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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Monday, January 11, 2016

ONWARD AND UPWARD

Well, folks, I have delivered Lecture Two on Ideological Critique to my camcorder [which no doubt found it very engaging].  The video has been transferred to my computer, edited, and converted to a format suitable for YouTube [a tedious process].  This coming Friday I shall upload it to YouTube for a world not quite crying out for it.

I thank all of you who have watched Lecture One.  YouTube says there have been 302 views thus far, but of course that may be one person who has come back 301 times.  One never knows.

Without students in the room, I seem to chew through material rather rapidly, so the third lecture will complete my discusion of Mannheim, after which I shall move on to the Kalahari and Wilmsen's ideological critique of ethnology.

3 comments:

Chris said...

Can't wait!

Michael said...

I look forward to your lecture! I have two questions, one logistical, one a bit more complicated.
1) What chapters of Mannheim's work do you suggest we have read before the lecture?

2) I'm curious about Mannheim's understanding of the utopian point of view. He specifically links it to the thinking of oppressed groups, stating that the focus on the alleviation of one particular issue makes it more difficult for them to see the world as it is. As stated, this seems possibly true--anyone who thinks that if, say, racism would go away all the political problems in the world would be gone hasn't looked closely at other modes of oppression, for example. But this seems like it would contest the premises of something like standpoint theory, which states that those who belong to oppressed groups are best suited to understand their oppression. Would Mannheim reject such a view? It seems like it would go against his sympathies, but he does seem to be privileging a certain kind of observer. (At this point I should probably note that I've only read the first chapter, so this may be cleared up later.)

Wallace Stevens said...

I also enjoyed Lecture I.

One point that you made got my attention in particular, although I may have misunderstood it, or mis-remembered. (I was eating my lunch and not able to take notes at the time!) You seem to say, or to agree with Mannheim, that there is a marked difference between academic discourse and political discourse: that the former follows rules of fact, evidence and logic, which all sides to a question respect, however heated the argument, while the latter uses arguments of various kinds to "unmask" and, by so doing, discredit the other party. I hope I have got this right. If so, what occurred to me was that, while this relatively civilised state of affairs may exist in math and engineering--2 + 2 can't be 5 just because we wish it were so--my experience in the social sciences is quite different. For example, the neoclassical economists think the Marxists are talking nonsense and the Marxists repay the compliment! Both accuse the other of being "ideological"--i.e., refusing, due to the fog of dogma, to see or admit to what is "really" going on.

Now, I'm sure I'm not pointing out anything that you haven't already noticed yourself many times over. So could you perhaps clarify or provide further comment on the distinction between academic/political discourse. It seems to be a key concept and I feel that I, at least, have missed something.