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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Friday, April 18, 2014

A READER CHIMES IN ON MY MUSINGS

A faithful reader who prefers to remain publicly anonymous sent me a bery thoughtful response to a line in my post-safari musings.  I thought it would be well worth sharing.  Here it is:

"“I am very conscious of the enormously powerful, and in my view admirable, desire of parents to make some provision for their children. Such a desire ought to be compatible with any defensible economic system. It is not that impulse that produces the inequalities and exploitation of capitalism.”
This subject is a sticky wicket that I find very interesting. Of course it is a driving force in parents to make their children’s lives “better” and “easier” than their own have been. In many Western cultures this was ever so. It has about the same force – measurable in units of nurturtrons – as making your kids eat a lot. And it is about as healthy. Mind you, I certainly do not advocate eliminating that urge, even if we could. But it takes some serious considering and planning.
In the normal course of events, with life expectancy being what it is today, it is actually more likely the grandchildren who will be in a position to benefit from a little help from the departing elders, as the children will have established themselves by that time. Now consider that, unlike the direct offspring, the grandkids will have had various influences, often rather alien to one’s own imprimatur, and might have drastically different ideas on what to do with such an inheritance. While we cannot, nor do we want to “rule from the grave” we do want to have a say in what is to happen to wealth that has been amassed, regardless of size, by the real or figurative sweat of one’s brow.
{In well-to-do families there is also the danger that the young darlings will decide early on that they need not work nor strive as they are guaranteed a comfortable life thanks to dear old grandpa.] By and large (and this is based on much personal experience) it is easier to inculcate values in the young when life is less cushy.
It is also a valuable and important life lesson to include the next generation(s) in one’s thoughts and considerations all along as regards one’s feelings toward donating to worthwhile causes in serious amounts.(by way of example I have always invited the grandchildren to research causes they believe in, defend them well enough that I will donate a decent sum to each of their causes if their defenses withstood questioning - I have maintained final veto power as it was my money but have never yet had to use that). Thus, in my opinion, bequeathing serious portions of one’s estate to causes that speak to one’s conscience is a life lesson that is as precious for the young as funds for their own use.
Needless to say, all of that very much depends on circumstances, states of health and emotional well being of the potential heirs.

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