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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, September 16, 2015


I was deeply, deeply moved by TheDudeDiogenes' response to my complaint about my doctor.  Let me just reproduce the portion of his comment that touched me so profoundly:

"At any rate, I am only 33 and while I joke about being old (and am the oldest of my "meatspace" friends, I surely have nothing on you Professor! Which brings to my mind something that I have worried about whenever you mention your age or health - supposing something tragic happens to you, is there any way readers of this blog will know or will some day there just won't be any new posts? (I don't wish to be morbid, and I wish you as many more years as you wish for yourself, but the thought of you sustaining a debilitating or fatal injury or illness fills me with great dread - I can't begin to express how much your wisdom, wit, compassion, and joie de vivre have consoled and inspired me over the years, even though I am an infrequent commenter.)"

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  In my quirky way, this kind comment reminded of the very last scene in that strange Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show.  Carrey plays a man whose entire life, unbeknownst to him, has been an on-going reality TV show filmed inside an enormous domed sound stage staffed with actors who have been with the show Truman's entire life.  [Keep in mind that I and millions  of others have been watching The Young and the Restless for twenty-five years.]  The show ends when Truman figures out what is going on and finds his way to a door in the dome, through which he walks out of the show and into the real world.

The world-wide audience watches and cheers as Truman finds his way off the set.  The last scene of the movie shows several firemen [I think] watching, transfixed, as the show goes dark.  Then one turns to the other, picking up the remote, and asks, "What else is on?"

That is how I have always imagiued it would be should I blog 'til I die.  I am moved by the thought that someone might miss the show.


Unknown said...

I feel exactly the same, but wouldn't have been able to express it so beautifully. You would be sorely missed by many of us. This blog is a truly special place, and I wish you many more years of writing!

Tim said...

hear hear. I should miss your thoughts terribly too. I follow many blogs and I have to say that this is my favourite (well, OK, maybe you are tied for first... maybe), for much the same reasons as the original commenter. As T Verga says I can't hope to express the their sentiments so well - I wish only to add my voice to the chorus. Long may you and your blog last.

Magpie said...

Prof. Wolff,

You will be missed.

Let me tell you a story. I'm an old-fashioned sort of bloke, like my Dad before me. And at my age (54) I won't change.

My Dad died at the age of 54, getting ready to go work. A heart attack.

We knew he was seriously ill and there was nothing doctors could do. His death did not take us by surprise. Being an old-fashioned bloke, my Dad did not feel comfortable talking about feelings and stuff, saying goodbyes and that. On top, I am sure he knew I wouldn't feel comfortable talking about that.

One day, maybe a couple of weeks before he died, my Dad was lying on a hammock, resting with his eyes closed. I spoke to him and he didn't reply.

We were alone at home. Maybe he was just sleeping, I suppose. At any rate, that's not what I thought. I thought that that was that. I hugged him and was about to start crying -- trust me on this: I can't remember ever crying, not even when my Mum died -- when he opened his eyes.

I never had to tell him that I loved him: he knew when he saw my eyes red, while I was obviously embarrassed for "behaving like a girl", and hugely relieved.

Trust me, you will be missed one day, in a long time.

Hang in there.

Jim said...

Professor Wolff –

Remember a while back when you blogged about that misdiagnosed lung cancer scare? As I recall, it struck me that the physicians were casually advising you to begin thinking about getting your affairs in order because you might not have long to live. Let me tell you, I was in a panic. I turn to your blog in the effort to remain grounded in this often troubling world within which we all live. What if, one day, there were no more entries? How would I be able to keep the world in perspective? Happily, your misdiagnosis was just that: a misdiagnosis. However, it was also a none too pleasant reminder that all good things at some point may come to an end.

Strategy: Always keep in mind that there is too much going on this world that requires your commentary and analysis. Therefore, you should resolve to continue such activity indefinitely. I plan wholeheartedly to do the same. Forget about going gentle into that good night -- it simply is not an option. Let’s turn around and walk in the other direction. Think of all there is to anticipate. Yes, there is the next presidential election. But, how will the dynamic of global warming play out? Will Manhattan eventually find itself submerged, or will we find a solution to the problem? I want to know. More importantly for you, what will your grandchildren grow up to accomplish? I am no doubt sure that you want to know. (Notice that I am attempting to demonstrate that this is not an entirely selfish exhortation).

What do you say, are you in?

-- Jim