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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

THIS AND THAT

I gave a puff to Robert Sapolsky's book, A Primate's Memoir.  For those who would like a quick introduction to this extraordinary man, here is a TED talk he gave on Class Day at Stanford, where he teaches.  It is a delight.

Although I have sworn off TV political commentary, I occasionally sneak a look at the probabilities posted on the various poll synthesizing sites.  Nate Cohn [I think] on The Upshot has the unsettling habit of stating the probability that Clinton will win and then comparing that to a sports probability.  Thus, Clinton used to be at 90%, which is the probability that an NFL kicker will make the point after.  Now she is at 75%, which is the probability that an NFL kicker will make a 45 yard field goal.  This makes me deeply uncomfortable.  Imagine that as you board a flight, one of the cabin personnel says "Our chance of crashing is quite low today -- as low as the chance that a .350 big league hitter will strike out.  Welcome aboard!"

My plan to move to Paris if Trump wins has hit a snag.  Several of my relatives have told me that they intend to stay in m apartment there in that eventuality.

10 comments:

Lawrence Milford said...

I think you may enjoy this series (I love Sapolsky!):
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL45A5E21ECA5FA850

s. wallerstein said...

Would you really think about leaving the United States if Trump won?

I spent 10 years of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and in my experience, really sinister governments are fascinating for anyone interested in political and social behavior. They bring out the best (solidarity and resistance) in man/women and the worst (torture, conformity, cowed complicity in evil) in man/woman.

People getting together to resist a sinister government is the most beautiful social (sex, love and friendship are individual experiences) experience I know of.

Obviously, it would be better if sinister governments did not exist, but they do and will exist. By the way, although Pinochet was not elected, probably about half of the Chilean population supported the coup in 1973 which brought him to power, so in some sense they chose him just as the American people may choose Trump.

s. wallerstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
howard b said...

Sure in Paris you'll find safety from his immediate control; but will anybody really be truly safe?
The whole world will be destabilized, wouldn't it?
Not to sound alarmist

howard b said...

If the worse comes to roost: then what next? There will be much unrest and instability our country might not withstand.
Might there be a coup or an impeachment?
This is a nightmare scenario- but there's enough a chance that responsible people must begin contemplating not the inevitable but the conceivable

David Palmeter said...

Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island, has officially welcomed Americans fleeing a Trump Administration. I'm ordering some very warm sweaters, just in case.

David Palmeter said...

Hell, even Prince Edward Island isn't the perfect sanctuary:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37433237

LFC said...

Have just become aware of a book that might interest you: Lorna Finlayson, The Political is Political (2015). V. critical of Rawls. Appears to be short and readable (for a pol. theory bk), though I doubt I'm going to read it myself.

TheDudeDiogenes said...

Prof, perhaps of interest to you is this book review that I just read of The Happiness Industry, which review includes this gem: "What Davies recognises is that capitalism has now in a sense incorporated its own critique. What the system used to regard with suspicion – feeling, friendship, creativity, moral responsibility – have all now been co-opted for the purpose of maximising profits.". I think I shall have to read this book!

M said...

Could you talk about your Paris/France impressions, please? I may have missed it if you already talked about it in the past decade, as I've just found your blog today. I'm very interested in a philosopher's take on modern day cities!