Professor Adi Ophir

14 Lincoln St. Tel Aviv 67134
Home - 03-5626831
Office - 03-6409198

Adi Ophir, is associate professor at the Cohn Institute. Ophir's main areas of interest are modern and contemporary continental philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, and critical studies. He has written about twentieth thinkers like Arendt, Foucault, Lyotard, Leivnas, and Agamben, and about various aspects of Israeli culture and society. In his Order of Evils (Zone Books, forthcoming, originally published as Lashon lara, Am Oved 2000) he presents an outline for “moral ontology based on understanding the social production and distribution of “evils” (losses, damages, injuries, suffering, and risks), and proposes a new interpretation of the concepts of evil and injustice. Working for the Present (Avodat Hahove, Hakkibutz Hameuchad 2001) is a collection of deconstructive readings of some major texts and events in contemporary Israeli culture. More recently he published with Ariella Azoulay Terrible Days (Yamim Raim, Resling 2002), a collection of critical essays on the current political situation in Israel.

Adi Ophir founded and edited Theory and Criticism, Israel's leading journal for critical theory. For the last three years he directed an interdisciplinary research project in cooperation with the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on "Humanitarian Action in Catastrophes: The Shaping of Contemporary Political Imagination and Moral Sensibilities." In its new phase, and in cooperation with Palestinian scholars, the research focuses on processes of “catastrophization” and the responses of local and global humanitarian and human rights organizations to various aspects of the chronic and ongoing disaster in Palestine-Israel. Ophir is also a fellow at the Center of Advance Studies, The Hartman Institute, Jerusalem.

Selected List of Courses

Monographic Seminars on Michel Foucault, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, and Giorgio Agamben.

Thematic Seminars on contemporary French Philosophy; chapters in the ontology of morals; history of ethics in 18th and 19th Century; the idea of civil society; thinking the historical present; reflections on catastrophe; a philosophical history of disasters; the idea and practice of humanitarianism; the concept of sovereignty.

Introductory Courses in political philosophy, and in critical theory and cultural studies (with Hannan Hever).

Selected List of Publications


A. Ophir, 1991. Plato's Invisible Cities: Discourse and Power in the 'Republic' London: Routledge 1991.

A. Ophir, 2001. Thinking for the Present: Essays on Israeli Culture and Society [Avodat Hahove], Hakkibutz Hameuchad.

A. Ophir, ed. 1999.  50 to 48: Critical Moments in the History of the State of Israel - Essays and Chronicle, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakkibutz Hameuchad,.

A Ophir and Yoav Peled, eds., 2001. Israel: from a Mobilized to Civil Society? Hakkibutz Hameuchad.

A Ophir and Ariella Azoulay, 2002. Terrible Days: Between Disaster and Utopia [Yamim Raiim], Resling.

A. Ophir, forthcoming. The Order of Evils: Chpaters in the Ontology of Morals [Lashon Lara, Am-Oved 2000), (Zone Books).



A. Ophir, 1988, "Michel Foucault and the Semiotics of the Phenomenal," Dialogue XXVII (1988), pp. 387-415

A. Ophir, 1989, "The Semiotics of Power: Reading Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish", Manuscrito XII, 2 (1989), pp. 9-34

A. Ophir 1991, "The Place of Knowledge Recreated: The Library of Michel de Montaigne," Science in Context, 4:1, spring 1991, pp. 163-189.

Feldhay, Rivka and Adi Ophir 1989, "Heresy and Hierarchy: The Authorization of Giordano Bruno," Stanford Humanities Review, Spring 1989, vol. 1 no.1, pp.118-38

A. Ophir 1994a. "Introduction" to Le Souper des cendres, Giordano Bruno, Oeuvres Completes, tome II, Paris: Les belles letrres, pp. ix-lxviii.

A. Ophir 1994b. "From Pharaoh to Saddam Hussein: Deconstruction of the Passover Haggadah." In The Other in Jewish Thought and History, ed. by Laurence Silberstein and Robert Cohn, New York: New York University Press.

A. Ophir 1996a. "Between Kant and Eichmann: Thinking on Evil After Arendt," History and Memory, 8:2, 1996 (pp. 89-136).

A. Ophir 1996b. "The Poor in Deed Facing the Lord of all Deeds: A Postmodern Reading of the Yom Kippur Mahzor.", in Interpreting Judaism in a Postmodern Age, ed. by Steven Kepnes, New York: New York University Press

A. Ophir 1997. "Shifting the Ground of the Moral Domain: Reading Lyotard's Differend," Constellations, vol. 4, no.2, Oct. 1997 (pp. 189-204).


אופיר ע., 1991, "מעבר לטוב - רוע: מתווה לתיאוריה פוליטית של רעות", תיאוריה וביקורת 1, קיץ 1991 (עמ' 77-41).

אופיר ע., 1996א, "פוסטמודרניזם: עמדה פילוסופית", בתוך אילן גור זאב, עורך, חינוך בעידן השיח הפוסטמודרניסטי, ירושלים: מאגנס 1996 (עמ' 163-135).

אופיר ע., 1996ב, "נזק, סבל וגבולות השיח המוסרי: בעקבות ליוטר". עיון מ"ה, 1996 (עמ' 149-190).

אופיר ע., 1998, "הכוחות המזוינים של ממשלת התבונה: על מטאפוריקה וכוח ב'ביקורת התבונה הטהורה", עיון מ"ז, 1998 (190-165).

אופיר ע., 1999, "אפילו המלחמה יש בה משהו מן הנשגב", בתוך ירון סנדרוביץ ואלי פרידלנדר, עורכים, מלאכת השיפוט: יופי, שגב ותכליתיות בביקורת כוח השיפוט של קאנט, מפעלים אוניברסיטאיים להוצאה לאור, עמ' 210-182.

אופיר ע. 2003א. "טכנולוגיות מוסריות: ניהול האסון והפקרת החיים". תיאוריה וביקורת 22, אביב 2003: 67-103.

אופיר ע. .2003ב "בין קידוש החיים להפקרתם: במקום מבוא ל-Homo Sacer," בתוך שי לביא, עורך, טכנולוגיות של צדק: משפט, מדע וחברה, הוצאת רמות.


Updated: October 2003