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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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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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