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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NEWS FROM A WAR ZONE

Susie and I went by the Friday Center in Chapel Hill to vote after my Plato class yesterday [The Friday Center is named after William Friday and his wife, Ida.  William was President of UNC for thirty years.]  When we signed in, the nice lady behind the desk told us that in 2016 we would need a photo ID.  I made some rude remarks [it wasn't her fault, for heaven's sake] and went on to vote in the primary.  Susie picked up a little printed slip with more information on the new photo ID requirement, and it was then that I learned for the first time about a nifty little wrinkle put into the law by the Republicans.

Their general aim, of course, is to suppress the Democratic vote, which means stopping as many Black, Brown, and young people as possible from voting.  There is good reason to believe that the photo ID requirement will have that effect, especially among rural Black North Carolinians.  But the Republicans clearly did not want to risk stopping some of their supporters from being able to vote, so they added the following proviso:  No longer current photo IDs [like expired driver's licenses and passports] will not be accepted unless they were current when the voter turned seventy years old, in which case they are good for life.

It took me about a New York minute to figure that one out.  The Republican base is old white people, some of whom may no longer be driving or traveling abroad and hence may not have renewed their driver's licenses or passports, so the proviso was added to ensure that they would not be confused with Black people and be turned away at the polls.

One of the subordinate questions that used to be debated in Theoretical Ethics is whether the notion of evil, as opposed to immorality, can be given a coherent meaning absent the assumption of the existence of God.  I used to think the answer is no, but in this, as in so much else, I find that I have gained greater wisdom and deeper insight with age.

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