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Understanding the Sick and the Healthy

A View of World, Man, and God, With a New Introduction by Hilary Putnam

Franz Rosenzweig

Translated by Nahum Glatzer

Introduction by Hilary Putnam

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$30.00 • £21.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674921191

Publication: May 1999


128 pages


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Franz Rosenzweig, one of the century’s great Jewish thinkers, wrote his gem of a book in 1921 as a more accessible précis of his famous Star of Redemption. An elegant introduction to Rosenzweig’s “new thinking,” Understanding the Sick and the Healthy was written for a lay audience and takes the form of an ironic narrative about convalescence. With superb simplicity and beauty, it puts forth an important critique of the nineteenth-century German Idealist philosophical tradition and expresses a powerful vision of Jewish religion. Harvard’s Hilary Putnam provides a new introduction to this classic work for a contemporary audience.

“Today, more than three-quarters of a century after it was written, the critique of philosophy in this book is what makes it of such great interest. Critique of philosophy has been a central theme of twentieth-century philosophy, and many philosophers have attacked some of the targets that Rosenzweig attacked in his little book. Yet this early attack by a profound religious thinker is far more powerful and far more interesting than most.”—From the new Introduction by Hilary Putnam