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Josef Stern, William H. Colvin Professor of Philosophy, works and teaches in two main areas: medieval philosophy, especially Jewish and Arabic philosophy, and contemporary philosophy of language. His interests in the philosophy of language focus on the theory of reference, the role of context in semantic interpretation, the distinction between literal and non-literal meaning, and between linguistic and non-linguistic modes of representation and communication. In medieval philosophy, Stern is completing a number of book projects that focus on epistemological and metaphysical issues in the philosophy of Moses Maimonides and his relation both to the Arabic philosophical tradition and to later Jewish thinkers, such as Nahmanides. He is also interested in Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, the philosophy of art, skepticism, and the history of philosophical interpretation of Scripture. His teaching includes a civilization course “Rabbinic Judaism from the Mishnah to Maimonides,” courses on topics in medieval philosophy that cover Muslim, Jewish, and Christian philosophers, and “Maimonides and Hume on Religion.”


Past Courses

PHIL 319. Problem of Evil in Jewish Thought. Taught with Joel Kraemer. Winter 2000

HUMA 201. Judaic Civilizations in Medieval Spain. Summer 2001

JWSC 20000-20100. Judaic Civilizations I & II. Summer 2001, Summer 2002, Winter 2003, Winter 2004, Winter 2005

PHIL 239. Philosophy of Religion. Summer 2001

MILAP 32100. God. Taught with Daniel Brudney. Autumn 2005

PHIL 25110. Maimonides and Hume on Religion. Winter 2006

JWSC 20005. Jewish Thought and Literature II: Rabbinic Judaism. Winter 2007, Winter 2009