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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Sunday, November 22, 2015

MINISCULE ON-LINE OPEN SOURCE COURSE, OR mooc

Susie and I had dinner the other evening with Ina and David Reeve.  David, you will recall from an earlier post, is a senior member the UNC Philosophy Department who has recently published a new translation of the Nichomachean Ethics.  I told my sad tale about offering a course on Ideological Critique for which not a single graduate student in the department registered [apparently I am not the only person to whom this has happened] and mentioned my plan to write and post a series of lectures on my blog.  Ina, who attended my Marx course last semester, asked "Why don't you deliver them as lectures, videotape the lectures, and put them on YouTube?"

This is an intriguing but rather scary idea, for several reasons.  First of all, I have not a clue how to do that, but I am sure I can find a twelve year old to assist me.  Secondly, it would be authentically weird to lecture to a camera rather than to students.  It is not as though I very often even pause for breath when I lecture, but I do, after all, talk to actual people, and I am afraid I might freeze up if there were no one out there smiling or frowning or taking notes or laughing at my jokes.  And then there is the little matter of my facial tics and twitches, with which I have been afflicted since I was five, and of which I am mortally embarrassed [although everyone very kindly lies and says they are not noticible.]

The modern world being what it is, I am sure I would have a larger [although still tiny] audience for YouTube lectures than for written lectures.  Folks could make it one of their multi-tasking items, while driving or taking a bath or watching a football game or making love -- well, maybe not when watching a football game.

What do you think?

6 comments:

David Y. said...

I'm looking forward to this project. Personally, I'd prefer to read it, though. With any complicated argument, I'd prefer to read it at my own pace, whether that's faster or slower than the writer would speak.

Ted Talbot said...
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Ted Talbot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted Talbot said...

I agree, intensive reading is also preferable for me. It's also more difficult to underline passages in YouTube....

Lawrence Milford said...

I'm all about it! I rarely have time to read, but have plenty of time to listen and would be fascinated to hear some of your lectures!!!!

Jerry Fresia said...

Thank you Ina. While it is true that the written text offers some advantages as David Y. suggests, the same is true of a video. The visceral dimension, the voice fluctuations, the rhythm of it all, and "la sensation" as Cèzanne would say, all contribute to a dynamic, a letting the world better know and feel who you are - that the mere page cannot effect. How nice, for example, to watch and hear Jimmy Baldwin or Maya Angelou and also have their written material as well. One serves the other.

I totally agree about an audience. Therefore, you must grab some friends and neighbors each time you make a video.

And there is a different, perhaps younger, perhaps wider audience that will discover you. Just as with your blog, YouTube may expand your career in ways you had not imagined.

Now, about your "facial tic." Very few of us, with regard to how we speak and how we look, don't have something that we fear might distract an audience. But I don't think those who say your tic is not noticeable are lying. I had the good fortune to sit on a few of your classes back in the 70s. And to be honest, until you bring it up, it isn't something I recall. What I do recall is an the intensity of your presence, the humor of course, and the challenge of keeping up. The tic, now that you draw my attention to it, probably functions in the minds of most as a metronome that clicks off a regular pulse, one that fades into the background of your presentation, as the various pauses and accentuations of your aesthetic advance. Let the curtain rise!!