GET THEM WHILE THEY LAST. ONLY A COUNTABLY INFINITE NUMBER REMAIN. THIS OFFER EXPIRES AT THE END OF TIME OR THE TERMINATION OF THE CLOUD, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
After much work, lovingly carried out by Michael Hemmingsen, Megan Kelly Mitchell, and myself, the Complete Published and Unpublished Papers of Robert Paul Wolff In Four Volumes is now available on Amazon.com for only $9.99 a volume [all proceeds go to the Society for Philosophy and Culture at McMaster University.] The four volumes contain more than eighty journal articles, reviews, blog tutorials, appreciations, unpublished essays, speeches, and jeux d'esprits.
Volume I, Nodding In On The Great Conversation, offers juvenilia, published before I was old enough to vote, and then moves on to a collection of my writings on David Hume and Immanuel Kant, followed by writings and speeches devoted to the Philosophy of Education. The section on Hume and Kant begins with a previously unpublished report of a conference I attended at Columbia Law School on Kant and the Law. It was intended for publication in the Columbia Law Journal, but the student editors were so scandalized by my mordant comments on the conference participants that they could not bring themselves to publish it. This section also includes "The Completion of Kant's Moral Theory in the Tenets of the Rechtslehre," an essay that is, in my considered judgment, an extremely important contribution both to the interpretation of Kant's moral philosophy and to an understanding of the relationship between Kant's ethical theory and John Rawls' A Theory of Justice.
The section devoted to the Philosophy of Education opens with "The Pimple on Adonis' Nose," a challenge to conventional views about health care and education in the guise of a travelogue to an imaginary country, Invertia. This piece is followed by my review of Allan Bloom's appalling best-seller, The Closing of the American Mind, said by some to be the best book review ever written. The section concludes with three pieces on education in South Africa.
Volume II, From Each According To His Ability, brings together my many writings on Karl Marx and his legacy. Thanks to the gracious generosity of two distinguished theorists, John Roemer and David Schweickart, I was able to include in this volume their critiques of an essay I wrote and my responses. The volume also contains my little-known critique of the thought of Hannah Arendt, "Notes for a Materialist Analysis of the Public and the Private Realms," which may be of interest to those who have seen the recent biopic on Arendt.
Volume III, A Credo For Progressives, contains many of my writings about theoretical and practical politics. In addition to several well-known essays, it includes fugitive writings from my early involvement in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The volume concludes with two hand-written drafts, salvaged from my files, that are photographically reproduced in their original form as an example of the way I work out ideas rattling around in my mind. I also reproduce here my unpublished literary analysis of Alice Walker's famous novel, The Color Purple, an essay that does not fit naturally into any of the categories of the four volumes.
Volume IV, A Head in the Cloud, gathers together the Tutorials, Mini-Tutorials, Micro-Tutorials, and Appreciations that appeared on this blog over the course of a year or more.
I make jokes about this project because I am a bit embarrassed by the element of shameless self-promotion involved, but the truth is a bit more serious. For sixty years, I have been pouring my thoughts onto the printed page. Despite a lifetime of teaching, political activism, and eleemosynary efforts, I am, before all else, a writer. As I enter the final stage of my life, it is important to me, if to no one else, that I gather together the efforts of a lifetime and present them to the world, "telling my name the live long day/ to an admiring bog," in the poignant words of Emily Dickinson. I leave it to others to decide whether it has been worth the effort.