Ongoing Research

Multiple research approaches are represented at the Cohn Institute, primarily history and philosophy of science and of social thought and culture. The disciplinary approaches of the faculty are brought to bare on a variety of domains. The history and philosophy of the physical science and technology and history and philosophy of the life science are particularly well represented, traditionally as well as currently. Another focus of activity has been cultural criticism, the history of social thought, and their relation to history of science and ideas, and hence the history and philosophy of the human sciences. Work on the history of Jewish, Muslim, and Middle-Eastern thought is seen as being of particular relevance for the Institute, as the research in the Institute is always done with attention to society at large.


Advanced graduate students enrich the Institute with work spanning other domains, from aesthetics to modern digital technologies. Students at the Institute come from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds and bring the tradition of scholarship at the Institute in contact with pressing social and intellectual concerns. In addition, the Institute hosts several post-doctoral researchers and visiting faculty, creating a vibrant intellectual community.


Below are a few highlights of current research interests and activities of the faculty. Further details can be found on individual members' web pages.






History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences



Prof. Eva Jablonka 

Prof. Eva Jablonka's main current project is a book that she is writing with Professor Simona Ginsburg (under contract with MIT Press, delivery due mid-2018) on the evolution of sentience (minimal consciousness). She is working intensely on this book, as well as on related papers with Simona Ginsburg and Zohar Bronfman. She is involved in theoretical work and the ongoing discussion accompanying it about what has become known as “The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis”. She is preparing a paper for a lecture at the Royal Society in a forthcoming meeting organized in partnership with the British Academy on New trends in evolutionary biology: biological, philosophical and social science perspectives (November 7-9th 2016), which will be published with the other contributions to the meeting. She is a Fellow in the Sagol School for Brain Research at TAU.



Dr. Ehud Lamm

Dr. Ehud Lamm is the director of the Council of Higher Education funded Inter-University PhD Program in the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (a joint program of Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University, and Bar Ilan University). His main research interests are the evolution of genomes and the evolution of higher cognitive functions in humans. He studies foundational issues in biology related to these questions using a combination of theoretical biology, modeling, and philosophical analysis. He is also working on philosophical issues related to scientific modeling and evolutionary narratives. With his co-workers he has recently been working on the notions of evolutionary drift, coevolution and development, as applied to the evolution of genome and of human mind and culture. His major current project, supported by an Israel Science Foundation grant, is concerned with the role of genome organization in evolution. The project includes a retelling of the history of 20th century genetics centred on attempts to conceptualize the organization of the genome rather than on the discovery of the gene. The project may lead to a monograph, tentatively titled The Living Genome. Among his recent and forthcoming publications: "Cultural group selection and holobiont evolution - a comparison of structures of evolution." In: Snait Gissis, Ehud Lamm, and Ayelet Shavit (eds.), Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences. MIT Press. 2017. "Big Dreams for Small Creatures: Ilana and Eugene Rosenberg's path to the Hologenome Theory." In: Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich (eds.), Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences. Chicago University Press. 2016. "Systems Thinking Versus Population Thinking: Genotype Integration and Chromosomal Organization 1930s-1950s." Journal of the History of Biology, 2015. "The genome as a developmental organ." Journal of Physiology, 2014.



  • Lamm, Ehud. 2020. “How to Live With Fake (Science) News.”
  • Lamm, Ehud. 2019. “I WAS SLIJPER’S GOAT.” 
  • Krashniak, Adam, and Ehud Lamm. 2021. “Francis Galton’s Regression towards Mediocrity and the Stability of Types.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
  • Lamm, Ehud, Oren Harman, and Sophie Juliane Veigl. 2020. “Before Watson and Crick in 1953 Came Friedrich Miescher in 1869.” Genetics
  • Veigl, Sophie Juliane, Oren Harman, and Ehud Lamm. 2020. “Friedrich Miescher’s Discovery in the Historiography of Genetics: From Contamination to Confusion, from Nuclein to DNA.” Journal of the History of Biology



 ​Dr. Snait B. Gissis 

​Dr. Snait B. Gissis is currently working on three projects: (1) The completion of a book on Lamarckism and emerging social sciences (primarily sociology and psychology) in late 19th­early 20th century. (2) The editing of a book based on a workshop co­organized and co­edited with Ehud Lamm and Ayelet Shavit entitled ”Landscapes of Collectivity”, to appear in the Vienna Series of Theoretical Biology to be published by MIT Press in 2017. (3) Carrying out ongoing research on Israeli geneticists dealing with genomic Jewish differences and Jewish commonalities. In particular, analyzing the researches on the genetics of Jews carried out by three generations of Israeli population geneticists who worked from after World War II, and the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, until 2017. She shall be a member of the research group on social solidarity at Safra Center of TAU during the academic year 2016­-2017.





