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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I"M BACK

My apologies for being absent from the blog. Susie and I have been consumed with excitement by our decision, approved of by our physicians, to eat at a restaurant this evening for the first time in 11 months. We are now three weeks past our second Pfizer shots and medical advice is that it is okay for us to have a meal out. We have chosen to go to our favorite local restaurant, a fish house called Squid’s, where I shall order a dozen and ½ raw oysters, a basket of Hush Puppies, and a glass of the house Cabernet. This may not sound like much to those of you who are gourmets but it is quite the biggest deal in our little lives in almost a year.

 

Meanwhile, I am pursuing the possibility of again teaching at Columbia in the fall. If I can find a departmental home for my proposed course – Marx, Freud, Marcuse: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis – and if The Society of Senior Scholars will underwrite a small honorarium and travel expenses, and if – a very big if – Columbia is actually holding classes in person next fall then I may be back to flying up to New York every Tuesday to teach. I had not realized how much I have missed it until the possibility arose of teaching once again and I found my spirits magically lifted.

 

Meanwhile, I see that Trump plans on Friday at CPAC to declare himself the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee, which I think may spell doom for the Republican Party. These are strange times.

8 comments:

PhilosophicalWaiter said...

Congratulations on you upcoming outing!

A couple thoughts: "Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis"? I thought you didn't like mentioning Hegel?

Assuming that you class does come to fruition, can we all count on, at sometime in the future, being able to view these lectures on video?

W/r/to Trump: I think we are fooling ourselves if we think his (and the Republican Party's) danger is moderated by the likelihood of losing elections. Trump is not an ordinary politician and the GOP has become an organization devoted to seeking to gain and maintain power by any means they can grasp.

Jerry Brown said...

I hope you enjoy it. You probably won't catch covid but who knows what 18 raw oysters might do to anyone.

Matt said...

Jerry, I would assume that the only danger from 18 raw oysters (at least from a reputable location) is making you want at least another half dozen! (At least that was the case for me when my wife and I would order some great Sydney Rock oysters during our lock down periods)

Achim Kriechel (A.K.) said...

Dear Professor,
the story of your visit at the fish restaurant makes me a little bit jealous. Here in Germany everything is still closed, restaurants, cafes, schools and shops. Nice that you and your wife could enjoy it.

Should you really start your lessons at Columbia, please think of those who live further away and only have the chance to catch a YouTube video. Maybe a listener is ready to assist you in this matter? I know it sounds selfish, but what should I do ��

L. F. Cooper said...

We've been through this issue on this blog before, but my view is that recording or videotaping or filming classes is generally a bad idea. (I'd make an exception if Prof Wolff were a young instructor needing the videotape for purposes of working on his classroom technique, but that is obviously not the case here.) The other exceptions I'd make are for so-called MOOCs and for lecture courses with attendance in the hundreds, or lecture courses with no possibility of substantial give-and-take between instructor and students.

In all other cases, why is taping or recording classes for YouTube a bad idea? Because students need to be able to ask questions without worrying about how what they say will be received by hundreds or thousands of people watching on YouTube. A course of the sort Prof Wolff is proposing should be about giving those students who are sitting in front of him a chance to do whatever they need to do -- and that includes asking "stupid" questions and making "ignorant" remarks -- in order to benefit fully from the course and learn something. Some students may already feel inhibited by the judgment of their peers, so why increase that possibility of inhibition with a video camera? In short, a course of this kind should be exclusively for the students enrolled in it; it should not be a vehicle for the edification or entertainment of a YouTube audience. Lectures by Prof Wolff on Marx and Freud are already available on YouTube anyway.

Eric said...

Prof Wolff, rather than flying to NYC weekly, have you considered teaching a course via Zoom or the equivalent?

Michael said...

(1) Please correct me if this is wrong, but "thesis-antithesis-synthesis" is Fichte, not Hegel. I'm not sure where the Hegel attribution originates - I thought I saw it mentioned that J.H. Stirling (or W.T. Stace?) popularized it, but I could be off.

(2) To be less of an annoying pedant, I'll share this:
Existential Comics: Hegel's Last Words

L.F. Cooper said...

One of the few things I know about Hegel is the term Aufheben, and "sublation" would seem to presuppose that there's a "thesis" and an "antithesis," even if Hegel didn't use German words that translate in exactly that way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aufheben