Sunday, March 28, 2021

My Undertanding Of Marx — Robert Paul Wolff

Part One: introduction

In a career that has spanned 71 years, ever since as a first semester freshman I took Willard Van Orman Quine’s course on symbolic logic, I have devoted extended periods of time to the study and interpretation of the writings of two great thinkers: Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx. To the thought of each I devoted two books and a number of lengthy essays. Kant was my first love and my first great challenge. When I had come to terms with his thought, I was sure I would never encounter another thinker as difficult to master or correctly to interpret. However, when I plunged into Das Kapital three years after publishing my second book on the philosophy of Kant, I found myself confronted with a task even more demanding and multidimensional than that posed by the Critique and the Grundlegung.

For better or for worse, I am content with my engagement with Kant. The books I have written and the series of YouTube lectures I have posted do as good a job of laying out my understanding of Kant’s philosophy as I am capable of. But despite 45 years of effort and many thousands of words, I still feel that I have somewhat failed to articulate the full complexity of my vision of Marx’s thought. I have decided therefore to make one last effort. I am moved to attempt this in part by my sense that I have been unsuccessful in persuading others of my reading of Marx’s work....
The Philosopher's Stone
Robert Paul Wolff | Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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