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Tertium Datur

A Reading of Rosenzweig’s ‘New Thinking’


Beniamino Fortis

Edited By Rainer Kampling

In his essay Das neue Denken (1925), Franz Rosenzweig warns against the "danger of understanding the new thinking in the sense, or rather the nonsense, of ‘irrational’ tendencies such as, for example, the ‘philosophy of life.’ Everyone clever enough to have steered clear of the jaws of the idealistic Charybdis seems nowadays to be drawn into the dark whirlpool of this Scylla".

The Homeric metaphor of Scylla and Charybdis provides the general guidelines Rosenzweig seems to stick to in developing his ‘new thinking.’ Not only does it avoid the dangers of idealism and irrationalism charting a third way between them, but it also takes shape as a combination of philosophy and Jewish thought — a combination irreducible to each of its terms, and thus representing a tertium datur beyond them.

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