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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Sunday, April 14, 2013

WHAT HAVE I BEEN READING?

My son, Patrick, sent me as a present a copy of a new book by two American University professors [Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman] called FDR and the Jews.   Although I was born in the year that Roosevelt was first inaugurated [1933] and spent the first twelve years of my life during his presidency -- the longest in American history -- I really know relatively little about his life and career before the presidency, save for the obvious high points [Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, polio victim, married to a distant cousin in the Roosevelt clan, et cetera.]  It is a very slow read, and I am a slow reader anyway.  At this point I am just 50 pages into it, but I shall persevere, and report in later on what I have learned.

At the same time, my sister has recommended yet another book on evolutionary genetics -- this one The Seven Daughters of Eve by Oxford scientist Bryan Sykes.  Since her recommendations are invariably good ones, I have ordered it, and expect to find it as fascinating as the other books she has put me on to.

I have never been an especially voracious reader, and were I not blessed with a good memory, I would know very little at all, but happily I tend to recall the few things I have read, and after seventy-nine years, that tends to add up.

Meanwhile, my work on the collected papers of myself proceeds.  Oddly enough, my all time favorite is something I never published, and it will have to wait for Volume Three [Unpublished Writings.]  It is a report I wrote, for the Columbia Law Journal, of a conference I participated in at Columbia on Immanuel Kant and the Law.  Inspired [if I may put it that way] by Kierkegaard's use of pseudonyms, I wrote an uproarious account under the pen name Johannes Climacus [the pseudonym Kierkegaard assumed for the Philosophical Fragments and the Concluding Unscientific Postscript.]  The law students who were editors of the Law Journal, and who had been told by the professor organizing the conference to commit a special issue of the journal to the proceedings, were terrified that if they published my scandalous remarks about some of their professors their promising careers would be nipped in the bud.  They called me and tremulously asked whether I might be prevailed upon to "revise" the report.  I refused to alter a word, but said I would be happy to withdraw it.  Their collective relief over the phone was palpable, and ever since, it has sat in my file cabinet in a special section labeled "Unpublishable papers." 

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