History and Philosophy of the Physical and Mathematical Sciences


 Prof. Leo Corry 


Prof. Leo Corry serves currently as Dean of the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities at TAU. He continues to conduct research on his two main topics of activity over the last years: (1) the Euclidean Tradition of the Middle ages and the Renaissance; (2) the History of Mathematics in the Age of the Electronic Computing. He was recently awarded a new research fund by the Israel Science Foundation, on the topic: "History of Computing in Israel, 1955-1985". Among his recent publications: A Brief History of Numbers, Oxford, Oxford University Press (2015). "Distributivity-like Results in the Medieval Traditions of Euclid's Elements: Between Geometry and Arithmetic", Mathesis Ser. V, Vol. 1 (2), (Jul. Dec. 2016). "Some distributivity-like results in the the medieval arithmetic of Jordanus Nemorarius and Campanus de Novara," Historia Mathematica (2016).

View Prof. Corry's lecture on the History of General Relativity

View Prof. Corry's lecture series on History and Rationality (Hebrew)



Selected Publications

  • A Brief History of Numbers, Oxford, Oxford University Press (2015). "Distributivity-like Results in the Medieval Traditions of Euclid's Elements: Between Geometry and Arithmetic", Mathesis Ser. V, Vol. 1 (2), (Jul. Dec. 2016).
  • "Some distributivity-like results in the the medieval arithmetic of Jordanus Nemorarius and Campanus de Novara," Historia Mathematica (2016).


 Prof. Shaul Katzir,  Prof. Leo Corry.


 Prof. Shaul Katzir


Prof. Shaul Katzir's book project From Sonar to Quartz Clock: Technology and physics in war, academy and industry explores the transformation of a specific phenomenon of physics – piezoelectricity from a subject of 'pure science' to a basis for practical technologies for locating submarines and telecommunication at the First World War and its aftermath. It examines the mutual transfer and influence of science on technology and vice-versa. A few publications related to this projects have been already published. A related project studies the influence of technology and especially technological needs on interwar physics. He organizes a series of workshops on the subject - interactions of interwar physics. The first took place in Tel Aviv, with corporation of Zurich centre for the history of knowledge in October 2015 (you can find the abstract here). The second will take place at Budapest Central European University in December 2016, and a special journal issue from the results is planned. Among his recent publications: "Time standards for the twentieth century – telecommunication, physics and the quartz clock," The Journal of Modern History (forthcoming March 2017). "Pursuing frequency standards and control: the invention of quartz clock technologies," Annals of Science, 73 (2016): 1-39. "Frequency and Time Standards from Acoustic to Radio: The First Electronic Clock," In: Lara Huber and Oliver Schlaudt (eds.) Standardization in Measurement: Philosophical, Historical and Sociological Issues, 2015. "Manchester at war: Bohr and Rutherford on problems of science, war and international communication," In: Finn Aaserud and Helge Kragh (eds.) One hundred years of the Bohr atom: Scientia Danica. Series M. Mathematica et physica, 1, 2015.

View Dr. Shaul Katzir's lecture on the Turn to Applied Quantum Mechanics



Selected Publications

פרופ׳ קציר ארגן סדרת סדנאות בנושא יחסי הגומלין של הפיזיקה בתקופה שבין מלחמות העולם, כשהראשונה בהם התקיימה באוקטובר 2015 באוניברסיטת תל אביב בשיתוף המרכז להיסטוריה של הידע בציריך (תקציר ההרצאות). הסדנה השנייה התקיימה בבודפשט, בדצמבר 2016.


