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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Friday, May 6, 2016

A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP

Well, for better or worse, I have written the first 1600 words of the Preface of the book in which I shall weave together everything I have written and thought about Marx over the past forty years.  This is going to take a while, I fear.  I will report from time to time on my progress.

Meanwhile, I fear David Auerbach was quite right.  I cannot really abstain from commenting on the political scene.  Later today, I shall have some things to say.

It is a zoo.

5 comments:

TheDudeDiogenes said...

I eagerly await both the book and your continued political commentary!

John Doe said...

I was curious to hear a short summary of your critique of Mill's On Liberty. Perhaps you'd be willing to post a short blog about it? Either way, keep up the good work, can't wait to see how your book on Marx takes shape!

Dan

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I published that critique long ago [1968] as a chapter in my book THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM. The book is starting to take shape.

Jerry Fresia said...

This in some ways links back to questions about social movements and electoral politics, priorities and the degree to which such things are connected.

I remember awhile back you said something to the effect that "serious subject ought to be treated seriously." So I'm trying to better understand your motivation for undertaking this new project. My guess is that by weaving together everything you have written and thought about Marx over the past forty years, you very well might produce for the world a truly fine and serious commentary on Marx, and let us say that it will be more insightful than any scholarly treatment of Marx ever written in the English language. You're a top flight scholar. That's the brass ring.

Now let us say that for some reason you decide you take the "s. wallerstein" route and write a book on why you present yourself to the world as a Marxist. This book also weaves together not all but much of what you have written or thought about Marx but your audience now is not scholars but working stiffs.

Would the Wallerstein approach be less serious? Which might be better suited to "changing the world."

Let me emphasize that this question is NOT intended as a dig (wish I had a latin or french phrase to toss in at this point, but I will have to settle with "dig"); rather I would really like to know your view, as a serious scholar, on that tenth thesis.

s. wallerstein said...

Professor Wolff,

I believe that you are a better mass communicator than you imagine.

I'm not an academic and while I have a general knowledge of the classics of political theory, I am not familiar with contemporary academic political philosophy.

I listened to your talk at Brown and I understood everything except the stuff about linear algebra: I'm the type of person who begins to skim when they see equations.

However, in the question session I understood absolutely nothing of the questions: from what the participants asked, I had no idea if they were on the left or on the right (the first thing one generally notices in a political debate), where they were coming from or what they were getting at, if at anything.

I did understood your answers and from your answers I even had a vague sense of what the questions were about. Thus, I conclude (also from your videos on ideological critique) that you have the gift of communicating with middle brows like myself, including lots of working stiffs (to use Jerry Fresia's phrase) with an interest in Marxism.

I hardly need remind you that Marx himself wrote a lot of stuff for mass audiences (besides more difficult books such as Capital) as did Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, and, I believe, all the great Marxists until at one point (I have no idea when, although I do suspect why) Marxism was relegated to the academia alongside Platonism and Thomism, etc.