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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Friday, January 8, 2016


After solving several more technical problems [with the aid of Google], I managed to convert my Windows Movie Maker "project" to an MP4 file, suitable for uploading to YouTube.  That done, I got carried away, and instead of waiting until next week, went ahead and uploaded it [long process!]  So, my first lecture is now available, twitches and all, under the title "Robert Paul Wolff Ideological Critique Lecture One."

I will be very interested in opinions, negative as well as positive.


Acastos said...

Bob - I couldn't wait either, and have just watched the first 10 minutes (all of your intro). This is wonderful, and is going to be a rich, generous and permanent legacy. I confess I wasn't that interested in your topic (having only vague ideas about it), but now plan to follow the lectures avidly and try to keep up with the books (I have read Mansfield Park, but not any of the others).

The presentation is so warm and inviting and intelligible: fluent, relaxed, at ease. The facial tics aren't distracting. (You remind me of my old Professor at Pittsburgh, Wilfrid Sellars, who, however, was not fluent or inviting.) I like the visual aids (the books), and the extempore delivery, that is nonetheless polished and confident.

I plan to watch the whole lecture (and the succeeding ones), but wanted now to send a word of gratitude and encouragement. It's so nice to finally meet the man behind the blog!

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Acastos, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am relieved that at least one person likes it. Onward and upward.

Chris said...

Watching now. Love it. So affable, even avuncular!

Just an FYI, if you do want to put links and/or comments in texts embedded in your video you can do so through youtube. Sign in to youtube. Click my channel. Then at the top 'video manager'. Then click 'edit' next to the video you want to edit. Then annotations. Fast forward to the point in the video where you want the link, comment, text, or whatever, to arise. Then click add annotation, and you should be able to go from there.

Lounger said...

Just finished watching the lecture. I think you have a real hit on your hands. Over these many years of reading your blog, I have imagined what you looked and sounded like. (Yes I have seen your picture, but it is not the same as a moving, breathing person.)
The session was over too soon. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to the rest of the series.
You have a captivating voice; it reminds me of Eli Wallach.
Congratulations on making this leap into Distance Education. I hope there will be many more courses to come.
(If I may be allowed to suggest a topic for a future episode, let me mention a book I am currently reading, "The Proper Study of Mankind" by Isaiah Berlin. I am about a third of the way through and find it both difficult and rewarding. I would love to hear you lecture about Berlin.)

Michael Llenos said...

Dr. Wolff,
Great lecture. I knew almost nothing about Marx until now. I thought our economic system had evolved into something greater than communism and past economic theory--until now that is. In the Book of Acts, the followers of Christ embrace communism in the beginning, but end up fully integrating into the Roman Empire later on. That is the type of superior, theoretical evolution that I think Marx saw as stereotypical or false. However, the end of the Bible speaks of a monarchy of righteousness brought on by the fact that only a Ecclesiastical Monarchy keeps its subjects content--which is what Machiavelli talks about in Chapter 11 of his The Prince. By the way, what Dr. Manheim (sorry about any error of his name, I just saw your lecture) wrote, about his western, social superiority concept that tries to destroy the opponent before the facts are laid, I would have to say is vital to the survival of any group or cult in reality. E.g. there would be no Church, Mosque or Temple operating today without a little bit use of this tactic. And that's why I suppose that Republicans and Democrats are larger in membership than Liberals. Great lecture. I think Dr. M. took some ideas from Einstein about 'relativity' and adapted it to his own philosophy. But I'm not sure.

Michael Llenos said...

Instead of Liberals, I meant Independents.

Utopian Yuri said...

I too watched the whole thing and found it very engaging. I've been reading Ideology and Utopia , and will now try to speed up my reading to try to keep up with the course. Looking forward to Lecture 2.

Jerry Fresia said...

I have been traveling with friends and family, so I have not had the free time to absorb the full lecture; but I look forward to that very soon. Suffice it to say, I was delighted to see that the lecture series had begun. What a treat to see you teach again. I have only watched the first 13 minutes, but one gets, straight away, that you are masterful. How difficult it must be to speak only to a camera, but your lecture has the feel that you are speaking directly to a visible audience. I can't wait to carve out the time to watch the remainder of the lecture uninterrupted as well as the others that follow. Whatever misgivings about this project you and others might have had have just flown out the window. Priceless!

Andrew MacDonald said...

Found the first lecture very interesting. Mannheim's idea that one must go back to the origins in order to understand a thought is interesting (reminiscent of Nietzsche and Foucault). I wonder if we could also say that along with this backwards movement one must also engage in a horizontal movement; relating the thought to the context of significance it inhabits at this particular place and time.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Oh absolutely, Andrew MacDonald. If I did mnot make that clear, I should have. You are quite correct, and Mannheim says as much many times and in many ways.

Jerry, thank you so much form tghe kind words.

My thanks also to Lounger, Michael Llenos, and Utopian Yuri for their feedback.