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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, January 8, 2018

DOWN MEORY LANE

One of the many ways in which I was massively underprepared for my twelve year stint as the Graduate Program Director of the UMass doctoral program in Afro-American Studies was my blindness to the central role of religion in the American Black community.  Although not a single one of my new colleagues exhibited the slightest tinge of belief in the divine, half or more of our doctoral students were seriously religious.  One of the young men, who was married to a preacher, had a message on his answering machine that blessed you three times before you got to the beep.  This failing on my part was brought home to me one rainy evening in the spring of 2000, four years after the launch of the program.

I had decided that the complete lack of mention of Marx in the departmental curriculum required fixing, so I announced a series of non-credit lectures on Marx, scheduled for the evening in order not to conflict with our regular courses.  Quite a few of our students turned out for the series.  One evening, we met during a heavy spring thunderstorm, which I ignored as I plodded through my exposition.  At some point, for reasons I cannot now recall, I remarked as an aside, “Of course, there is no God.”  At that precise moment, there was an enormous thunderclap.  The next day, one of the students informed me that half of the class was absolutely convinced this was God’s expression of disapproval of my denial of Him.


Teaching in that department was a hoot.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...


If god had really been upset, he would not have missed!
~Long time fan,
Critton

Anonymous said...

I wish that I was one of the lucky students to hear your lectures on Marx. I'm studying history at a state school and lack of courses on Marxist thought is discouraging.

Yuri