Professor of Philosophy
PhD, Philosophy (1980), University of Chicago
MA, Philosophy (1974), The Divinity School, University of Chicago
BA, Philosophy (1971), Allegheny College
I was born in Washington, D.C.; then moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania; then to Chicago; and finally, putting a stop to my westward migration, I arrived here in Idaho in 1981. I like it here. My students and friends make me happy, and the light and space are magnificent.
I believe in philosophy. With a little philosophy, you see more clearly, live more freely. Plato and Socrates are my favorite philosophers. Balancing rational thinking (which they helped invent) with meditation and prophetic intuition, they made the most of the hand life dealt them in rather chaotic times--and they teach others to do the same.
There are things that no philosopher can say that story-tellers and poets have found a means of expressing. Plato himself was a poet, and I've always had an interest in literature--in Shakespeare above all. I've also grown interested in depth psychology with its methods of analyzing dreams. The fact that we dream--and believe our dreams are real while we are "in" them--has led, across the ages, to ample philosophic conversation.
I love teaching philosophy, but I do not love writing. I work hard at it, however, because there are things I understand only when I put them on the page. What I learn I share with students and friends.
I try to participate actively in the religious life of our community and was for 15 years the religious leader of Temple Emanuel, our local synagogue. But while I can practice only one religion, I certainly love many--all the great religions of the world--and I have admiration as well for the great atheistic thinkers: Nietzsche, Freud, and Sartre, for example.
My wife Judith studied theology and psychotherapy; she is now a therapist in Pocatello. I have two sons: Joshua, who spends much of his time in Shanghai, and Adam, who is a student at Century High School.
The Socrates Project. In progress. On the mythical and historical context of Socrates and Plato.
Socrates Among the Corybantes: A Reading of Plato's Euthydemus. Spring Publications: Woodstock, Connecticut, 1999. How Plato combines mystical clowning with practical lessons in logic.
"Distance and Presence in Augustine's Confessions." The Journal of Religion, Fall, 1984. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Illinois. An "archetypal" reading of St. Augustine's autobiography.
"The Daimon in the Euthydemus." Φιλοσοφία : International Journal of Philosophy, Vol 36, No 2 (2007).
Distinguished Teacher, ISU, 1993
- 4490/5590: Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: The Dream-Interpreters: Freud, Jung, Hillman
- 4440/5540: Philosophy and Literature
- 4425/5525: Existentialism
- 3305: History of Philosophy: Greek Reason and Christian Faith
- 2225: Philosophy and the Old Testament
- 2220: Philosophic Issues in Religion
- 1101: Introduction to Philosophy: The History of Western Thought
- HONS 38: Deja Vu Honors Seminar
921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8056
Pocatello, ID 83209-8056
Office: LA 250
Office Phone: 282-2345