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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Thursday, April 21, 2011

PROMISES, PROMISES

Yesterday, I spend some time reading Professor Vallbé's lovely formatting of my Formal Methods tutorial. [One of my guilty pleasures is reading what I myself have written. I imagine my fascination with my own words is a much sublimated expression of the infantile fascination with one's own feces, but that is a subject for another post.] I noticed, with a frisson of dismay, that in the very beginning of the tutorial, I promised to discuss a number of applications of the formal materials that I never got around to. By the time I had worked my way through the rigors of Rational Choice Theory, Game Theory, and Collective Choice Theory, I was a bit tuckered out.



Fortunately, two of the broken promises -- discussions [and eviscerations] of Robert Nozick's ebullient ANARCHY, STATE, AND UTOPIA, and Jon Elster's methodological individualist rendering of Marx -- are easily rectified, inasmuch as I have published both of them as journal articles. The Nozick essay is in the Arizona Law Journal for 1977, not someplace, I imagine, that most readers of this blog would ordinarily look for amusement. The Elster piece, which I am proud to say is admired by Brian Leiter, appeared in The Canadian Journal of Philosophy in 1990.



I have now managed to access and download both of them on-line, and will post them on box.net shortly. My younger readers will be quite unimpressed by my ability to find and download journal articles on-line, but it actually took me a bit of doing. I am an adjunct professor at UNC Chapel Hill, inasmuch as I am teaching a graduate seminar there. But it seems that UNC, in a fit of anxiety about internet theft and such things, changes everyone's password every three months. I imagine they sent me a warning on my UNC email account, which they created automatically without bothering to tell me. Since I never use it and have no idea how to locate it, I never got the warning. Now, of course, I cannot log in to change it. It seems I must go to some obscure office somewhere on a campus I am unfamiliar with and get a new password. Fortunately, I am also an adjunct professor at Duke, because an old student of mine is now Chair of the Philosophy Department, and Duke does not engage in such nonsense as changing people's passwords. So I was able to get onto J-STOR through the Duke library system and carry out the downloads.



One odd tidbit. My vita tells me that the Nozick article appears in Volume 20 in 1978, but it seems that in fact the piece appears in volume 19 in 1977. I wonder how on earth I managed to get that wrong.


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