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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, March 29, 2017

HERE IT IS

Well, while you folks have been arguing about Ayn Rand, I have ben busy recording my first Freud lecture.  Here it is.

6 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

Thank you very much. I'll watch it soon.

Actually, none of us argued about Ayn Rand. The Ayn Rand crowd wanted to argue with us, but we, the "leftist circle jerkers" as one of them called us, didn't argue back.

I. M. Flaud said...

Aside from being essential for understanding Freud, the discussion of the radial, medial and ulnar nerves was a much needed anatomy review for me.

LFC said...

A small correction: It's Robert Silvers (with an "s" on the end).

As it happens, he died very recently:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/books/robert-silvers-dead-founding-editor-new-york-review-of-books-nyrb.html?_r=0

Jerry Fresia said...

I enjoyed it very much. Great intro and the setting up of Freud's project. Looking forward to the rest.

s. wallerstein said...

I listened to your Freud lecture.

For me, of all your lectures it's the one that reached me most. Kant was over my head and while the lectures on ideological critique interested me, psychoanalysis does more. You presented Freud's ideas very clearly with good examples and as a person who has also had several years of therapy, although not psychoanalysis, I would say, as you do, that therapy did me a lot of good.

Daniel Langlois said...

I give myself credit for not weighing in on Ayn Rand, though I also did not take sides.

I've always been interested in Freud, for two reasons. I have a degree in psychology, or, in other words, I think psychology is interesting. And secondly, Freud is a beguiling writer -- a great rhetorician. Perhaps somewhat inadvertently.. I think he takes himself quite seriously, or is even po-faced. Solemn, serious, earnest. But he does impress, he does persuade. I don't mean that I actually am a Freudian, it's more that he's fascinating *while I'm reading him*. I sort of regard the material as being very much like theology if you are taking it seriously as theology. Like a Christian reading Augustine.

The question of 'Freud and the scientific method' is rather difficult. By some, he is lambasted as a fraud. I'm not far from that, in calling him a talented writer who wove absurd theories into compelling narratives. Even something like a gifted artist or a philosophical visionary.

Consider that the very idea of mental life - of motives, emotions, reasons and intentions - seems essentially conscious. But the Freudian unconscious is a different thing, a realm where emotions, beliefs and motives are in lively play, just as they would be in conscious mental activity, with the difference that if we ever come to know of them, it is only by their indirect effects. The expression "unconscious mind" appears paradoxical. One of my favorite lines from Freud, shows him, I think, at his best and at his worst:

"To take flowers from a girl," he states, "means to deflower her."

Consider Freud's stuff as an oddity on the medical fringe, that was transformed to an explosive force in 20th-century consciousness -- took western 20th-century civilisation by storm. What explains its power?