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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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, August 2, 2020

DOWN MEMORY LANE


Yesterday, searching as always for some way to pass the time, Susie and I stumbled on the lovely old 2009 movie Julie and Julia. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the movie follows the early career of Julia Child while simultaneously following the year in which Julie Powell undertook to make all of the more than 500 recipes in Julia Child’s classic cookbook and write about it every day on her blog. The incomparable Meryl Streep plays Julia Child and a quite effective Amy Adams does the Powell role.

The movie took me back to my early days in Cambridge when public TV was in its infancy and everything was in black and white. Julia Child’s show, “the French Chef,” was of course the big hit on the Boston area public TV station but there was also an exercise show that drew a large audience hosted by Maggie Lettvin called “Maggie and the Beautiful Machine.”

Maggie Lettvin was the wife of a brilliant MIT scientist named Jerome Lettvin, or Jerry as he was widely known. Maggie was tall, slender, with a beautiful body which she put to good use in her public television show. Jerry was a large, fat, rumpled mess of a man who looked like a huge heap of clothes waiting to go in the washing machine. I was sitting in Tulla’s coffeehouse one evening having a heated philosophical discussion with a friend when Jerry, who was sitting at the next table, interrupted and joined the debate. He was that kind of man. At some point – I cannot remember when – I went to a party (a quite rare event for me) and in the middle of the evening Maggie and Jerry walked in looking like a Cambridge/MIT version of Beauty and the Beast.

In the movie, Julia’s husband Paul is played by the always excellent Stanley Tucci who of course appeared much later once again with Streep in The Devil wore Prada.

7 comments:

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/de/Lettvin_Faraday_cage.jpg

DDA said...

Back in the day (early 70s) I sat in on Lettvin's (very very popular) course. He was pretty amazing. He gave a brilliant (and funny) lecture on his famous (and important) paper: frog's eye

DDA said...

a nice piece on him here

Unknown said...

Dear Prof Wolff, I just watched your video on Rawls. I posted the following there:

Prof Wolff visited South Africa in the late 1980s and gave a number of spectacular lectures. He joined us in placard protests against apartheid. If I recall correctly, he joked at the time that he did not get arrested for protesting against the Vietnam War and was hoping that he could make up for it then. None of us got arrested, despite the protest being filmed by the police. What a privilege to have heard his lectures and engage him broadly on a range of topics. Hope he sees this and remembers the visit.

Thank you for making yourself available to so many aspiring or budding political theorists. You have no idea of the incredible impact you had on a generation of students at Wits University.

y.g. said...

Dear Prof Wolff
I am now following your course on Kant and enjoying it tremendously. I also just watched Les Derniers Jours D'Emmanuel Kant (The Last Days of Immanuel Kant on youtube. See here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYGGHlgpdlw

And here a review in the New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/what-to-stream-the-last-days-of-immanuel-kant-a-physical-comedy-of-the-philosophical-life

I wonder what you think of this movie.
Best regards
A fan from the Netherlands

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

Speaking of movies and Stanley Tucci, I highly recommend The Big Night. It’s extremely well done with a great cast.

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