Dr. Ori Belkind


Dr. Ori Belkind holds an MSc in Physics from Tel Aviv University, an MA in philosophy from Northwestern University, and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Washington. Currently Belkind is a senior lecturer at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas. Previous appointments include a position as an assistant professor at the University of Richmond. He also held post docs at the Cohn Institute and at the University of Western Ontario, as the Rotman Philosophy of Science post doc fellow, and was visiting fellow at the Philosophy of Science Center, at Pittsburgh University. He has also done work on the foundations of spacetime theories and classical physical theories, including classical mechanics and the special theory of relativity. In his book Physical Systems: Conceptual Pathways between Spacetime and Matter, Springer (2012), Belkind develops a philosophical approach to the foundations of space, time and classical physical theories. 


Selected Publications

  • “Newton’s Conceptual Argument for Absolute Space” (International Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2007), “Newton’s Scientific Method and the Universal Law of Gravitation, in Interpreting Newton: Critical Essays, (Cambridge University Press, 2012).




History and Philosophy of the Human Sciences, Social Science, Cultural Criticism



 Prof.José Brunner


Brunner has published more than a hundred scholarly publications which appeared in English, German, Hebrew, Spanish, Greek and Japanese, including 2 monographs and 17 edited volumes. They address a broad spectrum of topics: The relationship between law, memory and identity, the right to the truth, the history of compensation for Holocaust survivors in Germany and Israel, the history and politics of psychoanalysis, the politics of the mental health discourse on trauma, psychological theories of Nazism, and diverse subjects in modern and contemporary political thought.


Selected Publications

  • Beyond the Consulting Room: Psychological Discourse in Contemporary Culture (Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016) [Hebrew]. Co-Edited with Galia Plotkin-Amrami.  
  • Recht auf Wahrheit. Genese eines neuen Menschenrechts. Co-edited with Daniel Stahl (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2016).
  • Die Politik des Traumas. Gewalterfahrungen und psychisches Leid in den USA, in Deutschland und im Israel/Palästina Konflikt (Frankfurt Adorno Lectures; Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2014).


 Prof. Moshe Zuckermann


Prof. Moshe Zuckermann’s areas of research are history and philosophy of the social and cultural sciences; the Frankfurt School; aesthetic theory and sociology of art; the impact of the Holocaust on the political cultures of Israel and Germany.


Selected Publications

  • Zweierlei Holocaust. Der Holocaust in den politischen Kulturen Israels und Deutschlands, Göttingen 1998
  • Kunst und Publikum. Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner gesellschaftlichen Hintergehbarkeit, Göttingen 2002
  • Antisemit! Ein Vorwurf als Herrschaftsinstrument, Vienna 2010
  • Israels Schicksal. Wie der Zionismus seinen Untergang betreibt, Vienna 2014
  • Freud und das Politische. Psychoanalyse, Emanzipation und Israel          


Prof. Amos Morris – Reich


Prof. Morris – Reich’s research intersects modern Jewish history and the history of science. Focusing mainly on European and particularly German contexts, he has special interest in methodological and epistemological questions in the history of the social sciences and the humanities. His three monographs deal with assimilated Jews and the notion of assimilation in sociology and anthropology; in photography as evidence in the study of race, ranging from physical anthropology to phenomenology; and with photography and Jewish history in the twentieth century. He has an ongoing interest in Nazism, racism, and antisemitism within science and scholarship, in the history of race and biological difference in post-1945 science. He is the co-editor of two volumes, on ideas of race in the history of the humanities (with Dirk Rupnow); and on photography and imagination (with Margaret Olin). He is the editor of the first collection of essays by sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel in Hebrew and the first volume of essays by cultural historian Sander Gilman. His current research interests include philosophy of technology with special interest in the status of the biological sciences following Nazism and the Holocaust; methodological questions in the study of antisemitism and racism; the notion of contingency in history and the social sciences; and theory of “gray areas.”


