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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BRAGGING RIGHTS

I am back, exhausted from the trip home and preparing to give a two and a half hour lecture this afternoon!  But I had to rush a brief post to bring everyone up to date on the latest doings of my younger son, Tobias Barrington Wolff.  Here is a link to a University of Pennsylvania site where you can find the text of an amicus brief Tobias has submitted to the Supreme Court in an up-coming case on the recognition of same-sex marriages across state lines.  Tobias has forbidden me to refer to him as the leading Gay Rights legal scholar in America, but I am permitted to say that he is one of the leading Gay Rights legal scholars in America.  This brief is an evidence of the legitimacy of that encomium.

I am very fearful that along about the time I begin lecturing this afternoon, I shall fall asleep.  Will the students notice?  An interesting question.  When I was a twenty-one year old Teaching Fellow at Harvard, I lived in terror that I would simply forget to go to one of the sections I was teaching.  [This actually happened to me the next year.]  I was utterly oblivious to the fact that most of them would have been thrilled.  One of my persistent anxiety dreams takes the form of suddenly realizing, two or three weeks into a semester, that there is a course I am supposed to be teaching that I have never shown up for.  I rush off to the class, where the students are all waiting impatiently.  It is, as I say, a dream!

8 comments:

Chris said...

Uncanny. I always have a reoccurring dream that it's almost the end of the semester and I realize there's a math course I haven't attended all semester.I have only a few minutes to make it to the final exam, and never do...


By the way, I went to Europe for a week one time and I remember the jet lag experience when I landed in Europe and back in the US was awful. I was a zombie for 72 hours. How do you adapt to all these flights to and from France?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

It would be fascinating to make up a list of people's recurring anxiety dreams. The standard one is a dream in which you are in a public place totally naked, and nobody notices, and then suddenly people do notice. I often dream that I am in a public place with nothing on but a pajama top. I finally realized that is how I sleep, and the reality is mixing with the dream in an odd way. In my dream, however, no one ever notices. Needless to say, this connects with my deep-seated sense that I am a fraud as a scholar and that someone will notice that and berate me for it. Revealed as having no clothes on, in effect. Those old folk tales were often spot-on psychodynamically.

newfie931 said...

My two recurring ones are (1) there's a class that I'm enrolled in (typically a foreign language class) that I haven't been attending, and I realize this at the end of the semester, and (2) there's c lass that I'm supposed to be teaching that I've not been aware of, and realize when the dean calls me into his office. Both are pretty nerve-racking.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

If I had more energy, this would be a great book -- we could take a line from Rambo: "Your Worst Nightmare"

Magpie said...

This may sound strange, but I rarely dream (at least, I never recall my dreams).

Every once in a blue moon, I remember fragments or passages of dreams (perhaps a word or a phrase, someone I saw in the drea, something like that), but never the whole thing.

Most nights, it's almost as if I ceased to exist. If corpses could feel, I suppose being dead would feel like that.

Chris said...

"a friend of mine" used to never dream when that friend smoked marijuana before bed. Upon quitting, dreaming returned. Magpie, are you engaging in a little recreational activity before bed?

Magpie said...

LOL!

Not quite. I do smoke the old-fashioned Camel (after, I'm an old bloke, macho man and all!) once in a while, mostly when a have beers with me maties.

I don't have dreams when I have beers, either. Or when I smoke Camel.

Chris said...

I've had two nightmares that let's say, really left a deep and scarring mark on me. One of them was when I went to bed drunk. I envy you!