Uncertainty rules in talmudic reasoning

Dov M. Gabbay, Moshe Koppel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Babylonian Talmud, compiled from the 2nd to 7th centuries C.E., is the primary source for all subsequent Jewish laws. It is not written in apodeictic style, but rather as a discursive record of (real or imagined) legal (and other) arguments crossing a wide range of technical topics. Thus, it is not a simple matter to infer general methodological principles underlying the Talmudic approach to legal reasoning. Nevertheless, in this article, we propose a general principle that we believe helps to explain the variety of methods used by the Rabbis of the Talmud for resolving uncertainty in matters of Jewish Law (henceforth: Halakhah). Such uncertainty might arise either if the facts of a case are clear but the relevant law is debatable or if the facts themselves are unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalHistory and Philosophy of Logic
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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