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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Monday, April 10, 2017

WAIT FOR IT

The third Freud lecture is in the can, so to speak, and should be up on Wednesday.  Not everyone talks about Oedipus Rex and Jack and the Beanstalk in the same breath.

4 comments:

Joe F said...

Dear Professor Wolff,

Thank you for giving these lectures and making them available freely. I've been greatly enjoying the Freud lectures so far. I happen to be trying to get to grips with Althusser at the moment, so I was intrigued by your brief remarks about Althusser's (mis-)use of the concept of overdetermination. I would be extremely grateful if you could point me in the direction of a text that develops the criticism of Althusserian Marxism that you made in Resnick and Wolff's class (namely, that it confuses 'overdetermination' with 'multiple determination'); or, if that's not possible, if you could briefly elaborate on that here. Of course, I quite understand if you don't have the time to take a detour into Althusser at this time!

Thanks again for your blog and the lectures (I especially look forward to the lectures on Marx you're planning for later in the year).

Joe F

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Joe, I am afraid all I can do is point to myself. Althusser was arguing against the rigid doctrinaire claim of supposed Marxists who insisted that the economy alone determined the course of history. Instead, he called attention, as did Wolff and Resnick, to the multiplicity of factors shaping history. I agreed with them. I just was pointing out that that is not what determinaton" means either to Freud or to a mathematici

Joe F said...

Thank you very much for your reply. So, would you say that Althusser was conceptually muddled but broadly speaking, interpreted Marx aright?

'Overdetermination' implies that a and b would each be sufficient by itself to cause c, whereas 'multiple determination' suggests that a and b combine to cause c, and that neither is sufficient by itself. Is that correct, or have I failed to grasp the real distinction?

Thanks again

Robert Paul Wolff said...

That is exactly correct as a distinction between over and multiple determination.