•  75
    The epistemology of religiosity: an Orthodox Jewish perspective
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (3): 315-332. 2013.
    This paper focusses on the Rabbinic suggestion that the attitude of awe, rather than any particular belief, lies at the heart of religiosity. On the basis of these Rabbinic sources, and others, the paper puts forward three theses: (1) that belief is not a sufficiently absorbing epistemic attitude to bear towards the truths of religion; (2) that much of our religious knowledge isn’t mediated via belief; and (3) that make-believe is sometimes more important, in the cultivation of religiosity than …Read more
  •  71
    Why so negative about negative theology? The search for a plantinga-proof apophaticism
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (3): 259-275. 2014.
    In his warranted christian belief, Alvin Plantinga launches a forceful attack on apophaticism, the view that God is in some sense or other beyond description. This paper explores his attack before searching for a Plantinga-proof formulation of apophaticism
  •  53
    Would this paper exist if I hadn’t written it?
    Philosophical Studies 172 (11): 3059-3080. 2015.
    This paper wants to know whether it would exist, or could exist, in worlds in which I didn't write it. Before we can answer this question, we first of all have to inquire as to what, exactly, this paper is. After exploring two forms of Platonism, and a theory that defines literary works in terms of events, I shall argue that the term ‘this paper’ is actually infected with ambiguity. Does this paper need me? It depends upon what you mean by ‘this paper’. I lay out the options for what you might m…Read more
  •  48
    The Promise of a New Past
    Philosophers' Imprint 17 1-25. 2017.
    In light of Jewish tradition and the metaphysics of time, we argue that God can and will change the past. The argument makes for a new answer to the problem of evil and a new theory of atonement.
  •  38
    A Substantive Non-Solution To The Problem Of Unity
    The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 4 16. 2008.
    Russell is commonly accused of failing to solve Bradley’s problem of unity. In this paper I argue that the problem doesn’t really pose a distinctively philosophical question; that Russell’s account of unity exposes the problem as unworthy of an answer. I accept that this isn’t a solution, but it does constitute a substantive solution! Furthermore, some scholars have read in Russell’s writings a confession of guilt to the effect that he was defeated by the problem of unity: this, I argue, is a mi…Read more
  •  37
  •  25
    An Advertisement of a Promise: God and the Hyper-past
    Journal of Analytic Theology 5 (1): 629-636. 2017.
  •  16
    The life of faith as a work of art: a Rabbinic theology of faith
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2): 61-81. 2017.
    This paper argues that God, despite his Perfection, can have faith in us. The paper includes exegesis of various Midrasihc texts, so as to understand the Rabbinic claim that God manifested faith in creating the world. After the exegesis, the paper goes on to provide philosophical motivation for thinking that the Rabbinic claim is consistent with Perfect Being Theology, and consistent with a proper analysis of the nature of faith. Finally, the paper attempts to tie the virtue that faith can exhib…Read more
  •  16
    Russell and Bradley: Rehabilitating the Creation Narrative of Analytic Philosophy
    Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (7). 2017.
    According to Stewart Candlish, Russell and Moore had misunderstood F. H. Bradley’s monism. According to Jonathan Schaffer, they had misunderstood monism more generally. A key thread of the creation narrative of analytic philosophy, according to which Russell and Moore successfully undermined monism to give rise to a new movement is, therefore, in doubt. In this paper, I defend the standard narrative against those who seek to revise it.
  •  13
    Is there a primordial Torah?
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 82 (2): 219-239. 2017.
    Is Orthodox Judaism committed to the existence of a Torah that pre-existed the world? This paper argues that Orthodoxy is so committed unless it can find compelling philosophical or theological reasons to reject the possibility of such an entity, and then to re-interpret allegorically all of the texts that speak of such a Torah. Providing an ontology of primordial texts, I argue that no compelling reason can be found to deny the existence of the primordial Torah.
  •  12
    The Ashes of Isaac and the Nature of Jewish Philosophy
    Journal of Analytic Theology 5 (1): 500-514. 2017.
  •  1
    The first part of the paper presents three little arguments from theism to idealism. The second part employs these arguments to make sense of a puzzling doctrine of Jewish mysticism: the doctrine of divine contraction (heb. tzimtzum).
  • Jewish Philosophy in an Analytic Age (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  • Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions offers the first book-length defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (MRTJ). Although the theory was much maligned by Wittgenstein and ultimately rejected by Russell himself, Lebens shows that it provides a rich and insightful way to understand the nature of propositional content. In Part I, Lebens charts the trajectory of Russell’s thought before he adopted the MRTJ. Part II reviews the historical story of the theory: What led Russel…Read more