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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Saturday, September 28, 2013

PASS THE POPCORN

One of the memes [I hope I am using this term correctly] in the comment sections of the political blogs and websites is "pass the popcorn" and its variations.  The idea is that when, say, the Republicans are acting in flamboyantly self-destructive ways, the only thing to do is to treat it as a reality TV show, make some popcorn, sit back on the couch, and just enjoy it.

There is an idea floating about in the past twenty-four hours, growing out of Senator Ted Cruz's very public attempts to whip up the frenzy of House right-wing Republicans against Speaker Boehner, that perhaps they will choose Cruz as Speaker of the House!  It seems that the Constitution specifies that there will be a Speaker of the House, but does not require that the Speaker be a member of the House.

To which there is only one possible response:

Pass the popcorn.

1 comment:

Magpie said...

Prof.

While everybody else is busy enjoying the TV and popcorn (our equivalent to bread and circus), I'll venture some off-topic questions. :-)

Upon reading your "One-Dimensional Man" tutorial, which is very instructive and excellent, I came up with a few questions.

I got the general impression, from the tutorial, that the process of combining the insights of Freud and Marx by Western Marxists in a way is an attempt to provide micro-foundations to Marxist thought.

The Marginal Revolution (from Menger, Jevons and Walras), for instance, was supposed to trace economic behaviour back to individual's "rational" decision-making.

Similarly, Freud would, within Marxist thought, provide the "micro" theory: "Freud took the larger social and economic world of himself and his patients as a given fact, to which, as a medical doctor, he gave very little thought. His realm of investigation was the individual unconscious, with heavy emphasis on the development of the unconscious in early childhood".

My question is: must social science be ultimately grounded on individual human behaviour? What about "structures"? I suppose I am trying to query about your views on the ontology of social sciences and Marxism implied by Freud.

More generally, as a Marxist philosopher active and participating in theoretical debates during the 20th century, how do you evaluate developments such as the New Left?