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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Sunday, February 25, 2018

I RECOMMEND

that you read this column by the always worthwhile NY TIMES columnist Frank Bruni.  It has absolutely nothing to do with politics or philosophy or economics, and it is heartbreaking.  As I read it, I thought how fortunate I am to have reached the advanced age of eighty-four still alive and in good health.  And I reflected that sooner or later [Oh Lord, let it be later] something like this will happen to me, as it does, in some form or other, to us all.  Nobody gets out of life alive, as someone once observed.

Meanwhile, I take my daily baby aspirin, go for my not quite three mile walk, and deliver YouTube'd lectures on the thought of Karl Marx while having malicious and utterly unChristian thoughts about the temporary occupant of the Oval Office.

3 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

I have glaucoma. I put drops in my eyes nightly. So far they seem to be controlling the situation, but it could get worse.

There are so many horrid conditions that can happen to you as you age (Alzheimer's being the one I fear most) that growing blind seems relatively bland. And of course not all of us live long enough to experience the wonders of old age and many of us who do cannot afford and do not receive the medical care that Bruni seems to take for granted.

It's also heartbreaking to think of people without money to pay for a doctor, who have to wait months to see a specialist in the Chilean public health system and then stand on line for hours (in spite of their age and physical condition) to get the same eye drops that I buy in a pharmacy in one minute.

David Palmeter said...

This is more than heartbreaking; to me it’s frightening. My fear isn’t sight; it’s hearing. I lost the hearing in my right ear about 25 years ago to a virus--a simple head cold that settled in the wrong spot and damaged the auditory nerve. Since then, I get a mild panic with every cold I get. I was in my mid-40s when that happened. Now, at 80, I am losing my hearing in my left ear--simply slow, inexorable, age-related hearing loss. But if I hadn’t lost the hearing in one ear, my hearing today would be twice as good as it is.

Hearing loss is very isolating. It’s invisible to others. In social situations, I have often thought I understood what was being said, but missed it entirely. So now I just shut up, nod my head and smile. As someone said, it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re stupid than open and remove all doubt.

It’s a process of giving things up--avoiding social situations, lectures and the like. At family gatherings, I’m essentially mute. I could follow your Kant lectures a couple of years ago, so in preparation for tackling Kant one of these days, I downloaded all of them. I was very interested in your Marx lectures, but I am unable to follow those. It isn’t volume; I can turn that up. It’s clarity because with gradual, age-related hearing loss we lose our ability to distinguish some sounds, particularly consonants, and some frequencies.

For many years I attended community seminars at St. John’s College in Annapolis--“great books” discussions, for the most part. But I’ve given them up. I was about ready to give up OLLI study groups but the cavalry has come to the rescue, at least temporarily. We’ve installed hearing loop systems in all of our class rooms and it has made an amazing difference. (Hearing loops use microphones to pick up sound and then send directly to hearing aids equipped with something called a t-coil; this avoids all kinds of acoustic background noise.)

The internet has been quite a boon to those of us with hearing loss. It’s a way of keeping in touch with people. Helen Keller said that blindness cut her off from things; deafness cut her off from people.

s. wallerstein said...

David Palmeter,

Ageing in general is frightening: one feels so vulnerable, so fragile.

Sorry to read about your hearing loss.