Tel Aviv University professor tells London gathering philosophy gives us an opportunity to rethink

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Tel Aviv University professor tells London gathering philosophy gives us an opportunity to rethink

TAU Trust's new Women's Circle meets for inspiring talk

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

TAU Trust CEO Cara Case with Professor Ilit Ferber
TAU Trust CEO Cara Case with Professor Ilit Ferber

Tel Aviv University Trust‘s new Women’s Circle gathered for an intimate talk on Friday by visiting TAU Professor Ilit Ferber, who spoke on “Why Emotions Matter to Thinking”.

Professor Ferber conducts research on the philosophy of emotions, especially melancholy, suffering and pain. She is a Professor of Philosophy at TAU and Vice Dean for Research at TAU’s Faculty of Humanities.

Her current research is specifically focussed on the disconnect between thinking and feeling, “Emotions are wild, untamed,” she explained, “whereas thinking is controlled. Emotions are connected to our body – for example when we are embarrassed we blush, and when we are anxious it affects our heartbeat.”

She said that in exploring the disconnect she wanted to bring the subject back to the thinking element but philosophy can’t function without the emotional side. “To me, philosophy is a way of paying attention in life – it gives us a different entry point and an opportunity to rethink.”

Prof Ferber spoke about Austrian Holocaust survivor Jean Amery, who wrote a series of essays about resentment. “The Holocaust changed the way he lived in the world and even 20 years after the war he was unable to let it go. He did not want to move on because the Holocaust was a connection with who he was.”

A discussion ensued among the women present about the feelings of anger connected to the war in Gaza. Prof Ferber explained that we have been through four different emotions – shock, mourning, frustration and now anger. “When people are in pain they are enclosed within themselves and we can chose to walk away or to find new ways to communicate. The war with Hamas will ultimately end with communication, but we will need to find a way to do this,” she said.

For more information on Tel Aviv University Trust visit

For more information on Professor Ferber visit


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