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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Monday, January 19, 2015

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

I have on several occasions told the story of how I came to choose the title In Defense of Anarchism for what turned out to be my best known book.  When asked by Hugh van Dusen at Harper TorchBooks to find a better title for the essay than "Political Philosophy," which was what it was called when I wrote it, through my mind flashed an essay by Mark Twain called "In Defense of Harriet Shelley," and I adapted its title to my purposes.  Today, while reading Louis Liebenberg's The Origin of Science, which traces the evolved human capacity for scientific reasoning to the modes of thinking used by pre-historic animal trackers on the African savanna, I discovered to my chagrin that Twain was himself playing on the title of a famous essay by Percy Bysshe Shelley [famous to everyone but me, that is] called "A Defense of Poetry."

So, forty-five years late, I have discovered the real source of my title.  I think if I had it to do over again, I would go back and get a decent education.

1 comment:

Ludwig Richter said...

My late father-in-law was a professor of English at the University of Washington. I took a number of poetry courses from him, and he was my advisor for my senior thesis in the honors program.

Every year he led the procession of the College of Arts and Sciences at graduation. It amused him to put the poets at the front of the procession (I was one of them). "Poets," he said, quoting Shelley in "A Defense of Poetry," "are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."