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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, July 26, 2014

PERSONAL BEST

Some years ago, when I was still exercising on a treadmill at the Meadowmont Wellness Center rather than taking my morning walk, I remarked to my son, Tobias, that even as I ramped up the speed and angle of elevation of my treadmill day by day, I was painfully conscious of the athletic young men and women running on the treadmills next to me at breakneck speed without apparently even working up a sweat.  He replied very wisely that I must ignore them and concentrate only on achieving my own personal best.

Well, this morning I decided to circumnavigate the 5th arrondissement, a route I take on occasion for my walk.  It always takes me exactly one hour to complete the circuit, but this morning I clocked in at 58 minutes.  A personal best.

While I am recording my little triumphs for what passes for posterity in the digital age, let me report this coup:  On Thursday, Susie called a friend in the States to chat [international calls are free as part of our FranceTelecom package] and I heard her say to her friend that we were going out less often this trip "because the dinners Bob makes are better than the dinners in the restaurants."  Now admittedly we do not patronize up-scale establishments with stars and multiple crossed knives and forks in the Guide Michelin, but still, that is one of the nicest compliments I have ever received, and I thought I would pass it along.

2 comments:

James Camien McGuiggan said...

I was never proud of getting my Master's degree, and I won't be proud of my Ph.D. You spend enough time doing philosophy as a day job, and you will eventually get these markers, it seems. (There'll be egg on my face if I don't get the degree now.) It's no more a cause for celebration than is someone sticking competently to a career that doesn't give you these lovely letters.

But when someone compliments my cooking, or - especially - compliments my music, that means the world to me. I wrote a piece for a large guitar ensemble in 2010, and a friend told me that it was good work, that he was "convinced" by it. And that's stuck with me. (And interestingly, looking back on it now, I think it's a damn sight better than any philosophy I was writing in 2010.)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

James, you will indeed get the doctorate, and the world will think it is a big deal even if you do not, but I know what you mean. The woman I have been playing violin-viola duets with complimented me on my doublestop playing, and it meant a great deal, even though any halfway competent violist could do it.