Selected Publications

  • Photography and Jewish History: Five Twentieth Century Cases (in press,  Jewish Culture and Contexts Series, University of Pennsylvania Press).
  • “The Stranger as a Threshold Figure” (special forum on Georg Simmel’s ‘The Stranger’ and Jewish History),  The Jewish Quarterly Review 111 (2) 2021, 314–317.
  • “History and ‘Noise,’,” Zion [special issue on David Engel’s “Away from a Definition of Antisemitism,”], LXXXV (1-4) 2020, 59-72 [Hebrew].
  • “Georg Simmel’s Logic of the Future: ‘The Stranger’, Zionism, and ‘Bounded Contingency’,” Theory Culture & Society 36 (5) 2019, 71-94.
  • “Two Modes of Political Engagement in Contemporary Israeli Photography,” Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture, 11 (2018), 85–108.



Dr. Lin Chalozin-Dovrat


Dr. Lin Chalozin-Dovrat studies the philosophy of linguistics, the history of linguistic ideas, and the history and philosophy of knowledge institutions (particularly Israeli Universities) adopting a critical theory approach. Her research focuses on the relationship between time and space in linguistic theory and on that relationship’s role in the disciplinarization of linguistics. Chalozin‑Dovrat has demonstrated how the ordinary concept of space took on a different sense in Western European languages following conceptual changes in metaphysics and physical theory, and how scientific changes impacted understandings of the grammar of time. Her forthcoming book on time and space in linguistic theory examines similar questions in the works of linguists since the seventeenth century (e.g. Arnauld & Lancelot, Grammaire de Port-Royal), into the eighteenth century (e.g. Du Marsais, Harris, Beauzée), through the twentieth century (e.g. Meillet, Guillaume, Chomsky, Clark, Traugott, Langacker). Her edited volume (with Y. Schwartz, H. Kotef, E. Chowers and S. Lavi), “Thinking on the University: Knowledge, Politics, and Academe in Israel,” is forthcoming from Tel Aviv University Press.




Jewish Thought


 Prof. Menachem Fisch


Prof. Menachem Fisch holds the Joseph and Ceil Mazer Chair for History and Philosophy of Science, at the Cohn Institute. He is Chair of the Cohn Institute's Board and Academic Committee, and is Co-Editor of HOPOS, The Journal of the International Society for the History of the Philosophy of Science.

Prof. Menachem Fisch is Director of the Center for Religious and Interreligious Studies (CRIS) at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the universities of Cambridge and Frankfurt. He is also Senior Fellow of the Kogod Center for the Renewal of Jewish Thought at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem.

View Prof. Menachem Fisch's lecture on the Humanities, Ethics and Religion

Selected Publications

  •  “Judaism and the Religious Value of Diversity and Dialogue: Drafting a Jewish Response to Nostra Aetate”, in S. Alkier, M. Schneider, C. Wiese (eds.), Diversität - Differenz - Dialogoizität: Religion in Pluralen Kontexten, de Gruyter, 2016.
  • "Deciding by Argument versus Proving by Miracle: The Myth-History of Talmudic Judaism’s Coming of Age", Toronto Journal of Theology, 2017 


בשנת 2017 יצא לאור בהוצאת אוניברסיטת שיקאגו ספרו, ״Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency"

בקיץ 2016 ראה אור כרך המוקדש להגותו שכותרתו: Menachem Fisch: The Rationality of Religious Dispute בסדרת עשרים כרכי ה-Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers שבהוצאת בריל.

לפרופ' פיש הוענק מענק מחקר מהקרן הישראלית למדע עבור ספרו " The Rabbis’ Dispute of Religiosity: A Study of Talmudic Confrontational Theology."

"Babbage's Two Lives״ שפורסם ב- British Journal for the History of Science

בשנת 2017 יצא לאור בהוצאת אוניברסיטת שיקאגו ספרוCreatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency"




