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Wolff provides here an examination of four concepts central to liberal political concerns: Liberty, Tolerance, Loyalty, and Power. We need, Wolff states, an ideal of society more exalted than the mere acceptance of opposed interests and diverse customs. We need, moreover, a new philosophy of community, and in his last chapter Wolff undertakes to outline the first steps toward such a philosophy.

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This book analyses and explains the central passage of Kant’s philosophy, the “Transcendental Analytic” of the Critique of Pure Reason. It proceeds in the manner of a textual commentary, discussing and explaining each section of the Analytic in turn. The purpose, however, is not merely to comment chapter by chapter on what Kant has written, but rather to reorganise and interpret his argument so that it is seen as coherent and connected. To this end preliminary versions of the Analytic are actually presented, in formal step-­by-­step manner, four times in the course of the book. Finally, when the last elements of Kant’s theory are revealed, a fifth and final version of the argument is presented. This consists of a proof whose premise is the Cartesian proposition, “I think,­” and whose conclusion is the Causal Maxim. In other words Kant provided a complete proof for the principle of causality, assuming only the minimal premise that man is conscious. In his presentation Mr. Wolff . . .

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When Robert Paul Wolff retired in 2008 after a fifty-­year career as a university professor, he was somewhat at a loss as to what to do. One of his sons said, "Why don't you start a blog, Dad?­" And so, like hundreds of millions of others around the world, he did. The Philosopher's Stone has been running now for more than four years, and Wolff has poured hundreds of thousands of words into the blogosphere. His eight hundred page Autobiography, A Life in the Academy, was originally written day by day for his blog and was posted as it was written. But if the truth be told, Wolff is a teacher more than a blogger, and early on he devised a new format, the "Tutorial,­" that would permit him to continue what he loves best, explaining difficult ideas in simple and engaging ways to students, colleagues, and readers. In this volume, Wolff has brought together many of these extended explications that he wrote for his blog. Some of the essays are full-­scale Tutorials that appeared in fifteen, . . .

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Edited by Konraad WolffTranslated by Paul RosenfeldWith twenty black-­and-­white illustrationsSchumann’s literary gifts and interests almost equaled his musical ones.  From boyhood on he was drawn to literary expression, and his writings on music belong to the best among the romantic literature of the 19th century.  The same fire, poetry, directness of expression, the same inventiveness we love in his compositions, also animated his prose.­This edition for the first time groups his articles and observations according to subject matter and individual composers.  It is complete as far as Schumann’s writings on the great composers are concerned.  All his reviews of the works by the masters, from Beethoven to Brahms, are included, some of them translated for the first time into English.­From the Hardcover edition.

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This book explains the central passage of the “Transcendental Analytic” of the Critique of Pure Reason. It proceeds in the manner of a textual commentary, discussing and explaining each section of the Analytic in turn. The purpose, however, is not merely to comment chapter by chapter on what Kant has written, but rather to reorganise and interpret his argument so that it is coherent and connected.

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3 downloads


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For thirty-­five years, Robert Paul Wolff has been carrying on a deep study of the tradition of social and economic theory that started with the French Physiocrats and Adam Smith and was brought to its highest point of development by Karl Marx. In these essays and papers, we see Wolff working through the several aspects of Marx's thought and bringing them into fruitful and unified conjuncture.

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The Autonomy of Reason reflects Wolff’s determination to get out of Kant’s system what is good and to get out of Kant’s system for good. Readers will certainly benefit from Wolff’s two decades of intense study of Kant. Wolff does not see his task as one of either historical exegesis or philosophical criticism. In the place of both Wolff proposes a “philosophical reconstruction” of the text.

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Political Theory has been transformed in the last thirty years by the introduction of methods of analysis imported from mathematics and economics. Modern students of the subject need to know something about Rational Choice Theory, Game Theory, and Collective Choice Theory if they are to be able to master contemporary discussions. This little book, by well-­known philosopher Robert Paul Wolff, lays out the elements of these technical subjects in a precise fashion that achieves a sprightly accessibility without sacrificing formal rigor. In the second part of the book, Wolff applies the formal materials to the writings of John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and others with a penetrating and sceptical wit. A useful supplement to the standard readings in undergraduate and graduate courses.

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For fifty-­five years, Robert Paul Wolff has been reflecting on the theory of modern political society and engaging actively in a number of progressive political movements. The volume opens with a brief Credo for Progressives, in which Wolff forthrightly states the moral and political commitment that has shaped his life and writings.

