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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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




Total Pageviews

Friday, May 1, 2015

CONTRITE RESPONSE TO COMMENTS

My apologies to classstruggle.  Communication, I find, is difficult without eye contact, as it were.  As for Simmel and the other European sociologists of the classical period [Weber, Durkheim, Mannheim, et al.], I find them an endless source of inspiration and instruction, regardless of their official position on Marx or socialism.  In this, I might note, I am following in Marx's footsteps.  He was extremely respectful of those of his predecessors who were, in his view, serious thoughtful students of society -- Smith and Ricardo, for example, as contrasted with the egregious Nassau Senior and the other mental pygmies whom he grouped together as "vulgar economists."  I would be very pleased if modern readers of Marx would follow his lead rather than acting like vestal virgins tending the sacred flame.

My sister and I split the check between us for the dinner, at which in addition to the old folks were Tobias and two lawyer friends, one of whom had come from Los Angeles for the hearing.  By the way, I have not yet had an opportunity to talk to Tobias and hear his analysis of the oral arguments, but the always reliable and extremely knowledgeable Linda Greenhouse is cautiously optimistic, which I take as a good sign.

A propos Americans' democratic attitude toward lines [I am reminded of the lovely John Travolta movie, Michael, in which, playing the archangel Michael come to earth, he says at one point that it was he who invented standing in line], I contrast that with the French attitude.  Two years ago Susie and I were in Paris for fete de la musique [I cannot enter diacritical marks on my blog] and went along to a transcendentally beautiful concert by the Tallis Singers in the Musee d'Orsay.   Like all of the music on that magical summer solstice evening, it was free.  However, in Socialist France, the notables were admitted first to the rows of chairs set up near the singers, while the rest of us common folk had to snag seats on the stone banquettes or sit on the floor.  The French are very big on Liberty and Fraternity but have not yet quite got Equality under their belts in all matters social.  On the other hand, the US Gini coefficient of income inequality is .408 and the French Gini coefficient is .327, so perhaps French social snobbery can be overlooked.

6 comments:

Jerry Fresia said...

Yes, I would love to hear Tobias' take. Also I savor your pithy phrases and vocabulary: "like vestal virgins tending the sacred flame" - wonderfully polite, and "diacritical" sent me to the dictionary.

I collect these type of phrases. Not sure I will ever "borrow" them; seems a bit like cheating. On the other hand, I was tickled by the postman's argument in Il Postino, when Neruda chided him for "borrowing" his phrases and the postman's response was, "Poetry doesn’t belong to those who write it; it belongs to those who need it."

David Auerbach said...

éàöçèîêô€e
You can borrow any of these when you need them.
You can also use the standard html codes (see: http://www.starr.net/is/type/htmlcodes.html ). On a Mac there's a direct keyboard way to enter them, inspired by the "dead-key" mechanism on old European typewriters. Should be one in Windows.

Magpie said...

There are several ways to enter foreign characters in Windows. Perhaps the easiest and commonest one (although not necessarily most convenient) is by pressing the "Alt" key together with a 3-digit code.

For instance, one gets the character é by pressing simultaneously the above-mentioned "Alt" key (Windows keyboards usually have two of these, at both sides of the wide space bar) and the sequence "130". The letter ñ is "Alt" "164", and so on.

You can get the codes available here:

http://www.asciitable.com/

The Constable said...

I've always been curious about the origins and history of queueing. (I realize, from my many visits to France, that it's certainly not a French phenomenon--nor an Italian.) What is the earliest reference to, or incident of, queueing of which you aware?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Well, I suppose one might say the GENESIS story of Noah and the flood, since the animals are described as boarding the Ark two by two. But we are not told whether Shem, Ham, and Japheth lined up or just crowded on, jostling as they went.

The Constable said...

I can't find any version of that story where it explicitly says the animals lined up. I've also dealt enough with animals to know that if it did say that, someone was taking some creative license.

It's also difficult to tell in paintings whether people are depicted in a queue or they are simply arranged that way because that was the best way to show a crowd in a two-dimensional medium.