Omri Boehm, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
The New School for Social Research, New York
from February to July 2024
Born in 1979 in Haifa, Israel
Studied at the Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students at Tel Aviv University and Philosophy at Yale University
A Critique of Post-Metaphysical ThinkingPerhaps the broadest consensus in current philosophical circles is that ethical and political thinking must be radically separated from religious and metaphysical considerations. This consensus, it is thought, is the inheritance, perhaps the radicalization, of Enlightenment philosophy: just as Spinoza separated the ethical and political from faith and religion (in the Ethics and the Theological-Politi¬cal Treatise, respectively), we have separated them from metaphysical deliberations about the structure of reality. The post-metaphysical trend is clearest today in Kantian approaches to ethics and politics (cf. Rawls’ “Political not Metaphysical,” Habermas’ “turning a deaf ear” to metaphysics, or O’Neil’s “constructionism”), as well as in pragmatist positions (cf. Rorty’s “The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy”). That post-colonialist and critical race theories question the very possibility of metaphysics goes without saying. My aim is to begin a comprehensive critique of this post-metaphysical consensus – systematically, historically, and politically. I propose to give a hearing to Kant’s claim that critical non-dogmatic metaphysics (in fact, rational faith) can be taken seriously as a necessary condition of progressive – even revolutionary – Enlightenment philosophy. The project’s historical core consists in confronting the prevalent trend (cf. Jonathan Israel’s work) of regarding Kant’s defense of metaphysics as a sign of “moderate” (not to say reactionary and racist) thinking. The project’s systematic core consists in articulating the metaphysical conditions necessary for Kantian normative thinking – especially in the Critique of Judgment – as indispensable to the current – and urgent – political projects of the day.
Boehm, Omri. Kant’s Critique of Spinoza. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
—. Haifa Republic: A Democratic Future for Israel. New York: New York Review Books, 2021. German: Israel – eine Utopie. Berlin: Propyläen, 2020.
—. Radikaler Universalismus: Jenseits von Identität. Berlin: Propyläen, 2022.