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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Friday, September 6, 2019

CONFESSION, IT IS SAID, IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL


I have a confession to make.  Although I have been blogging almost daily for more than ten years, during which time I have posted perhaps a million words, bogging is not at the core of my being.  Teaching is.  Now that I have once again begun making weekly treks to New York to teach at Columbia, my mind is utterly absorbed by plans for next Tuesday’s lecture.  The course begins with three classes by me devoted to Marx, and though this is not, as they say out west, my first rodeo, I desperately want to get it right, to say clearly, forcefully, coherently some portion of what I think about the greatest student of society ever to live and write.

That is not all I think about, of course.  A part of me is absorbed in Serena’s bid for her twenty-fourth major title.  Another part of me is enjoying Trump’s misadventures with a sharpie.  And in the background, casting a cloud even over Serena’s march to the title, are the real problems besetting the world.  But I cannot do much of anything about them, and I can do something about my teaching.

So it is that as I walk each morning I deliver, in my head, portions of my planned remarks, shaping them, making mental notes of details to check when I am again in front of my computer, editing out amusing stories that I love to tell but which take up too much precious time, wondering on occasion whether any of the twenty young men and women in the class can possibly care as much as I do about what I shall say.

This is when I am most fully alive.  So it has been since I began teaching sixty-four years ago, and so it will be until finally, regretfully, I must stop.


4 comments:

Chris said...

I hesitate to turn you into the "magical elder", but I only found your blog a few months ago, and I have been inspired by reading it.

Actually inspired, not rhetorically inspired. I would love to be able to audit one of your courses.

Thanks. Onward!

Chris in Nebraska

Jerry Fresia said...

"This is when I am most fully alive."

And in those moments that aliveness will be imparted into your lectures and your students will be moved.

Tom Cathcart said...

As someone who had a tutorial with you in what I figure must have been the fourth of your 64 years of teaching, I have to say that your passion was evident—- and inspiring—-way back then.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Those were the days, Tom!