Abstract

Jewish philosophers in the State of Israel have been forced by reality to think about questions in political theory that in the past lacked practical relevance. The question of the morality of obedience (or disobedience) to the laws is a topic that is present in the classical sources. It is a frequently discussed topic in Israeli public discourse, especially when it comes to the question of the duty to serve in the army. The article examines the concept of conscience in the wider context of the ethics of Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Although Leibowitz was reluctant to attribute any positive characteristics to the conscience in his theoretical works, he openly supported the activity of the left-wing refusal movements in Israel. The article tries to explain the apparent contradiction between Leibowitzian theory and practice. The article also mentions the works of two Israeli thinkers Daniel Statman and Avi Sagi, who are sensitive to the interplay between Jewish sources and western political concepts. They try to construct a new Jewish definition of conscience and to open the way to the development of other related political and ethical concepts.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 118-136
Launched on MUSE
2012-12-30
Open Access
No
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