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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, November 23, 2016

WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO

As the views of my ninth and final Kant lecture slowly creep up to one thousand, the question presses in upon me, What shall I do now?   As Jack Nicholson observes in the lovely comedy Something's Gotta Give, sitting on a beach sipping drinks wth little umbrellas in them seems like a good idea but only lasts about a day and a half.

Any ideas?

9 comments:

David Palmeter said...

Hume?

Ed Barreras said...

Why not continue the historical sequence and do a series on Hegel, and why you hate him (as you've indicated you do)? Maybe your case against him will prove persuasive to people like me, whose thoughts have lately been taking on a Hegelian cast -- or more specifically, a quasi-religious cast. The election of T***p was one of those shockingly absurd events that leaves the mind pining for some kind of immanent principle of causation and order. Could this be the moment of antithesis that is necessary for ushering in the socialist utopia? How can the cunning of Reason use me, in particular, to bring about this historical sublation? What sort of community shall I join?

It's easy to burlesque about Hegel, of course, but I'm not really kidding about this. The feeling has subsided somewhat, but especially in the days after the election, my general feeling was of having entered some darkly numinous new world. I felt myself alternately seized by despair and called to action. This has put me in mind of arguments I've had with Christian apologists. There are some among this group who would defend the literalness of the Resurrection by assuming that the authors of the New Testament were completely rational men. Why would they lie about the most fundamental tenets of the faith? (C.S. Lewis was perhaps the most prominent proponent of this line of thought.) But as I always point out, what these people fail to realize is that the siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. -- the cauldron out of which the Christian religion was largely forged -- constituted one of those mass traumatic events that can turn an entire culture toward theological speculation, and especially of the apocalyptic sort. I never thought I'd experience something like that in my own lifetime, but here we are.

Mazen said...

Kant's ethics?

Veronique Marie said...

Perhaps a series of critiques of modern orthodox neoclassical economics and/or commentaries on those who have been engaging in such a project (eg, John Weeks, Steve Keen, Joseph Stiglitz and Anwar Shaikh).

Stephen Darling

Charles Pigden said...

What about Kant's ethics - or is that not one of your interests?

wallyverr said...

I have "completist" tendencies, so more Kant would be very attractive.

I stumbled across another philosophy blog recently, "Philosophy Percolations" , which had a recent post on neglected / unfashionable philosophers.

"scholars who have fallen furthest from grace, people who used to be mandatory reading but who are barely recognized today. For academic philosophy I would adduce F.H. Bradley, Bernard Bosanquet, Ernst Cassirer, R.G. Collingwood, Suzanne Langer, J.M.E. McTaggart, and Hans Vaihinger" (You would presumably include C I Lewis in this list.)

http://www.philpercs.com/2016/11/what-is-the-most-important-contemporary-philosophy-book-that-is-out-of-print.html

So another suggestion would be for you to pick an important philosophical book you think is unfairly neglected and do a close reading of that. The audience numbers are likely to be smaller than with Kant, but it could be a contribution to broadening the philosophical conversation.

s. wallerstein said...

Marx...

Jerry Fresia said...

- something that effectively amounts to a teach-in, given the current situation

s. wallerstein said...

As Jerry Fresia suggests (if I interpret his comment correctly), lectures on Marx could easily integrate theoretical elements with your observations on the current political situation (how is Trump similar to Louis Napoleon as described by Marx, etc.) and could contribute to the resistance to Trumpism, which you've spoken of in your blog.

In addition, that you integrate the current political situation into lectures on Marx would not scare away those drawn to your lectures on Marx for philosophical reasons, while your comments on the current political situation might well turn off some people who listen to your philosophical lectures on Kant. In fact, lectures on Marx might draw more readers and commenters to your blog (which is basically political), just as I came to your blog because of your lectures on ideological critique.