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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Monday, November 9, 2009

PROPORTIONALITY

I am often struck by the disproportion between the significance of the major issues of public importance about which I pontificate knowingly in this blog, and the insignificance of the personal matters about which I anguish privately. Right now, three things are weighing on my mind: the fate of the health care reform bill, the war in Afghanistan, and the health of my cat, Murray, whom we took yesterday to the emergency room of the North Carolina State University Veterinary School with a life-threatening diebetic attack that has mushroomed into something much worse. I am not crazy. I acknowledge that by any measure to which I could give rational assent, either of the first two issues is to the third as a galaxy is to a dust mote. And yet, in the emotional balance of my life, the third far outweighs either or both of the first two. If Murray pulls through, we will need to care for him for the rest of what I hope will be a long life, giving him twice a day subcutaneous insulin shots and watching carefully to be sure that he does not become hypoglycemic from too much insulin. Murray has been sick for several days, and yesterday, even though it was a Sunday, I called the emergency service of our vet and took him in to be seen. The vet offered the opinion that if I had not chosen to take him in, he might not have lasted through the night! When she said that, I experienced not relief but what can only be called a retroactive shock that left me wrung through.

Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham is calling the House bill Dead on Arrival, Joe Lieberman is renewing his threat to filibuster the bill in the Senate, and new reports suggest Obama is leaning toward the disastrous decision to send 38,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. I know that if I have any self-respect as a blogger, it is those matters about which I should be writing. But the truth is that the uncertainty about Murray's fate completely eclipses health care and Afghanistan in my mind. I suppose one explanation for this distorted sense of priorities is that while there is absolutely nothing I can do that will make a discernible difference to either the health care bill or Afghanistan, what I do will make all the difference to Murray's future.

Murray, by the way, is name after the dog on the old Paul Rieser/Helen Hunt television comedy, "Mad About You."

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