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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, February 28, 2020


First my son, Patrick, and his family arrived for a three day visit, and Patrick actually attended my Monday class -- the first time one of my sons has been to a class I was teaching.  Then I made all my plans for a trip to Paris starting right after next Monday's class [it is Spring break.]  All the while I was doing my taxes [I will get something back.]  Meanwhile the Nevada caucuses were happening.  And then, as the Corona virus threat escalated, I finally decided yesterday to cancel the trip as just too risky, and then undid all the arrangements I had made.

South Carolina tomorrow, Super Tuesday in four days, and the stock market has tanked [one of the few bright spots in a gloomy time.]

Is anyone still there?


David Palmeter said...

Yes, we're here. Some of us are wondering when will it be Hume Time?

Jennifer Lamborn said...

Dear Mr. Wolff,

I am presently teaching Kant's Critique at the University of Wyoming. I am learning more than I'd like to admit from your lectures. I've had to watch Lecture 4 a few times now, and I hope I can explain "synthesis" to my students as well as you do. We're reading the Subjective Deduction next week, so it's very exciting and deeply challenging. Perhaps I should add that I'm not a "professional philosopher," but I was asked to teach here for a year to fill in for another's sabbatical. The department head knows how much I love Kant.

I enjoy your personal stories, and often, when watching, I'm laughing out loud. As you know, those lectures were filmed before the 2016 election, and I was moved by your talk at the end of lecture 3, imploring viewers to vote.

How I would love to be in one of your Kant classes. I imagine you'll give notice on this blog if you're planning to teach the Critique again soon.

I'm sorry to read that your Paris trip is cancelled, but I think it's a wise move.

So thank you for your scholarship and your love of Kant.

In appreciation,


Jerry Brown said...

Yeah Professor I am still here although I admit I get worried you aren't when you so often mention how old you are.

RFGAPHD STFU. You don't speak for working class people and you're a freaking idiot to claim to.

Charles Pigden said...

Dear Professor Wolff,
I was wondering where you had been and was hoping you were OK. I cancelled a planned trip to see my Mother in England in May for much the same reason as you cancelled your planned trip to Paris. (She is about your age but I also have a young grandson whose parents share the house in New Zealand with us and I did not want to risk infecting the young or the old at either end of the trip . Come to think of it, at 63 I am moving into the danger zone for this disease myself.)
Charles Pigden
PS I am amused by the talk of a 'correction' as if this were a Bad Thing. Surely the term suggests that prior to the correction the price of stocks was INcorrect and specifically that they were over-priced which would appear to imply that a 'correction' would be a Good Thing. Apparently not.

Jerry Brown said...

RFGAPHD- You are not speaking on workers behalf- you are writing your own opinion at best. And your opinion is mostly uninformed by the facts- to put it nicely, or just stupid- to put it plainly. Your opinion does not represent what I see or believe about the world as someone who also would be considered a 'working class' person by most. Don't claim to represent me and don't be surprised that I call you out for misrepresenting what workers think. Most workers are not stupid even if they can't put PhD after their name. And there is a very good chance you would get physically assaulted if you called me 'boy' to my face. I'm done with you.

Anonymous said...

I don’t see the value in engaging the troll.

Mazen said...

Waiting for the Hume lectures... :-)

Matt said...

Is it the flight itself (being in close quarters w/ a bunch of coughing people...) that worries you, or access to health care if needed when away from home? I'm flying to New Orleans (from Melbourne, so a long way) in a week and a half for the PPE society meeting, but other than the flight, it doesn't worry me.

On a happier note for you, Bob, there will be a session at the PPE Society meeting on Marx by three UNC grad students. Apparently you are making a mark.

Anonymous said...

Just a little comment, unrelated to the subject matter of RPW's post.

"Don't feed the troll" is a tried and tested piece of Internet wisdom that -- in my experience -- can't be overstated, but which requires further consideration.

A troll is someone who enjoys being disruptive. For some quirk of psychology, they get a quick out of that. They like to upset others.

When one reacts to their provocation, one is given them what they want. One is telling them: "I read you and it upset me".

The obvious counter is to ignore them. Let them comment but do no react. Do not even read them.

But, of course, that works best when they genuinely failed to upset us.

If one -- or one's readers -- can't avoid feeling perturbed, then the second best counter is to ban the trolls. Delete their comments. Period. Deny the troll what it (whatever the troll is) wants.

It's your blog and your rules. It's not like this troll has not given you plenty reasons for that. It has insulted you personally, and other commentators. It's done that gratuitously, without provocation.

Nobody would accept a visitor to one's home behaving that way. Why should a blog be any different?

--The AnonyMouse

s. wallerstein said...

There was a point a few weeks ago when our resident troll still had the option of becoming the token Trump supporter among the regular commentators. He just needed to be polite, to stop insulting Professor Wolff and others, and to present reasonable arguments in favor of Trump.

However, his insults directed at Professor Wolff above surpass the limits of acceptable behavior in a blog and in any social situation. When I taught, if someone had made comments like that, I would have immediately asked him or her to leave the classroom and in fact, I myself have been asked to leave classes for much less aggressive behaviors such as reading the newspaper in the back row under my desk during a professor's lecture.

So I would suggest that Professor Wolff ban the troll from his blog or if he is exceptionally benevolent, give him one last chance to behave correctly.

David Palmeter said...

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has as good a response as I can think of to those who dislike Trump but don't want to vote for a "socialist" like Sanders:

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Dear Jennifer, I am simply delighted that you are finding the Kant lectures of use. Recording them was a labor of love, and I like to reflect that they are now in the cloud forever! Good luck!