Counting Sheep is a philosophical and sociological reflection on the human construction of time.

Human constructions of time include (but are not exclusive to):

—  clocks and calendars,

—  perceptions of duration,

—  the rhythms of our practices (e.g. commuting “peak hours”).


Counting Sheep specifically studies the widespread belief that human constructions of time artificially represent what is natural and unalterable about time (e.g. planets revolving, seasons changing, day-and-night). Counting Sheep explores how this belief – that we live according to artificial timings – fuels modern discontentment.

One example of this is where Counting Sheep‘s research indicates that people regularly characterise the finite time they are alive as their natural and biological time. As the constructed timings of work-hours increasingly encroach on their natural and biological time, people report feeling uneasy about living according to artificial tempos.


Counting Sheep researches scholarly and non-scholarly literature (blog), and acquires new data on which it reports (survey):

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The theoretical spark for this project comes from the philosophy of Henri Bergson. Bergson distinguishes between (i) time as it supposedly “really” exists, and (ii) human socially constructed representations of time’s reality.


IMG_5058Will Johncock is the creator of Counting Sheep. For information on my broader research interests in the areas of sociology, continental philosophy, and Stoic philosophy, refer to the list of my selected publications.

If you read something on Counting Sheep that you would like to discuss, please leave a comment or contact me privately: willjohncock@gmail.com