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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Thursday, August 14, 2014

A QUIET WALK

I set out a bit before 5 a.m. on my walk this morning.  The sky was clear, with a bright waning moon  high in the morning sky.  For the first time in a while I was able to see Orion, one of the very few constellations I can identify.  There were his shoulders and knees and the three stars of his belt, though the ambient light was a bit too bright for me to see the sword hanging from it.  Very low in the sky was the bright Morning Star, which is of course not a star at all but the planet Venus.  It is also known as the Evening Star, a fact I learned sixty-four years ago as a sixteen year old Freshman in Willard van Orman Quine's course on symbolic logic at Harvard [see Frege, and page 200 of the first edition of Quine's Methods of Logic, which had just appeared and was the text for the course.]  On my trips to South Africa, I was always baffled by the sky, in which I recognized nothing at all, not even the Southern Cross. 

No deer, interesting birds, or even rabbits this morning, nor any early joggers.  Soon, UNC will be back in session and clutches of impossibly fit young men and women will be blowing past me as though I were standing still.  When each one passes, I say silently to myself, "Wait until you are eighty and we shall see how fast you run," but I know that some of them, were I to travel forward sixty years through time, would still be outpacing me.

I have decided not to teach the Duke OLLI course on the thought of Marx at the same time that I am teaching the UNC seminar on the same subject.  I think a one course load in a semester is appropriate for a retired professor.  I am looking into this myterious thing called a "podcast."  If it is technologically feasible and in accordance with UNC rules I shall make the lectures available electronically.   Since I actually intend to allow students to speak from time to time [though they shall have to interrupt me to do so], I think I need to get their agreement to the podcasting.  Who knows?  Maybe they all will be secretly recording everything on their decoder rings anyway.

7 comments:

J.R. said...

I look forward to the "podcasts."*

*I, for one, hate that this has become the accepted term, as it is linked to a corporate brand--but we are stuck with it, it seems.

Chris said...

You could possibly record the lecture, and then edit out individual student comments. And then if you feel the question that was asked is very important, as was the answer, go back and state the question that was asked, and then play your response.

Basically, you make the entire podcast only you speaking, and this may get around the requirement of requiring all that extra student permission?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Boy, you young folks say these things as though they were so easy! But I suspect I can find a way to deal with it if it is as problem. Of course, it may turn out that there are no facilities for recording a two and a half hour class. We shall see.

jeremie jenkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Worst case scenario, record your lecture with your phone, and I'll do the editing for you. It really wouldn't take up more than a few minutes of my time, and I'm happy to do it.

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

Thing that Frege throws any light on 20 yards of linen =, is worth, 1 coat?

Tony Couture said...

I bought a $50 Sony digital voice recorder (easier to use than a phone, cheaper also), which comes with software for organizing the files and downloading to a computer. I put it on the desk beside me when I do my philosophy lectures and then transfer the lectures to my university's "Moodle" system (distance learning software for online courses) which all students can access through the UPEI web site. The quality of these digital recorders is fantastic today. I recommend this method of lecturing to everybody, and use it to re-examine my teaching. It is hard to listen to yourself but very enlightening. The only problem I have had is with noise interference (outside class lawnmowers), or two or more persons trying to talk at the same time and then cancel out. The recorder I have (Sony IC Recorder model ICD-PX312) can do over 4 hours at a time, and has a micro SD style memory chip in it. I have used it to record about 12 full courses (10-22 lectures each)in the last 3 years and put the lectures online for student use. The students love it and I have not even got into trouble while teaching Lenny Bruce and George Carlin and Dave Chappelle in Philosophy of Humour with this method. Don't use video, audio files only, they are smaller and easier to work with or edit with your software.