French, of Italian-Jewish parents, b: 1912, Cairo. d: 2 January 1991, Paris. Cat: Stockbroker; author; existentialist; philosopher of language. Ints: Literary theory and Judaisim; the Jew as 'other'. Educ: Paris. Infls: Surrealism; his own role in the French Resistance and his nomadic life. Appts: Participated in French Resistance, 1939; fled to Egypt, working as stockbroker and writing for surrealist periodicals; after Suez Crisis returned to France, 1957.
The aim of Jabès' work (often written in the form of poems or other non-philosophical genres) is to define Judaism in terms of the written word, or text. He even states that to write is to be Jewish, Judaism being an allegory of the 'difference', or 'exile', experienced by the writer. Like Derrida and Levinas he combines various literary devices and subjects to form one piece, juxtaposing phrases culled from Jewish tradition with those from literary and philosophical sources. He has been commented on in a variety of countries and languages, two of the most impressive interpretations being by Derrida and Maurice Blanchot.
Sources: Schoeps; NUC; CPBI.
Australian, b: 31 August 1943, Melbourne. Cat: Analytic philosopher. Ints: Philosophical logic; cognitive science; epistemology; metaphysics; meta-ethics. Educ: Melbourne University and La Trobe University. Infls: A.C.Jackson, D.M. Armstrong, J.J.C. Smart and M.C. Bradley. Appts: 1967, Temporary Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Adelaide; 1968-77, Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, then Reader, La Trobe University; 1978-86, Professor of Philosophy, Monash University; 1986-90 and 1993-, Professor of Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University; 1991-2, Professor of Philosophy, Monash University; 1992-, Professor of Philosophy, R.S.S.S., Australian National University, 1994-5, John Locke Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Oxford.