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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

THE INHERITANCE OF ACQUIRED CHARACTERISTICS

My grandson, Samuel, has expressed an interest in learning to play the violin, so I shall foot the bill for a half sized instrument for his birthday present [he will be nine in December].  I have dreams of playing duets with him.  What is it with little Jewish boys and violins?  I think half of the little boys in Vilna must have studied the violin in the early twentieth century.  Samuel's six year old sister [the one who is a shark at Backgammon] would like a pair of boots.  So I went on line.  Do you have any idea how many styles of boots there are for little girls?  This business of being a grandpa is more complicated than it looks.

3 comments:

David Auerbach said...

Of course it might be the acquisition of inherited characteristics.

Warren Goldfarb said...

I would have said "Odessa", not "Vilna". Isaac Stern once memorably quipped that cultural exchanges between the US and Soviet Russia were simple affairs: "They send us their Jews from Odessa, and we send them our Jews from Odessa."

Heifetz was from Vilna, but the other famous Russo-Jewish violinists were from further east: Oistrakh and Milstein from Odessa, Stern from north Ukraine, Elman from Kiev, Zimbalist from Rostov, and Menuhin's family from Belarus (although Menuhin himself was born in NYC).

Robert Paul Wolff said...

It must be a deep memory from my youth, when Heifetz was THE violinist. Also, my grandmother came from Vilna, so I was prejudiced. Fascinating. Thank you for that detail.