberg’s books, essays, and related materials, been an indispensable resource without which this volume would hardly have been possible, but Professor Voigts has also been a generous interlocutor throughout the past several years. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxxvi

The “Talk of the Town” section in the New Yorker of July 17, 1943, included a piece titled “Ghost Photographer” about a certain Dr. Oskar Goldberg. “He’s a German scientist of undoubted repute,” the writer explains. “Two years ago, when he arrived in this country as an émigré, he was sponsored by Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein, and other Germans of equal standing.” ...

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1. Hans Driesch and the Revival of Naturphilosophie

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pp. 1-41

We may begin this chapter with Oskar Goldberg’s own brief piece, “The Development of Biology.” Goldberg wrote this essay for the English-language publication Science and Culture when he was living in the United States. At the opening of the essay Goldberg writes, “Since the times of the ancient Greeks there are two trends in biology, ...

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2. Georg Cantor and the Mathematics of God

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pp. 42-75

Oskar Goldberg’s vitalist philosophy draws its inspiration from both the early nineteenth-century Naturphilosophie of F. W. J. Schelling and Lorenz Oken and the neo-Naturphilosophie of Hans Driesch and other biologists and phenomenological psychologists of the early decades of the twentieth century. ...

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3. Goldberg’s Ontology and Unger’s Politics and Metaphysics

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pp. 76-118

What must the ontological structure of the world be like for it to be possible that a certain written document—the Pentateuch—could be a number system of the World-Root Name of God, YHWH (Yahweh)? This is the fundamental question addressed by Goldberg’s unpublished Ontology, whose subtitle is The Idea of Logic: An Introduction to Ontology.1 ...

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4. The Reality of the Hebrews and YHWH’s Battle for the Earth

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pp. 119-161

In chapter 1 I described the neo-Naturphilosophie that nourished Oskar Goldberg’s vitalism, and in chapters 2 and 3 I explored the mathematical and ontological foundations of Goldberg’s thought. I explained how the Pentateuch was, according to Goldberg, the number system of the Name of God, Yahweh (the standard way to vocalize the four consonants YHWH). ...

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5. Gershom Scholem, Oskar Goldberg, and the Meaning of Jewish History

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pp. 162-203

In this chapter I discuss two diametrically opposed philosophies of Jewish history, those of Gershom Scholem and Oskar Goldberg. Let me first state the points on which both men agree. Both Scholem and Goldberg place Jewish history within the framework of the dialectical tension between revelation and tradition. Scholem writes, ...

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Conclusion: Ghosts and the Vitalist Imagination

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pp. 204-234

I opened this book with a story from the New Yorker about Oskar Goldberg’s project to photograph ghosts in haunted houses in the New York area. I close the book by returning to Goldberg’s interest in ghostly hauntings because I want to understand how that interest connects to his broader vitalist metaphysics. ...

Appendix I: Thomas Mann’s Critique of The Reality of the Hebrews

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pp. 235-240

Appendix II: Franz Joseph Molitor’s Philosophie der Geschichte and Oskar Goldberg’s Kabbalah Interpretation

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pp. 241-252

Bibliography

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pp. 253-266

Index

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pp. 267-270

About the Author

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