Judaism has a long tradition of valuing debate. My sense is that it is somewhat singular in this regard. Certainly there is debate within Islam or Christianity, but if I understand correctly, Judaism more explicitly values and encourages debate itself as a way of converging on wisdom and truth.

I am interested in the extent to which this value influenced Classical Liberal ideology, which similarly values debate. Most of the big names I associate with Classical Liberalism (JS Mill, Adam Smith, John Locke, Jeremy Bentham) were either Christian or agnostic. Are there important Jewish thinkers in this tradition who seem to have derived their pro-debate leanings from Judaism?

  • 3
    This question is probably better suited for the philosophy or history SE. – N.T. May 11 at 0:05