Coming Soon:

Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Saturday, November 17, 2018


Thank you all for taking the time to reassure me that you are there, reading and enjoying what I have written.  I feel a little like Sally Field accepting her second Oscar, who said, famously, “I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.”  Your comments mean more to me than I can adequately say.

Why do they matter so much to me?  Not a trivial question for me to contemplate.  When I was young, I was more or less oblivious of the opinions of others.  I did not even read many of the reviews of my books.  I had had my say, and I was moving on, rather like an Impressionist painter [or so I imagined] who finished one canvas of sunflowers and began another.  But now, I am old.  In six weeks, I will turn eighty-five, and though that is, needless to say, only one year older than I am now, somehow the number has a certain resonance.  I want desperately to believe that the world is not quite yet ready to leave me behind, as it does all of us sooner or later.

I remarked a while back that in the building of which I am the “precinct rep” here at my retirement community, there are three people who are ten or eleven years older than I, making me feel middle-aged.  I shall try not to think of myself as old until I reach ninety.

So I shall continue writing and posting, and also teaching for as long as Columbia will have me.  In the Spring I shall give a lecture here at UNC Chapel Hill on “A Game-Theoretic Critique of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice,” which will be videotaped and posted on YouTube.

Now I must prepare my Tuesday Columbia lecture.  A little later today, I shall write a lengthy post setting forth a portion of what I plan to say.  It is a critical look at the received Story of America and a sketch of an alternative and true story.

But again, thank you all.

Now, what on earth is an RSS Feed?


J. W. F. said...

RSS roughly stands for "really simple syndication." Most online publications, such as newspapers and blogs, have what is called an "RSS feed." If you regularly read several publications, and want an easy way to keep up with them all, you might get what is called a "feed reader." Feed readers let you "subscribe" to the the RSS feed for these publications. Once you are subscribed, the feed reader will directly receive updates to an RSS feed. Depending on the nature of the publication, the feed may include the entire text of the post (common for blogs), or may only include the headline and a byline, and then you need to click a link to the publication to read the whole piece (common for newspaper articles). A feed reader may be a standalone application, or, nowadays, there are feed readers that are built to be used within your internet browser of choice. Feed readers are especially useful for keeping up with publications that update at irregular intervals, such as blogs.

Wandering Logic said...

In Blogger you control the contents of your RSS feeds as described in the following document:

I believe you have your blog set to "Full" (the default setting), because when I access your blog in the Feedly "feed reader" I see your entire post, not just the first paragraph. I believe this is the default setting on Blogger, and is also the setting most convenient for your readers.

Thanks again!

jeffrey kessen said...

I wrote some silliness in your Comments section a while back---for which I apologize. I've read your blog for years and have gained by it. Please, many more years.

James Camien McGuiggan said...

I like George Monbiot's column in the UK Guardian, I like the blog Crooked Timber, I read a couple of webcomics that update irregularly, I read this, I want to keep an eye on that, etc., etc...

How do I track all these things? I could go to each individual website every time I expect or hope there's some new writing or content. But as you can imagine, that's pretty inefficient when the things you want to keep track of number in the dozens. So instead, I have a single webpage (in my case it's called Feedly) that I set up to automatically update every time any of these websites updates. I check this site once or twice a day, and see a feed (in reverse chronological order) of whatever's new.

Jerry Fresia said...

Like an Impressionist painter or, perhaps, like Franz Schubert, who, as the story goes, was asked to sit down by his students
who had gathered up his sheet music, which had been scattered about, and played the music for him. Schubert's response was, "My, that's lovely, who wrote it?" I think art production is just one steady, unfolding, process (of becoming) where the notion of finish is a category mistake. I also like Richard Bernstein's claim that, at bottom, Marxism is about the alienation of process.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the game-theoretic take on Rawls! Will it be about what happens in the original position, or about what goes on in the well-ordered society (i.e., the much-neglected part III of TJ)?

Matt said...

In the Spring I shall give a lecture here at UNC Chapel Hill on “A Game-Theoretic Critique of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice,”

I too will look forward to this. It makes me want to ask a question: I've recently been slowly reading (mostly while walking places - the main time I have to read things that are not essential to my work) Allen Buchanan's oldish book, _Marx and Justice: The Radical Critique of Liberalism_. I'm reading it not only because the subject matter is of some interest to me, but because I know Buchanan's later work well - it's central to some of my interests in the philosophy of international law and questions relating to self-determination. But, in the later work, he gives very little hint of being strongly interested in Marx, which itself raised my interest in the earlier book. I have found the book to be very interesting and well argued, though I do not know Marx's texts well enough to know how well supported the arguments are. But, to get to my point, the last part of the text is a comparison between Rawls and Marx, and in it Buchanan is quite critical of some of the arguments you've made in relation to Rawls, including some of the ones dealing with game theory. He also pointed me to an old review of your Rawls book by Brian Barry, in the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, where some similar criticisms are made. So, I wonder if you've seen Buchanon's book, and if so, what you think of it, and if the arguments you'll present in the lecture are significantly different from the ones that Buchanan (and Barry) thought were not successful, or if they are revisions of those. (I might finally add that I'm not 100% sure that I agree with Buchanan's take on Rawls in the book, so disagreeing with that might be one possible part of a reply.)