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This book explains the development of the classical theory of value from Adam Smith to Karl Marx in a form readily accessible to readers unfamiliar with anything more than elementary arithmetic, while at the same time offering to the specialist a fundamental criticism of Marxian political economy and an original and controversial interpretation of Capital.

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A delightful journey that takes the author from his second year of life to his seventy-­fourth. Along the way, Wolff gives us an inside look at Harvard, the University of Chicago, Columbia, the University of Massachusetts, and a variety of other institutions of higher learning in the United States and South Africa. Wolff met a number of well-­known intellectuals and academics, from Bertrand Russell to Henry Kissinger to E.­O. Wilson, and he seems to have almost total recall of his interactions with them. Wolff, who is best known around the world for his little tract, In Defense of Anarchism, published twenty-­one books and wrote a half dozen others. This compelling memoir offers a vivid picture of the American Academy during what will some day be looked back on as its golden years.

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For fifty-­five years, Robert Paul Wolff has been reflecting on the theory of modern political society and engaging actively in a number of progressive political movements, including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the protest against the Viet Nam War, and the world-­wide effort to end the apartheid regime in South Africa. This volume brings together a wide-­ranging selection of the writings that have flowed from his pen, his typewriter, and his word processor. The volume opens with a brief Credo for Progressives, in which Wolff forthrightly states the moral and political commitment that has shaped his life and writings. The first section of the volume consists of seven selections of a general theoretical nature, including the essay "On Violence" that foreshadowed Wolff's classic work, In Defense of Anarchism. Three of these: "The Concept of Community,­" "The Indexing Problem,­" and "Who Owns Our National Story" have until now not been available in print. The second section of . . .

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Author:

The Autonomy of Reason reflects Wolff’s determination to get out of Kant’s system what is good and to get out of Kant’s system for good. Readers will certainly benefit from Wolff’s two decades of intense study of Kant. Wolff does not see his task as one of either historical exegesis or philosophical criticism. In the place of both Wolff proposes a “philosophical reconstruction” of the text.

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0 downloads


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For thirty-­five years, Robert Paul Wolff has been carrying on a deep study of the tradition of social and economic theory that started with the French Physiocrats and Adam Smith and was brought to its highest point of development by Karl Marx. Wolff is unique among students of the thought of Marx in his ability to address the philosophical underpinnings of Marx's thought, the formal mathematical reinterpretation of Marx's economic theories carried out in the 1960's, 70's, and 80's by economists around the world, and also the theoretical significance of the extraordinary literary style of Marx's greatest work, Capital. No other scholar has even attempted an integration of these different dimensions of Marx's writings. In these essays and papers, we see Wolff working through the several aspects of Marx's thought and bringing them into fruitful and unified conjuncture. The volume opens with two literary/philosophical readings of Marx's writings, and then turns to the tradition of . . .

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Since its publication in 1971, John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice has been the subject of a lively debate among philosophers, economists, and political scientists. In this book, Robert Paul Wolff provides an interpretation and critique of Rawls’ theory that both clarifies it and reveals its basic flaws. According to Professor Wolff, Rawls’ device of a bargaining game among self-­interested parties is designed to solve Kant’s problem of deriving substantive moral and political principles from purely formal criteria of rationality. This book traces the ever-­greater complications introduced by Rawls into his theory to overcome weaknesses and respond to critics. Once he has reconstructed Rawls’ theory to exhibit its underlying structure, Professor Wolff subjects it to a series of fundamental criticisms and shows where it fails by appealing to economic, psychological, and sociological considerations, as well as to those of philosophy. Understanding Rawls contends that Rawls’ approach to . . .

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For more than half a century, Philosopher Robert Paul Wolff has been thinking and writing about the great figures of eighteenth century philosophy and about the ideals and realities of American higher education. In this first volume of his collected published and unpublished papers, a number of those writings are collected and made available. The volume opens with Wolff's very earliest published writings, including a letter to the Harvard Crimson that sparked a ten year controversy between two scholars with the same name and diametrically opposed political opinions, and an impassioned defence of Aristotle by the nineteen year old scholar in the pages of Astounding Science Fiction. The volume continues with some of Wolff's well-­known writings on David Hume and Immanuel Kant, including a little known essay in which he identifies, in one of Kant's late works, the argument for the Categorical Imperative that is missing from the well-­known Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. This . . .

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Karl Marx's great work, Capital, has intrigued and puzzled readers for more than a century by its mystifyingly intricate arguments and dramatic literary embellishments. In this book, Robert Paul Wolff dispels much of the mystery surrounding Capital by providing a literary-­philosophical analysis of the text and of Marx's intentions.

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