Medieval and Early Modern Thought


Prof. Yossef Schwartz


Prof. Yossef Schwartz is currently Head of School of  Philosophy, Linguistics and Science studies. He is also Associate Professor at the Cohn Institute and was the director of the Institute from 2009 until 2015. He held the Martin Buber Chair for Jewish philosophy of religion at the department of evangelical theology, Goethe University of Frankfurt/Main, 2000-2002. Further teaching positions at the Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest, and at the University of Heidelberg. He has held visiting research positions at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. He is the winner of an ERC Research Grant, dedicated to the study of the translation of "Latin philosophy into Hebrew" (Together with Alexander Fidora and Harvey Hames) and an ISF Research Grant, dedicated to Christian Hebraism and Christian Cabbala. His research focuses on late medieval and early modern intellectual history, with emphasize on social and institutional dimensions of knowledge, on theory and praxis of translation, and on knowledge in migration, mostly within European culture. Among his publications: “To Thee is silence praise”: Meister Eckhart’s reading in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed, Tel Aviv: Am Oved 2002 (Hebr.); Y. Schwartz and V. Krech eds., Religious Apologetics – Philosophical Argumentation, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck Verlag, 2004; Yossef Schwartz, Alexander Fidora, Harvey J. Hames (eds.), Latin-Into-Hebrew: Studies and Texts, volume 2: Texts in Contexts, Leiden: Brill 2013.


Selected Publications

  • Language – Revelation. In the Footsteps of Moshe Schwarcz’s Thought, Jerusalem: Carmel, 2019.
  • “To Thee is silence praise”: Meister Eckhart’s reading in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed, Tel Aviv: Am Oved 2002 (Hebr.);
  • Y. Schwartz and V. Krech eds., Religious Apologetics – Philosophical Argumentation, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck Verlag, 2004; Yossef Schwartz, Alexander Fidora, Harvey J. Hames (eds.), Latin-Into-Hebrew: Studies and Texts, volume 2: Texts in Contexts, Leiden: Brill 2013.


 Dr. Ahmad Ighbariah


Dr. Ahmad Ighbariah is a senior lecturer at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Sciences and Ideas and The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies. His main area of interest is Islamic culture with special focus on philosophy, theology (Kalam) and logic. Apart from classical Islamic culture he is also interested in modern Arab thought and its relation with western thought, and he is active in a reading group at the Minerva Center that deals with Arabic thought in the 20th century. He is also interested in some aspects of Arabic literature, especially within the context of Israeli-Palestinian conflict after 1948. Dr. Ighbariah was recently awarded a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (4 years) devoted to the study of the theory of categories in late Islamic philosophy (after the 13th century). Among his recent publications: “The Theory of Signification in Arabic Logic and its Influence on Jurisprudence and Eloquence”, Al-Majalla: Journal of the Arabic Language Academy, Vol. 7, 2016 (pp. 39-69). “The Manifestations of Dream in the Age of Magic: A Study of Anat by Ahmad Husein”, Al-Karmil: Studies in Arabic Language and Literature , Vol. 36, 2016 (pp. 5-52).


Selected Publications

  • “The Theory of Signification in Arabic Logic and its Influence on Jurisprudence and Eloquence”, Al-Majalla: Journal of the Arabic Language Academy, Vol. 7, 2016 (pp. 39-69). “The Manifestations of Dream in the Age of Magic: A Study of Anat by Ahmad Husein”, Al-Karmil: Studies in Arabic Language and Literature , Vol. 36, 2016 (pp. 5-52).


 Dr. Eshbal Ratzon




Selected Publications

  • Ratzon, E., Early Mesopotamian Intercalation Schemes and The Sidereal Month. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 16(4), 2016 (pp. 143-151).
  • Ratzon, E. and Ben Dov, J., A Newly Reconstructed Calendrical Scroll from Qumran in Cryptic Script. Journal of Biblical Literature, 136(4), 2017 (pp. 905-936).
  • Ratzon, E., The First Jewish Astronomers: Lunar Theory and Reconstruction of a Dead Sea Scroll. Science in Context, 30(2), 2017 (pp. 112-139).
  • Ratzon, E., Jewish Time: First Stages of Seasonal Hours in Judea. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 75, 2019 (pp. 23-33).
  • Ratzon, E., 4Q208: A New Reconstruction and Its Implications on the Evolution of the Astronomical Book. Reveu de Qumran 31,1 (113), 2019 (pp. 51-110).
  • Ratzon E. and Dershowitz N., The Length of a Scroll: Quantitative Evaluation of Material Reconstructions. Plos One, 2020 (
  • Fincke, J., Horowitz, W., and Ratzon, E., BM 76829: A Small Astronomical Fragment with Important Implications for the Late Babylonian Astronomy and the Astronomical Book of Enoch, Archive for History of Exact Sciences 75,3, 2020 (pp. 349-368) (





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