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Yovel, Yirmiyahu


YOVEL, YIRMIYAHU (1935– ), Israeli philosophy scholar. Yovel was born in Haifa. He received his B.A. degree in 1959 and his M.A. in 1964 in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1965 he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and in 1966 moved to Princeton University. In 1968 he received his Ph.D. in philosophy with a dissertation on Kant's metaphysics. In 1966 he joined the department of philosophy at the Hebrew University. In 1972 he became the head of the department. In 1976–78 and 1982–92 he was director of the Bergman Center for Philosophical Studies and in 1992–98 he was chairman of the center. In 1984 he became a professor, and in 1998 he retired. During the 1970s Yovel was a visiting professor at Princeton and the Sorbonne and during the 1980s and 1990s he visited several other universities. In 1986 he founded the Spinoza Institute in Jerusalem, where he led several international symposiums on Spinoza's thought and additional conferences in various fields such as state and religion, identity and tolerance, and religion and secular culture. In the mid-1980s he was appointed chairman of the editorial board of Iyyun, the Hebrew journal of philosophy. Yovel was active as a journalist. In 1960–64 he edited the daily news broadcasts of Israeli Radio. During the 1967 Six-Day War he was a military correspondent on the Sinai front. In 1967 he was one of the founders of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and for two terms served on its council. In 1968 he edited the first political documentary for Israeli tv and during the 1973 Yom Kippur War he was a military correspondent on the Egyptian front. From 1975 to 1978 he hosted a tv show called The Third Hour on social issues. From 1967 he also wrote columns for Haaretz and Yedioth Aharonoth. Yovel was also a political activist. In 1977 he established the 77 Group inside the Labor Party, which he left in 1978. In 1982 he opposed the Lebanon War and spoke out on behalf of peace with the Palestinians. Yovel published many books, among them Kant and the Renewal of Metaphysics, Kant and the Philosophy of History, Spinoza and Other Heretics, and Dark Riddle: Hegel, Nietzsche, and the Jews. In 2000 he received the Israel Prize for philosophy.

[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

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