In Walden, Henry David Thoreau wrote, Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. Thoreau is using the ancient distinction between time and eternity, along with the […]More
I am a lecturer in the English department at the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse.
The factual (or fact) dimension is about drawing a distinction that allows an observer to indicate one thing while ignoring something else. Sometimes Luhmann used the term fact dimension and other times he used factual dimension. One can speak of the fact dimension in relation to all objects of meaningful intentions (in psychic systems) or […]More
How does society move from one distinction to another? Good/evil is one traditional distinction, but, over the last century or so, it is has decreased in influence. Under the influence of sociology, it has been supplanted by normal/deviant. But a distinction is not a social system. Social systems use distinctions to observe whatever they observe. […]More
Virginia Woolf said that the biography as a genre was only established itself in second half of the 18th century. We know very little about Shakespeare or other pre-18th-century artists because the facts of their lives were not considered to be of public interest. Their lives were not open for public viewing. The concept of […]More
In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Jean-Paul Sartre’s ontology is described as follows: Its descriptive method moves from the most abstract to the highly concrete. It begins by analyzing two distinct and irreducible categories or kinds of being: the in-itself (en-soi) and the for-itself (pour-soi), roughly the nonconscious and consciousness respectively, adding a third, the […]More
Here is a poll that shows that the political system is not so tightly coupled with the religion system. Just 25 percent of Americans say it’s very or extremely important that a candidate has strong religious beliefs, according to the poll. Only 19 percent consider it very or extremely important that a candidate shares their […]More