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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

W.E.B. Du Bois Department

Robert Paul Wolff, Emeritus Professor

Brief Bio
Robert Paul Wolff received a doctorate in Philosophy from Harvard University in 1957. He has taught at Harvard, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of Massachusetts, where he has been a faculty member since 1971. He has published twenty-one books on the history of modern philosophy, social and political philosophy, the philosophy of education, economics, and Afro-American Studies. Among his best-known books are Kant's Theory of Mental Activity and In Defense of Anarchism, which has just been translated into Croatian, Korean, and Malaysian.

In 1992, he was invited to join the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies to assist in the establishment of our doctoral program, which he helped to launch in 1996, and served as Director of Graduate Studies for until his retirement in 2008. Wolff also became the director of a university-wide Program for Undergraduate Mentoring and Achievement which provided mentoring and instructional services to traditionally underrepresented students in their first year at UMass. In 2005, Wolff published Autobiography of an Ex-White Man, a meditation on the experience of joining an Afro-American Studies Department and what it taught him about America. Wolff founded and continues to work for the University Scholarships for South African Students, a charitable organization that offers financial aid to poor Black students studying at South Africa's historically Black universities and technikons. He is active on the net these days. See his blog:

The Philosopher's Stone
A Commentary on the Passing Scene by Robert Paul Wolff