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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Saturday, April 24, 2010

A QUESTION TO MY READERS

Several of you have, in your comments, expressed an interest in what I have written on the misuse of collective choice theory and rational choice theory and game theory by deterrence theorists, political scientists, and political philosophers. This is a complex subject -- not for the faint of heart. It requires mastering some serious mathematics and all. If there is serious interest out there from people who would be willing to stay with me through what is essentially an entire course on the subject, complete with the technical materials, I would consider starting a totally separate blog on which I would post that material in daily or maybe five times weekly episodes. I would like to know whether anyone is interested enough to stick with it through the whole development. Would you post a comment if you are really interested?

Thanks.

22 comments:

Bryan said...

I would definitely follow such a series.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

That's one.

Roberto Loja said...

Count me in.

Andrew said...

I would like to do this too. I am going on sabbatical to finish a book. Truth be told, I think an online tutorial and, more important, an online discussion via a blog with Professor Wolff and others on these matters would be more interesting than my book. :-)

Ann said...

I have requested this material in previous communication.

Henry C. Alphin Jr. said...

Yes, I'm in.

Henry C. Alphin Jr. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S Bliefnick said...

Please bestow such knowledge.

Nathana said...

I am definitely interested. And I have been enjoying your memoirs.

dylan said...

im in

Boram Lee said...

Yes I'd read your new blog, even though I can't promise to understand all the mathematics (if that includes calculus).

Gauthier also uses a lot of rational choice / game / bargaining theory in his Morals by Agreement, and after reading his book and criticisms of it I am coming to see their shortcomings for the purpose of providing normatively adequate solutions. I've read your "Reflections on Game Theory and the Nature of Value" after you mentioned it here, and don't think I've seen a more concise and lucid description of the basic ideas behind game & bargaining theory. Also illuminating was the distinction you made between simple/complex altruism. So, I am looking forward to it!

Steven said...

I'd appreciate it, too.

adamvs said...

I would like to know more, and will try to follow. Thanks!

Haydon said...

Yes, count me in!

Jake said...

I'm in too.

Todd Gitlin said...

I'm in.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Hey, Todd. Cool!

MarcusAquinas said...

I'm in much the same boat as Boram Lee - I'll certainly try to follow, but make no claims on the number-crunching end of things.

Bruce Lyth said...

I'd definitely be interested!

Jim said...

Sounds interesting

bill said...

Professor Wolff, I'm definitely interested in participating. Thanks for creating this opportunity.

Bill

Buck said...

I'd be interested but I have degrees in law and accounting and practiced law for many years and am not sure I have the requisite background for game theory. Game theory and the like were not part of our repetoire when I was in school, at least it was a specialized field then, and I thought of teaching for Kaplan for the LSAT since I scored well above the 90th percentile on the LSAT. But in examining the LSAT I noticed that they have added game theory replacing analogies or at least there were few analogies on the test and a large amount of game theory. Those thinking of entering the law field should be aware of this and this course might be an excellent way to make sure that one does well on the LSAT.


I excelled at analogies which were a substantial part of the LSAT in 1978 when I took it. But I would like to learn how to do game theory and its companion fields of study but I was not taught the basics of game theory when I was in school 25 or 30 years ago. I hope perhaps you can have both a beginners course for us old timers and a more advanced course for those who have been taught game theory in anticipation of the tests given on the LSAT and I presume that game theory is on the SAT as well. But I was taken aback at the changes in the LSAT and declined to teach the course since I didn't think I could master the material quickly enough to teach it. Kaplan was pushing me to learn game theory in two weeks which was an impossible task but they needed a teacher and they needed one then. But I wasn't about to make them or me look bad so I didn't teach for them.

I hope you could teach a very basic course or direct some of us to another site where we might prepare to take your course here. I think my generation was shortchanged in that area and what you wrote about doctors not being able to figure probabilities of cancer out just shows how I am not the only one of my generation to have not gained an understanding of game theory. I'm glad to see the students of today learning material that we didn't have or wasn't a prerequisite for a degree or advancement in high school and college. I am excellent at analogies though and never took a philosophy course and would love to have a teach in on your site for that. As you know I find you site fascinating - I read the whole thing in two days starting from the first post in 1997 when Jerome Doolittle at Bad Attitudes posted something that linked to your website. But I am ignorant in the fields you taught but you are such an excellent writer that I am able to read your material and when there is something I don't understand I skip over it. But learning the material would be fun. I do have that child like curiosity for new knowledge but I learned recently that I am ADHD which explains my C average in college. But I did so well on the LSAT that they let me in law school - the schools do love to have a high average LSAT score so I suspect that helped me overcome my ADHD and I did well enough in law school and practiced law successfully for a number of years thanks to excellent assistants who kept me organized. Wall Street took my money though and I need to go back into the job market and I want to learn new things. I am finding that ADHD is suddenly a hindrance in accomplishing things although when I was younger I could compensate and get by. The medications don't help me because I then tend to hyperfocus. Which is great for studying but not multitasking. But we did have amphetimines on campus in the 70s but they were hard to get. But when I got one I always scored the highest grade in the class. I remember doing that once and then for the next test I couldn't obtain one of those green pills and scored a 40. When one is given a gift like ADHD (great for creativity) then often something else is taken away. And as I've aged I notice it more and more.