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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Sunday, May 24, 2020

NUMBER TWO IS UP

Thanks to the invaluable assistgance of Alicia Steinmetz of the Yale Political Science Department, the second Hume zoom lecture  is up, and you can find it here.  By the time I am ninety, I may learn how to do this, but by then the in crowd will be vewing things on their eyeglasses, or their contacts, Lord help us.

8 comments:

David Palmeter said...

OFF TOPIC:

Serendipity led me to this surprising report on Big Pharma's 2020 political contributions:

https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?ind=H04&cycle=2020&recipdetail=M&sortorder=U

It was surprising to me at first because the largest recipient of Pharma dollars was Bernie and #2 was Warren. McConnell and McCarthy were #s 3 an 4. Biden doesn't make the top 20. From this I conclude that, in Big Pharma's view, they'd rather Trump ran against Sanders or Warren and not Biden.

Jerry Fresia said...

David,

I did a google search on Big Pharma and political contributions and found these three sites. Bernie and Warren were never mentioned. The usual suspects were, however.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelatindera/2019/02/26/these-senators-received-the-biggest-checks-from-pharma-companies-testifying-drug-pricing-ab

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/26/pharma-industry-ups-donations-senate-republicans-mcconnell/2116231001/

Here's the breakdown of donations to the 2020 presidential candidates:

https://www.businessinsider.com/healthcare-donations-to-2020-presidential-candidates-2019-7?IR=T

Biden was 4th among Democrats, Bernie 5th but Bernie said he won't take funds from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries so who knows if he took his donations or not. In any case "opensecrets" seems to be the outlier here.


https://khn.org/news/campaign/

David Palmeter said...

Jerry,

The difference may be accounted for by the periods covered.

s. wallerstein said...

If Sanders is the biggest recipient of pharma dollars, I'd expect to see that covered by
the "liberal" media, which takes advantage of every opportunity it has to trash Sanders and to sing Biden's merits. So far I haven't seen anything.

David Palmeter said...

s. wallerstein

They weren't giving Sanders money to run against Trump; they were giving it in the hope that he would be nominated. Their political calculations might have been wrong, but I can think of no other reason for them to give him a dime.

Anonymous said...

Looking at pure $$ figures misses the deep chess game underway below the surface. Unless you give proper context, such as who else are they trying to keep out of the race, we will never understand the true meaning.

s. wallerstein said...

David Palmeter,

I understand your reasoning. The ethical issue is whether Sanders knowingly accepted the money. So many people I've believed in have not been worthy of that belief that while it might surprise me a little if Sanders did accept the money knowingly, it's not going make me any more cynical than I am already.

Michael said...

The Hume video, as expected, was a pleasure to watch. Thank you for putting it together.

Any discussion of the copy theory of ideas takes me back to a Hume seminar I was lucky to take, taught by my favorite professor. I still remember my paper from the course, which was probably the least unimpressive piece of philosophical reasoning I produced at that age. Hume was my personal favorite philosopher, and I was a young college student of (needless to say) sub-Humean abilities; so, I was unaccustomed to thinking he could be badly mistaken in any of his theories. But by the time I got around to the paper, I had managed to admit to myself, "I don't think we actually have ideas, at least not as Hume understands them."

If I think of (i.e., have a Humean idea of) a red apple, simply in its visual aspect, and if Hume is right that the apple-idea differs from the apple-impression merely in being fainter, in being less vivid and lively...then shouldn't it follow that the apple-idea still has a color - namely, a less forceful and lively red (which is red nonetheless) - and therefore still occupies space, albeit in the "mind's eye"? Generalizing, does this mean I am acquainted with not one but two self-enclosed totalities of visual space - one "impressional" (i.e., visual space as originally manifest to the senses), and the other "ideational" (but nonetheless structurally identical to the first, being its copy)?

I spent much of my paper describing how I couldn't make out what Hume seemed to be getting at; I couldn't make sense of this "mind's eye" and its "idea-space" in which red apples (albeit faintly red apples) float about, mimicking their correspondents from "actual" (i.e., impressional), visual space. I came to admit that there simply was no such thing, as far as my experience could tell me.

But that immediately raised the question: What is actually going on when I imagine a red apple? And that I contented myself to describe rather sketchily in terms of "felt dispositions" to behave in certain ways, i.e. to respond in certain ways when prompted to indicate "what I am imagining"; so, a prompt to pictorially represent my mental goings-on will yield a drawing of a red apple, a prompt to verbally represent my mental goings-on will yield the statement, "I am imagining a red apple," etc.; and there is something it feels like to be so disposed to respond. (But feelings and dispositions are not things that have color and occupy space!)

I still suspect that's basically an improvement, but surely far from adequate. However, I didn't know where to start in seeking out the best critical responses to Hume's copy theory, be they historical or contemporary; and I never got around to finding out. (It was the sort of assignment one could pass just by treating it as a personal critical thinking exercise, even if that came to crudely reinventing various philosophical wheels.) I would probably do well to consult the Stanford Encyclopedia...

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mental-imagery/

Thanks again for your work, and I'll look forward to the next one. Stay safe!