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Between Enlightenment and Romanticism: Computational Kabbalah of Rabbi Pinchas Elijah Hurwitz

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Abstract:

This article shows that Rabbi Pinchas Elijah Hurwitz, a major eighteenth-century kabbalist, Orthodox rabbi and Enlightenment thinker, who merged Lurianic Kabbalah with Kantian philosophy, attempted to describe God and the world in terms of formal grammars and abstract information processes. He resolves a number of Kant's dualistic views by introducing prophecy as a tool that allows a mystic's mind to perform transfinite hypercomputation and to obtain a priori knowledge about things usually known only a posteriori. According to Hurwitz, the reality consists of Divine names, which generate an infinite network of recursive string rewriting systems, some of which are identical to what is known today as Lindenmayer systems. Hurwitz is also one of the first thinkers, who raised questions about non-human and artificial intelligence.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01445340.2010.506106

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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