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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, August 12, 2016

A REPLY TO AUSTIN HAIGLER

In a recent post, I made the following snarky remark:

"...in mature capitalism, a pyramidal structure of worker compensation would become entrenched, to a considerable degree keyed to the acquisition of formal educational credentials [but not to the acquisition of a genuine education! That is a separate matter, as I shall not try to explain here.]"

Austin Haigler posted this comment:

"I would love to have that last point elaborated on, or directed to where it has previously been done. As a current grad student, one steeped in philosophy, political science, and interdisciplinary studies generally, I am always defending the merits of (what I hope is) the genuine education. In a non capitalist society, say, a fully fledged socialist society, how would, ideally, the approach between mere educational credential acquisition vs genuine education, be drawn up so that the latter is what is actually sought after?"


I was pretty sure I had actually said something about that somewhere, and after a little thought I found it:  a talk I gave at Teacher's College at Columbia University, archived on box.net and accessible by the link at the top of this page.

Take a look, and we can talk.

5 comments:

Austin Haigler said...

Found, "Some Heretical Thoughts on the Rat Race for the Top Jobs," and read it. Enjoyed the illustration of points with the stories. Do you check your umass.edu email or another? I wanted to send something to you as an attachment related to the paper and my original question.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I only check my umass email fifteen or twenty times a day.

Austin Haigler said...

I should have known... Sent something your way!

Anonymous said...

I've read your piece about what you take the role of liberal education to be in society--basically, that it is a means whereby the liberatory spirit can be kindled and encouraged in the liberally educated.

I found this, of course, incredibly interesting, but I'm not sure I understand how liberal education is supposed to *accomplish* this feat. You analogize philosophical theorizing (e.g.) to the creation of art, emphasizing the way that, despite operating within certail formal strictures (that, in a way, define the discipline), art (and philosophy) can lead us to sort of 'glimpse' what satisfaction of our repressed urges might be like. And this is supposed to awaken in us a hunger for their satisfaction, that then leads us to resist the various (unnecessary) repressions that society has foisted upon us.

But here's my question if you have the time and inclination to answer it. This version of philosophy (and art) as you've construed them are respectful of formal strictures--Bach's fugue, for example, is particularly striking in large part *because* it is a fugue. But that, if anything, seems to awaken in us the recognition that we can 'glimpse' satisfaction *even under the strictures in which we live*. But that doesn't seem to me to be revolutionary at all--if anything, it's highly conservative! The idea that happiness is available to us, even here, in this society.

Or am I misunderstanding something? I'd very much like to hear your thoughts!

- Jay

s. wallerstein said...

It seems to be that one can be happy (in the sense of living a flourishing life) in any society (well, maybe not in Auschwitz, etc.) as long as one is striving with one's eyes open (or as open as possible) to make life better for others, with a sense of responsibility for others, honestly, aware of one's limitations, conscious of the strictures in which we live, aware of one's mortality, etc.

After all, even after a socialist revolution, there will be new challenges, new frustrations and new disappointments and one will have to face them too, with one's eyes wide open and with a sense of responsibility for others.