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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, August 27, 2012

SONG OF MYSELF

'I celebrate myself," as Walt Whitman famously began his poem.  If Whitman can do it, why can't I?  [The obvious answer is, because Whitman was a great poet, and I am no poet at all.  Oh well.]  More than a year ago, I wrote a short book, posted on this blog in segments as I wrote it, called "The Use and Abuse of Formal Models in Political Philosophy."  It now resides on box.net, along with much else that I have written.  Having nothing better to do this afternoon, while the oven heats up to receive a cornish hen, I decided to re-read some of that little book.  I was delighted to discover that it is really very clear, very readable, and a splendid introduction to collective choice theory, rational choice theory, and Game Theory, as well as an acerbic debunking of the so-called Prisoner's Dilemma.  Having long ago learned, though not actually from Walt Whitman, that if you do not sing a song of yourself probably nobody else will, I heartily recommend my web-book to anyone who has a serious interest in the formal side of political theory but has somehow managed to reach this point in life without mastering the technical materials that others deploy with such insoucience and self-confidence.  I can say with serene confidence that you will enjoy it more than watching the Republican Nominating Convention.

7 comments:

Seth said...

"Having long ago learned, though not actually from Walt Whitman, that if you do not sing a song of yourself probably nobody else will, I heartily recommend my web-book..."

Very sensible. Your singing would be more effective if you included a link to the document. It isn't clear to me how to find it from your written description.

Thanks!

Marinus Ferreira said...

I still think you overdid your spiel against the Prisoner's Dilemma. The fact that a lot of people have drawn wild and obnoxious conclusions from it doesn't disqualify it from interest, the same way that fact doesn't harm the status of Plato's Republic.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Seth, just click on the link to box.net at the top of the blog, and when you get there click on the link to see the complete list of things archived there. You can then download it or just call it up and read it online.

Marinus, I freely admit that I went a bit overboard, as a consequence of my annoyance at all the wacky conclusions rawn from the little two-by-two matrix, but I wojuld stand by the analysis,

Robert Paul Wolff said...
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Jim Westrich said...

I glanced at this when I first found this blog a few months ago and it looked great. Thanks for the reminder to actually read it. I am looking for some background to help critique some repeated game assumptions.

Jim Westrich said...
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Marinus Ferreira said...

I should add that I have frequently directed people to your introduction, and that the treatment of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem were eye-opening to me. I've now developed a deep-seated interest in the work that developed out from Arrow's result. For that I owe you a debt of gratitude.