Philosophical Foundations of Religion; Medieval Jewish Philosophy; The Thought of Moses Maimonides; Talmudic Studies; Midrashic Studies; Religion and Politics


Aryeh Botwinick received his Ph.D. from the Inter-Disciplinary Program in Political Philosophy at Princeton University. He received the College of Liberal Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008, a Lady Davis Visiting Professorship to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1992, and a Senior Fellowship to the Maimonides Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Hamburg in 2018 and 2019.

Since the publication of his book,  Skepticism , Belief, and the Modern: Maimonides to Nietzsche (Cornell University Press, 1997), he has been working to reconfigure and rearticulate the relationship between Western monotheism and Western secularism. He has tried to highlight a continuity of logical structure between key interpretations of monotheism and key readings of philosophical skepticism and liberalism. The projects that he is currently working on as continuations of the earlier work are:

  • The Community of the Question:  Negative Theology in Monotheistic Thought
  • Rabbinic Theology:  Its Metaphysical Presuppositions and Political Implications.
  • Theoretical Reconsiderations in the History of Western Political Thought
  • Moses Maimonides: Philosophy and Law
  • Chaim Volozhiner:  Negative Theology and Mysticism
  • Machiavelli:  Power and Assymetrical Warfare
  • Weak Messianism:  Religion and Secularism Theorized as a Unity
  • Anger from the Perspective of the Rabbis:  Its Origins, Ramifications, and Healing Mechanisms
  • Human Beings as Being Always in the Middle:  The Conception of Human Selfhood in Rabbinic Thought
  • The Concept of Justice in Rabbinic Judaism


Selected Publications

  • “Negative Theology, Power, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” will appear in Telos in 2019.
  • “The Simultaneous Genesis of Monotheism and Skepticism in Jewish Religion,” will appear as an article in the Moses Maimonides Centre for Advanced Judaic Studies Yearbook to be published by Walter de Gruyter in 2019.
  • “Human Beings as Being Always in the Middle: The Conception of Human Selfhood in Jewish Thought,” will appear in Georges Tamer, editor, “Key Concepts in Interreligious Dialogue: Human Nature” (Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter:  2019).
  • “Epistemological Skepticism, Textual Skepticism, and the Role of Constitutions” will appear in Telos 189 (Winter 2019).  The whole issue is entitled. Constitutional Theory as Cultural Problem. 
  • “Ignorance Studies, the Limits to Certainty, and Democratic Theory,” an original article of mine composed in English has been commissioned by the German philosophy journal, Deutsche Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie, to appear in German translation under their auspices and to be published in 2019.
  • “Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof: The Theory and Practice of Justice in Normative Judaism,” will appear in Georges Tamer, editor, “Key Concepts in Interreligious Dialogue: Justice” (Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2018).
  • “How the Concept of Infinity Links Monotheism with Skepticism,” appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of Telos (Number 183), pp. pp. 221-238.
  • “Moses Maimonides and Immanuel Kant: Negative Theology, Skepticism, and the Role of the Infinite,” an original article of mine composed in English was commissioned by the prestigious German philosophy journal, Deutsche Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie and appeared in German translation under their auspices in 2018.
  • “The Good of Liberalism: Weak Messianism” appears in Telos Fall 2017.
  • “Same-Other Versus Friend-Enemy:  Levinas Contra Schmitt” appears in The Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt, edited by Jens Meierhenrich and Oliver Simons (Oxford University Press, December 2016).
  • “Liberal Democracy, Negative Theory, and Circularity:  Plato and Rawls,” appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Telos (Number 161), pp. 29-50.
  • My article, “God: Divine Transcendence” appears in The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: The Modern Era, ed. Martin Kavka, Zachary Braiterman, and David Novak (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • My article on “Michael Oakeshott” appears in Gregory Claeys, ed., Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought (Congressional Quarterly Press, December,2012).
  • “Shakespeare in Advance of Hobbes:  Pathways to the Modernization of the European Psyche as Charted in The Merchant of Venice” appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Telos (Number 153).
  • “Peter Bachrach:  Liberal Democracy and Participation” appears in PS: Political Science and Politics, January 2010.


  • Emmanuel Levinas and the Limits to Ethics: A Critique and a Re-Appropriation (Routledge 2014).
  • Michael Oakeshott’s Skepticism (Princeton University Press 2011).
  • Democracy and Vision Co-edited with William Connolly (Princeton University Press, August, 2001).
  • Skepticism , Belief, and the Modern: Maimonides to Nietzsche (Cornell University Press, 1997
  • Postmodernism and Democratic Theory (Temple University Press, April 1993).
  • Power and Empowerment: A Radical Theory of Participatory Democracy Co-authored with Peter Bachrach (Temple University Press, May 1992).
  • Skepticism and Political Participation (Temple University Press, January 1990).

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses

  • Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • American Political Thought
  • Modern Political Philosophy
  • Classical Political Philosophy
  • Theories of Justice
  • Seminar in Political Philosophy

Graduate Courses

  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • History of Political Theory I: Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
  • Modern Political Philosophy
  • 19th and 20th Century Political and Social Thought
  • Contemporary Theories of Democracy
  • Selected Problems in Political Philosophy
  • Special Topics in Political Philosophy