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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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

TRANSCENDENTAL MUSINGS

This morning, I finished re-reading my book, Kant’s Theory of Mental Activity, as part of the preparation for my up-coming series of videotaped lectures on the Critique of Pure Reason.  It has been a curious experience.  I think this actually is the first time since I corrected the page proofs in 1962 that I have read the book straight through.  I had two reactions.  The first was, “Good grief, did I really say all that?  I have forgotten so much of it!”  The second was, “But where is my discussion of such-and-such?  That is really important.  I thought I had included it in the book.  Did I maybe not think of it until after the book came out?”

It was all so long ago.

When I scheduled these lectures, I thought of them as a casual stroll down memory lane but I now realize that I have committed myself to a seriously challenging undertaking.  This should be interesting.


By the way, I have concluded that there is no way that I can deal with the entire Critique in ten or twelve one hour and forty-five minute lectures, so I shall only lecture on the Aesthetic and Analytic this semester.  If anyone at all shows up to the last lecture I will consider doing the Dialectic in the Spring.

4 comments:

wallyverr said...

I've already pencilled in having the Critique dominate my 2016 reading, or at least the second half of the year. Better slow and thorough.

There is a common distinction in math between local and global properties, which is sometimes jokily applied to individual proofs and cumulative sequences of proofs. Hume's Treatise (Part 1) I find locally intelligible though perhaps not yet globally intelligible. With the Critique (having reached B315), I am increasingly finding it neither globally nor locally intelligible. So a slow second reading with the lectures will I hope help.

Though I am not sure how the notion of "close reading", from German philology and Cambridge practical criticism, is supposed to apply to books of several hundred pages...

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I will do my best to shine some light in the darkness, but I would be foolhardy to suggest that all will be made clear! At the very least, I will give you some hooks to hang your despair on. :)

Austin Haigler said...

Just so we won't have to spend time on it during the lectures (though on second thought it might be useful to have the online video audience hear your response), but can you break down or go through the reasons the NKS translation is so preferred to the G&W edition. Or do you believe it is because that is the one you grew up with so to speak? (I wonder if the students studying CPR presently, when teaching in the next decade or two will prefer G&W's Cambridge edition.)

Nevertheless. I have a both copies :)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

The truth is I grew up with the NKS translation [and actually quibbled with it on occasion in my book]. I am just too old to undertake a serious comparison and make a scholarly judgment. Give an old guy a break! :)