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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Sunday, January 4, 2015

THE FLOOD CONTINUES

I do seem to have tapped into a rich vein of information with my casual comment about Thomas Piketty refusing the Legion d'honneur.   Jacob T. Levy's link to a Wikipedia list of all the people who have turned down British honors [including Oliver Cromwell declining the Throne!!!] is fabulous, and Daniel MacDonald links to a very thought-provoking acceptance speech by the Japanese novelist  Haruki Murikami.  Murikami's speech, which I recommend that you read, reminds me of my oft-repeated insistence that in this life our most important decision is which side we are on, whom we choose as our comrades and whom we identify as our enemies.  I have written on this blog of my curious experience at Williams College, where my saying this provoked strong reactions from the students.  They were made very uncomfortable by the thought that they might have enemies as well as friends in the political struggles of life.

4 comments:

Karim Zahidi said...

The french philosopher Jacques Bouveresse declined the Legion d'honneur in 2010. His motivation for refusing the distinction can be found here:
http://blog.agone.org/post/2010/07/26/Il-ne-peut-etre-question-en-aucun-cas-pour-moi-d’accepter-l-honneur-suppose-qui-m-est-fait

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you for the link. I read the refusal, which is very nicely stated. Alas, no one has ever given me such an opportunity. Oh well. :)

Jacob T. Levy said...

"in this life our most important decision is which side we are on, whom we choose as our comrades and whom we identify as our enemies."

That authentically saddens me. I really enjoy your voice and presence and have come to think of you as someone I'd enjoy having as a friend or colleague-- but there's no doubt that I'm not your comrade. And comrades-or-enemies thinking makes it hard to be friends or colleagues with people; I find it unpleasant even among those who would notionally be my comrades.

T Gent said...

Jacob T. Levy, to be fair I'm not sure that remark means any person at all is either your friend or your enemy.