I am a lecturer in the English department at the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse.

Time is but the stream . . .

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 […]


The rise and fall of distinctions

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 isĀ  not a social system. Social systems use distinctions to observe whatever they observe. […]


Sartre and self-reference

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 […]