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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, April 5, 2017

MORE FREUD

Okay, here it is, the second lecture on Freud.  Let me know what you think.

9 comments:

T Verga said...

It was wonderful Prof. Thank you

Chris said...

Professor,
Will there be any talk regarding the scientific veracity of Freud's thought?
Best,
CB

Robert Paul Wolff said...

A little Chris, in the last lecture, but not much [no Adolf Grunbaum].

s. wallerstein said...

How wonderful that you mention and recommend Erich Auerbach!

I did my Masters work on Auerbach and Leo Spitzer, another Romance Philologist, almost 50 years ago.

Jerry Fresia said...

I can remember when you were wondering if a youtube lecture would work for you.

Now into your third series of them, I can't help but think that these lectures will be sought after treasures.

Your second lecture on Freud was a "page turner." It's like those TV series.....you mean I have to wait

an entire week (or more?) for the 3rd one?

And no notes???

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you so much, Jerry. They are fun to give, though stressful, I admit. And I really hate my facial twitches, but that is life. I have had them since I was five!

Amin said...

Prof Wolff Thanks for your second video on Freud. It was REALLY marvellous the way you explained about the matter but the quality of sound was not as clear and clean as previous videos, it was sort of airy. I am counting the days until the third video comes out.

Daniel Langlois said...

'I once had a big argument with two marvelous marxists at University of Massachusetts'. Stephen Resnick and Richard D. Wolff etc.'

Ah -- whose work is especially associated with a post-Marxist and post-Althusserian perspective on political economy. They published numerous articles and books together, taking Louis Althusser and Étienne Balibar's Reading Capital as their point of departure. There is more about this argument, something about overdetermination and Marxian theory. Their focus is on Marxian economics within a philosophical method that they term ‘overdetermination’.

My impression is that the idea here is that overdetermination rejects absolute truth claims, -- that there are no independent standards as claimed otherwise by rationalist and empiricist approaches. Now, I realize that I am probably being more baiting with this, than I realize, so to speak, but it occurs to me that maybe this sounds like merely a more modern term for the dialectic..

I tarry like this, because the lecture digresses into a whole 'I was right and they were wrong' thing about this. So..let's tarry. I import some of what I gather about Hegel, to add that overdetermination is metaphysically incoherent. This isn't a criticism. It's not a bug it's a feature. Consider this question: Why not say that both a baseball and its constituent atoms cause the shattering of a window? Why not say that both a mental event (or an object having a mental property) and a physical event (or an object having a physical property) cause the lifting of a fi nger? I say 'metaphysically incoherent', but putting it that way is a preliminary matter. Maybe I just mean 'ugly'. Or just, somehow objectionable. Maybe extremely odd at best, or somesuch! There are possible objections..

Next, I'll give out that overdetermination is a concept originally developed by Sigmund Freud in relation to psychoanalysis but was adapted by the French philosopher Louis Althusser in the 1960s and 1970s in his writing on the work of Karl Marx. Althusser studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy. Several of Althusser's theoretical positions have remained influential in Marxist philosophy. Althusser argued that Marx's thought was fundamentally misunderstood and underestimated. He fiercely condemned various interpretations of Marx's works—historicism, idealism, and economism.

Now, Wolff is pretentious, I think (maybe that's his job), in saying of Althusser that he didn't understand Marx and let's face it, didn't really study his Marx. Something like that..I'm paraphrasing. I call this pretentious, and let us just accept that according to Wolff, somebody is a charlatan. I wouldn't have started that fight..

Daniel Langlois said...

Apparently there was some putative confusion in this argument, about whether multiple determination is merely another name for overdetermination, or is there an important distinction. Well, in psychoanalysis, I think not. But guess about what 'multiple determination' is supposed to mean, is that if you are thinking about well being, or, as is common, let's call it 'subjective well being', and you consider multiple determination of SWB, and you start listing stuff, or, shall we say, types of determinants, that might uniquely predict this SWB. Like this: psychological need-satisfaction, a positive Big Five trait profile, good personal goal-progress, high self-esteem, positive social support, a happiness-conducing cultural membership.

Next, we can play with a variety of goodness-of-fit statistics. And, in short, multiple regression can be a beguiling, temptation-filled analysis. And there are common mistakes that even experts make when it comes to regression analysis. Now, regression generates an equation that describes the relationship between one or more predictor variables and the response variable, see. And, gegression has the ability to disentangle some very convoluted problems. Problems where the predictors seem enmeshed together like spaghetti.

So, how do we distinguish this from 'overdetermination'. Well, suppose that I look at a teenager and consider him uncouth, arrogant and thoughtless. Then I talk to this teenager, using my constructs. He will be amazed at how much I understand him..I'm joking! Now, what if somebody else has a different construct. Is there, logically, only one possible construct, here, that is true? Well, *logically*, that's a 'yes'.

I'll leave this just as a little swipe at developing a contrast between 'overdetermined' and 'multiply determined'..I think I've won if somebody finds the issue interesting..it's not that I'm trying to win a *debate*..