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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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 15, 2012

MILESTONE

The counter at the top of this blog tells me that people have come to this site a total of something over half a million times.  This is, of course, nothing at all for any of the popular blogs and websites, but it is one hundred times as many students as passed through my classes in half a century.  I am delighted that so many folks around the world have stopped by, and I hope they will continue to do so.  My work at Bennett College has forced me to post less often, and also to put up shorter posts -- that and the fact that I may be running out of things to say!

We are now three weeks from the election.  I am in a state of perpetual anxiety, I must confess, which will either be eased or turned into deep gloom by the outcome.  I have been trained, as a philosopher, to view things sub specie aeternitatis, but the flesh is weak.

At all events, thank you for visiting, and do come back.

5 comments:

Greg Hill said...

Well, first, let me tell you that my mood rises and falls with Mr. Obama's prospects. Second, I enjoyed your books on Rawls and Marx (I think it was a book; I read it a long time ago.) And third, a question: how would you compare your sense of what's at stake in this election with what Rawls, if he were still alive, would have stressed in describing these stakes?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I find the question about Rawls very difficult to answer. Even though in some sense I knew Rawls well [he did, after all, have dinner in my home on two occasions, once in Northampton and once in Belmont], and even though we were colleagues for a year at Harvard, I do not think I ever heard him speak about American politics. I have always assumed that he would be a supporter of Welfare State Capitalism, on the basis of his theoretical writings, so I would imagine he would view the rise of celebratory vulture capitalism with dismay. But I cannot point to a single recollected conversation to confirm that, nor am I aware [but that may just be me] of any clear indications in his writings. Does any reader of this blog have a clue?

As for myself, I do not see this election as marking any sort of dramatic reversal of the long run demographic and economic trends shaping American society -- just as a moment when hard won small victories could be lost for years to come. Viewed from a sufficient historical distance, however, these might look like relatively minor reversals. I just do not want to go to my grave with yet another stretch in American politics like that ushered in by Reagan.

Magpie said...

To give you something exciting to read:

BBC's Paul Mason on Prof. Manuel Castells
From networked protest to 'non-capitalism'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19932562

Don Schneier said...

Viewing things sub specie aeternitas entails the possession of adequate ideas, and the possession of adequate ideas is virtuous. Conversely, the proliferation of inadequate ideas metastasizes societal viciousness. (The makings of a rational argument against a Romney victory.)

LFC said...

Re the question about Rawls:

On my blog roughly a year ago I linked to an audio of an interview with Joshua Cohen discussing Rawls in the context of Occupy Wall St. Don't remember exactly what Cohen said but the gist, iirc, was that Rawls would have looked on OWS favorably. Here is the URL:
http://occupytheairwaves.com/ep6


Also, this post by Chris Bertram at Crooked Timber, "The Problem of Ralwsian Transition," may also be relevant, or at least it may have relevant cites in the footnotes.

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/08/07/the-problem-of-rawlsian-transition/