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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, October 25, 2010

MONDAY MORNING MUSINGS

I take as my text for my meditation this morning Ecclesiastes 12:12 "By this, my sonne, be admonished: of making many bookes there is no end, and much studie is a wearinesse of the flesh."

This was apparently written roughly twenty-three hundred years ago, give or take a century, when there were, to put it mildly, fewer books about. Now, books are as common as tribbles. Quite often, after I have finished writing a book, I will walk past a bookstore and see the hundreds of brand new books on offer. "Oh Lord," I think, "does the world really need or want another one?" And yet, I never feel so alive as when I am writing. Last Spring and early Summer, when I was writing two books simultaneously [my Memoir and my tutorial on Formal Methods in Political Philosophy] and posting them, as I wrote them, on my two blogs, I was in a fever of composition. My mind never stopped composing sentences, even while I was shopping, or cooking dinner, or taking my morning walk.

I am comforted by Mark Twain's observation that "the man who does not read great books has no advantage on the man who cannot read them." Still and all, the good that men do is oft interred with their bones, as Antony tells us in his great eulogy to Caesar, and I am afraid the same is true for their books, though of course that might in some circumstances count as evil, which, Antony assures us, lives on. What long-living parrots are to ephemeral mayflies, so books are to blog posts. As some of you have reminded me, not everyone who nods in at this blog takes the time or has the interest to read the entire history of its daily posts.

Perhaps I am ready for our two week safari to Kenya, which starts this Saturday.

3 comments:

Chris said...

There's also the fundamental problem that all the major book sellers (barnes and noble, borders, etc) don't carry the "good" books that Twain refers to. Ever notice one cannot find On Capital or In Defense of Anarchism in these stores; as just two minor examples. No, instead one finds hundreds of politicians books that repeat exactly the same thing: "Lower/raise taxes, that's the solution."

One must hunt for a decent mom and pop used bookstore to find anything of value.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Alas, too true. More and more, I buy books from Amazon, and buy scones and coffee at Barnes and Noble. They do not even carry a good doublecrostic book anymore.

I have been told bu a good friend that I should create a website devoted to me [this strikes me as being very like Mr Toad in Wind in the Willows, but that is life.] If I do, I shall have little buttons connected to Amazon so that people can buy my books with no trouble at all. :)

Chris said...

Professor,
I find the easiest way to track down books by favorite authors is to use Goodreads.com. It's essentially a facebook/myspace for people who read. And the website has the ability to track down every book an author has written and then list the prices of that book across dozens of databases. So for example here's you and all the books you've written:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/17880.Robert_Paul_Wolff

Then, click any book, and next to Buy A Copy click "more." That will list at least a dozen databases and subsequent prices.

It's really an ideal site for those of us disillusioned to shopping mega-chains for quality items.