My Stuff

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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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

Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Something weird has happened. Judging from the counter at the head of this blogsite, I have been getting any where from one to two hundred visits to this site per day. In short, a tiny community of readers [choice, of course, but tiny]. Suddenly, today, the counter jumps ahead by roughly seven thousand, with no noticeable increase in the number of comments. Can anyone offer a rational explanation?


Lawrence Solum said...

Perhaps it was the link from Leiter? That's how I discovered you blog & I must say that I have enjoyed your memoirs immensely.

Unknown said...

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Well, hitch your wagon to a star, I say! Welcome all. There are lots more stories to come about famous and not so famous philosophers, about the University of Chicago and Columbia, about Zbigniev Brszesinski and Henry Kissinger, about how my mind works and how I wrote the books I have written, as well as politics and personal stuff. And, of course, comments on the passing scene.

Unknown said...

At last. An audience that you deserve!!!

Brian Leiter said...

I imagine most of the traffic has come from my site, since the items I linked were bound to be of interest to lots of readers. But since you don't permit anonymous comments (wise decision), most of those visiting haven't posted any comments (most folks don't have google accounts, I suspect, or, if they do, they don't want to disclose their identity by using it).

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I realize it is very retro of me, but I conceive of this blog as a conversation, and that presupposes something like face to face engagement.

John S. Wilkins said...

You are writing an inside story with gossip about the Greats. Who wouldn't want to read that?

Todd Gitlin said...

Speaking for myself, Bob, I only learned of your blog a couple of weeks ago, per Leiter, whom I've been reading in search of intelligent life online; and especially when I started catching up on your memoir, I was, well, entranced. I haven't seen you in many, many years--well, many, at any rate--but remain greatly indebted to you for your gifts as teacher of undergraduates, among them myself, in 1961. What you've succeeded in doing online is conveying the flavor of your voice along with a high standard of (nontechnical) argument while veering neither too far toward online smirk nor appeals to novices. Like others, I'm not averse to gossip either, and hope (if you take requests) you can illuminate the life and times of the first teacher who made me think, Rogers Albritton.

Unknown said...

I just discovered this blog today--via Leiter--and I am enjoying it immensely. I discovered many of the same characters a few years later. Rogers Albritton was a wondrous teacher.
Ned Block

peter said...

I also learned of this blog from Leiter's link, and enjoyed reading your stories about what happened in Harvard.
Looking forward to see more.

Anonymous said...

I've read your site before just a link or a snippet but caught Jerome Doolittle's post at
and for some reason decided to read the blog from its inception and am now to here since reading everything from 1997 to here. That post was seven days after this one though.

More of my thoughts on your blog are at Jerry Doolittle's original posting which was posted 7 days after this post so that can't explain why your blog went viral, either temporarily or permanently. The Leitner blog seems to be the best explanation but I would add an aside that perhaps it was your mention of Justice Souter a post or two ago that caught someone's eye but I don't really know. I'm educated in the law and know the intense scrutiny that lawyers and the field of law gives to Supreme Court Justices so that's just a guess based on nothing but gut reaction and it might be as useful as something that came from Gerge Bush's gut. So take my guess with tons of salt.

I suspect any comment or historical information about a Supreme Court Justice would likely attract considerable attention and your comment about Justice Souter may have created or caused the flood of traffic from some other source that has a large readership. Or the others commenting here may be right. I used to be able to go to Technorati and figure out these things as Technorati used to be able to point to other blog links to a particular site but Technorati has changed the way it works and I've not kept up with that particular method and don't know how to input the information in Technorati to get a result back that would point to links pointing to your blog.

A blog counter would help you determine where your hits were coming from. I built a blog on blogger as a sandcastle project once and finished a great design with about 100 links after about a week when I realized I hadn't thought through what I wanted well enough so I let my keyboard be the tide and wash the sandcastle back out to sea so I have used blogger a while back. But I don't know now if a counter can be added using a built in blogger template or if you should find an external one that would make a better way to be able to make more than just guesses about where your hits are coming from. But a hit counter can be helpful when these big jumps in readership come up and used to be the go to place to find out what caused you to go viral. If you're trying to keep your audience small, then good luck but it might be hard - your writing is exceptionally interesting even to non academics like myself.

But I look forward to reading more of your posts. Discovering a fine liberal blog is always an occasion for celebration and finding an excellent one like this one is rare. I'm not familiar with Leitner's blog so I'm not in the rest of the group that posted here. But I'd suspect that with the many comments here that is indeed the reason, although the mention of Justice Souter could have caused some traffic as well. A detailed hit counter added to your blog that provides links could give you that information.