About

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Hi. I’m Will. From Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.

I’m the creator of this site – Counting Sheep – a philosophically inspired reflection on the social construction of time.

One feature of something that is socially constructed is that it has been created or conceived by humans for our collective use or understanding. The associated interpretation is that our socially/collectively conceived construction of a thing is separate from that thing’s natural reality.

Let’s consider time specifically. Socially constructed times include the symbols found on clocks and calendars. Timings that are socially constructed also encompass the tempos of individual and collective practices that are integrated with such symbolic structures.

The curiosity about socially constructed forms of time upon which Counting Sheep reflects is how such constructions are deemed to be separate from what is real or natural about time. The associated interpretation to be investigated is that socialised forms of time are merely contingent representations of time as it otherwise necessarily naturally exists.

In identifying commentaries that exhibit this interpretation of socially constructed times Counting Sheep participates in a shifting self-awareness of how humans come to conceive time. Such commentaries are taken from a diversity of scholarly and non-scholarly domains. This spectrum is intentionally designed to exemplify the widespread conceptual separation of socialised time and natural time.

The theoretical impulse for this project comes from a concurrent commitment to, and concern about, the late 19th and early 20th-century philosophy of Henri Bergson. Bergson sets the scene via his distinction between; (i) our experiences of time as it supposedly “really” is, versus (ii) the socially convened, quantified representations of time.

Bergson’s separation of real and representational times lingers within presiding conceptual oppositions between the time of the natural universe, and social constructions of that time. The impetus for Counting Sheep originates from my desire to interrogate this separation.

For information on my broader research interests, refer to a list of my selected publications. If you read a post here that you’d like to discuss, please leave a comment. Alternatively, contact me privately: willjohncock@gmail.com