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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."





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Monday, September 18, 2017

BRIEF RESPONSE

My elegaic remarks about my books elicited a lovely array of responses.  Clearly, as I would have suspected, I am not alone.  When I retired and moved from a house to an apartment, I went through something of the thinning out process that David Auerbach describes.  I was about to get rid of one book until I noticed that it was a presentation copy from the author.  Whoops!  I hung on to it.

Carl, my son, Tobias Barrington Wolff, was indeed named for Barrington Moore.  Barry was his godfather, a fact that led to one of my favorite stories about Tobias when he was very little and still Toby.  His mother and I took him and his big brother, Patrick, to see Barry and Betty Moore at their Cambridge home.  When we got there, we discovered that Barry's closest friend, Herbert Marcuse, was staying with them.  Herbert had recently lost his wife and was rather lonely.  Barry had no idea at all what to do with a three year old [he had no children.]  All he could think to do by way of play was to talk German to to little Toby!  But Herbert was in his element.  He sat down on the floor, took a globe off a desk, and spun it around, pointing to one country after another.  Little Toby was enthralled.  When it came time to leave, we took the children out to the big old Chevy wagon parked at the curb.  Barry and Herbert came out to say goodbye.  As he was climbing into the back seat to be put in his car seat, Toby turned, looked up, waved his hand, and said "Bye, Herbie."  Marcuse was charmed.

8 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

It's appropriate that someone who posits the value of play in his philosophical works (as liberation from the performance principle), that is, Marcuse, knew how to play with children.

Besides knowing how to play with children, what was Marcuse like?

LFC said...

Completely off-topic, but worth noting, imo:

The Senate has passed a $700 billion military authorization bill (see link). (The House bill, I assume, is worse, which is prob. saying a fair amount.)

Excerpt from the article:

"...the bill includes $8.5 billion to strengthen U.S. missile and defense systems. That’s $630 million more than the Trump administration sought for those programs, according to a committee analysis.
...

"The legislation directs the Defense Department to deploy up to 14 additional ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska, an increase that will expand to 58 the number of interceptors designed to destroy incoming warheads. The department also is tasked with finding a storage site for as many as 14 other spare interceptors, and senators envision an eventual arsenal of 100 with additional missile fields in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

"The White House, in a statement issued earlier this month, called the order for more interceptors 'premature' given the Pentagon’s ongoing review of missile defense programs."

In other words, the Pentagon is still reviewing missile defense programs, no doubt partly for efficacy (i.e., do these 'interceptors' reliably and consistently work?), but the Senate doesn't care: full speed ahead. The Senate also wants 94 (I think is the figure) additional Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. And, of course, it refuses to allow any military base closures.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/senate-passes-bill-pump-700-billion-military/

Jerry Fresia said...

Off topic:

Professor, I was wondering what your thoughts are on your alma mater's recent display of what some
are calling "cowardice"?

"Harvard’s Cowardice on Chelsea Manning"
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/17/harvards-cowardice-on-chelsea-manning/

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Hey! Don't blame me for them. I was sixteen went I went there sixty-seven years ago. I cannot say I am surprised, just appalled. Note, by the way, they had no trouble taking money in honor of Martin Peretz!

David Palmeter said...

Returning to an earlier topic:

We talked about the income and wealth disparity between black and white, noting that the wealth disparity is even greater than the income disparity primarily because of government and industry practices regarding the sale of homes.

While income disparity is not as great, it is alarmingly large. In a column in today’s Washington Post, Courtland Milloy notes that census data for 2016 show that the median household income was $75,506--one of the highest in the nation. But for white households, the median was $125,747 while for black households it was $37,891.

This society has a long, long way to go before it even approaches something that could reasonably be called “justice.”

David Palmeter said...

I neglected to note clearly that those figures are Washington, DC only.

Jerry Fresia said...

I should have simply used the term "Harvard" instead of "your alma mater." I was wondering whether or not Harvard has
generally deferred in this way to power or have there been periods of genuine academic independence.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Harvard has always been fiercely independent, so long as nothing hung on it. Remember that Harvard refused to divest during the anti-apartheid struggle, even after I managed to get Archbishop Tutu elected to the Board of Overseers, and then sanctimoniously gave an honorary degree to Mandela after he was released from prison. You don't accumulate a thirty billion dollar endowment by making waves.