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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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




Total Pageviews

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

NOT BAD

So far, 153 views of the first Kant lecture.  This is what we call going viral in Luxemburg.  :)

8 comments:

Michael Llenos said...

Dr. Wolff,
Great lecture! Keep up the parallel story interruptions: they are nice to listen to. I realize now how much mischief to college professors a critic like Alan Lomax? can do when they describe men like Leadbelly. I received a fresh copy of your Ten Great Works of Philosophy yesterday (since I didn't have a new copy) and I thought I would visit your blog again. It did not disappoint. Listening to the students asking you questions made me feel I was back in school. By the way, I thought dialectic was originally the Socratic Method?

mesnenor said...

The claim that 19th century philosophers are completely different from 17th and 18th century philosophers is true, but only of the important philosophers that are still read today.

A professor with whom I studied many moons ago (the man is now deceased) told me of a project he had once undertaken: He got hold of, and read, the introductory philosophy textbooks used in German Gymnasien from Kant's time until when he undertook that project (which might have been in the 40s or 50s - I'm not sure). I think he tracked down the most widely used books at about 20 year intervals, generation by generation. According to him, those Gymnasium textbooks were all still written from the perspective of the Leibniz/Wolff school until the very late 19th century, after which point they were written from a neo-Kantian perspective. So the Kantian revolution didn't really effect the now-forgotten professors who wrote those textbooks.

Also, the Kantian revolution didn't' have the same effect in Britain and France that it did in Germany, which is why vanishingly few philosophers that we still read today were writing in English or French in the 19th century.

Jordan said...

mesnesnor,

Did this professor publish any of his work on this project? I'd be really interested to read it.

Matt said...

...which is why vanishingly few philosophers that we still read today were writing in English or French in the 19th century.

Well, I'm taking a break from writing a lecture for class tomorrow in part about John Austin, the 19th C. legal philosopher, so I'm not so sure about this. It's true that Austin is more talked about than read, but what of Bentham, and Mill, and later Sidgwick? (How many do we need before the number isn't "vanishingly few? I'm honestly not sure.) And, then we get in to people like T.H. Green (who was surely effected by the Kantian revolution) who is making a bit of a come-back (see the recent work by David Brink), and Bernard Basanquet, a favorite of political philosopher Jerry Gaus. They are not so much read these days, but I think they are making a come-back. (Is Comte read in France? I really don't know. Not very much in the English speaking world, I guess.)

I'm not disagreeing with many of the general claims by Mesnenor, just this one, and only maybe. I'm not completely sure what it means. But, I'd think that 19th C. Brits get read a fair amount in the US in comparison to 19th C. Germans.

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

Why is it that C.I. Lewis is the true descendant of Kant, when he has substituted the pragmatic a priori for the transcendental unity of apperception? Is it simply because we make up and add the pragmatic a priori to the given? So that the inheritance is based on the adding?

mesnenor said...

Bentham and Mill may be read in some circles but they wouldn't be good examples of philosophers whose views were shaped by the Kantian revolution. Mill in particular seems to have felt only pity for Kant, whom he considered misguided and referred to as "poor Kant".

Comte is not much read in France, but Ravaisson and Bergson are.

Jerry Fresia said...

I saw your first lecture; engaging as usual. I'm pleased with the way you set this up, framing it in terms of the conversations of the day. What pops into my mind is: why was epistemology such a hot topic in the 1700s? Also, while the "empiricists" are tagged as the opposite or contrarians to the rationalists, I would hardly think of an empiricist as someone who is engaged with "sensuous human activity," separate as they are from feelings and the like (I suppose). Anyway, this is great. Nothing like a tight, mind bending lecture. I will be ready with popcorn and drinks for the next one. Thank you.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Jerry, glad you enjoyed it. Epistemology was a hot topic for two reasons: The splintering of the medieval consensus as a consequence of the Reformation and the dramatic developments in science. Be sure to have a big bowl of popcorn ready. Things are going to get complicated!