Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Sunday, August 23, 2009

BOOK REPORT

I am reading a schlock novel this morning [retirement being what it is, I read four or five of these a week, courtesy of the Chapel Hill Public Library], and since it is based on a rather nice idea, I thought I would mention it. It is called VIRUS, by Graham Watkins, and was published in 1995, which is actually ancient as schlock fiction goes, but I was drawn to it because the author, according to the dust jacket, lives in Durham, NC, and the novel is set in the Triangle area, where I now live. The idea is this: a large number of people start showing up in emergency rooms and doctor's offices with a serious mysterious illness. They all are upscale types with techie jobs or interests. It turns out that a computer virus has taken on a life of its own and is infecting the people who use the computers. I think of this as a reverse metaphor. In the 17th century, devoted subjects of Queen Elizabeth called the female in a bees' nest "the Queen bee" as a tribute to her -- mother of the nation and all. Once this metaphor had become ensconced in the language, entymologists of a socio-biological bent started ruminating on the significant fact that human beings as well as bees have queens!! Don't you love it? So here we have a metaphor -- computer virus -- that is turned on its head for literary effect. Nice.

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