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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, January 1, 2011

JANUARY 1, 2011 7:36 A.M.

On this first morning of 2011, let me send New Year's greetings to the many folks who visit this site, and most particularly to those who have taken the time to post comments. The year just ended was an extraordinary experience for me, what with writing and posting an eight hundred page Memoir, a tutorial on formal methods in political philosophy, and countless other, shorter comments on the passing scene and meditations on larger questions. I am very grateful to all of you who have been generous enough to read what I have written, to comment on it, and even, or so it seems, to recommend this site to others. I am myself a compulsive web surfer, and it strikes me that the intellectual quality of the comments posted here is many orders of magnitude more elevated than the usual snarking comments posted on the more popular sites.

On a lighter note, here, reproduced verbatim, is an email I received this morning:

"Just a quick note to wish you a Happy New Year from us at Knesek Guns; We appreciate your continued support which has made 2010 one of our strongest years to date, and we're looking forward to a great 2011. If you haven't had a chance yet - make sure to pick up a copy of Jan 2011 Tactical Weapons for Military and Police - Check out this exerpt article on the XM408 weapon system: http://www.knesekguns.com/thor.pdf - this system is capable of long range shooting beyond 2,000m - one of the most impressive systems we currently offer

Visit our website when you have a free moment to check out some of the great new products we'll be offering for the coming year.

Thanks again, and take care!

Kendall Newton

DIRECTOR OF SALES

www.knesekguns.com"

Nowe, I ask you. What mailing list have I gotten myself onto that brings me messages like this?

Here is the reply I sent:

"Hi, many thanks for writing to me. Since I am totally committed to banning all such weapons systems from sale anywhere in the world, I think it is very big minded of you to write to me.

Have a happy new year."

I can snark with the best of them.

8 comments:

NotHobbes said...

A very happy new year to you Professor.
Any predictions for 2011?

wallyverr said...

Best wishes for the New Year, and thank you for keeping your blog going on a regular basis.

I discovered the blog via Leiter, too late to follow the tutorial on formal methods in political theory. Would you consider posting some blogs on your upcoming Duke class on Plato?

Chris said...

Is this the year scientific socialism cones to fruition?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Alas, Chris, scientific socialism has always been vindicated by the facts, but rejected by those it would liberate. This is not the year. At best, we must fight a holding action against the forces of ignorance, superstition, exploitation, and injustice, but there is nobility in that calling as well.

I am a novice, Wallyverr, when it comes to the philosophy of Plato, but perhaps as the semester unfolds, I will give voice here to some of what I find in that great and troubling book.

The more I blog about the politics of the moment, the more I find myself drawn back to the immortal works of philosophy. Yesterday, my wife and I spent some time at a little complex of shops in Durham. I found a lovely bookstore there, which had on its shelves an 1826 edition of the works of David Hume. As I turned the yellowed pages and read once again the opening lines of the very first section of Part I of Volume One, a kind of peace descended on me. Too much time spent thinking about the Palins and Boehners and Becks of this world corrupts and debases.

Chris said...

Amen to that. Upon graduation I find myself spending more time reading philosophy - recreational - than the newspaper(s).

M said...

Professor Wolff,

For what it's worth, I'd also like to see your notes on Plato's Republic. When I was an undergraduate, that was the book that got me hooked on philosophy, leading me to major in it and to pursue a Ph.D. in it.

Alan Schulman said...

Your letter of thanks from the gun importer reminds me of the thanks I occasionally receive from the Republican party. At least the gun importer didn't request money with a false poll as a disguise.

Perhaps I shouldn't look for the better side!

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Alan, I always stuff those in the envelope and send them back. I figure it at least costs them the postage. Every little bit helps. Are you also on their list of special honored donors? That one gives me a smile every time. By the way, I looked up the gun seller's web site. This gun they are trying to get me to buy is capable of killing someone at more than a mile!! Close up, it is good for penetrating those hard to get through barriers, like brick walls. The perfect little stocking stuffer.