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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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



Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A REPLY TO CHRIS

Chris asks:

"You acknowledge that who you are as a person is very much shaped by, in the traditional Marxist sense, the socio-economic and historical location of your birth. That you would not be RPW if you had been born in a middle age monastery, and the development of your psycho-dynamic processes would take on new forms and directions in different historical moments. But, it seems to me that Kant is making an alternative argument that no matter where you were born you would have the same forms of intuition, categories of thought, and in general the same mental apparatus with the same 'understanding' as someone in the past, present, and future. How do you philosophically walk the line, so to speak, between Kantian transcendental subjectivity, and Marxist socio-subjectivity, i.e., it is not the consciousness of men that determines their social life, but their social life that determines their consciousness?"

Ah, well you may ask, grasshopper.  As it happens, I was crafting a portion of one of my Mannheim lectures in my head as I walked this morning in freezing temperatures, and the subject was precisely this question that Chris raises!

My simple answer is that although I will, to my dying day, feel a deep connection with Kant, nevertheless I think Marx is right -- not about the basic forms of sensibility and understanding as they are employed by physicists in their study of the physical universe, but about the forms of sensibility all of us [physicists included] use as we interpret and strive to comprehend the social world.  The focus of my little lecture-in-my-head was the ideological encoding of our experience of space and time themselves.  In my third lecture [probably] I shall expound Mannheim's brilliant explication of the ideological structure of time-consciousness [as opposed to what is in time], followed by my [rather less brilliant] attempt to extend the analysis to space-consciousness as well.  I have not yet attempted an ideological analysis of the Categories [Kant's Pure Concepts of Understanding] in their social application, but that would indeed be a challenging undertaking.

So, my short answer to Chris is, Wait for it!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Cool looking forward. I don't have time to do your whole class, but I'll 'attend' that portion.