Science, religion, and rationality: A neo-hegelian approach

Menachem Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The paper argues that identifying rational action with action undertaken for a reason yields Popper's well-known identification of rationality with criticism. However, it is also shown, pace Popper, to yield a strong form of normative framework dependency of the kind critical rationalists notoriously reject. But deeming rationality to be framework dependent, it argues further, raises the particularly exasperating problem of the very possibility of rational framework replacement. If the normative framework to which one is committed is presupposed in critical reasoning, how can one ever have normative reason to replace it? The first part of the paper briefly discusses the problem and some of the attempts to solve it, while arguing for an alternative approach. The second part, explores some of the consequences of adopting such an approach first for the historiography of scientific framework transitions, and finally for the theology of inter and intra-religious dialogue, with special reference to what might be termed the confrontational theology of the rabbinic literature of late antiquity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-336
Number of pages18
JournalToronto Journal of Theology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Confrontational religiosity
  • Framework transitions
  • Framework-dependency
  • Rationality
  • Self-criticism


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