I was born in 1943, grew up in Brooklyn and attended the local Catholic school. I went to high school at the Convent of the Sacred heart, 91st Street, Manhattan. During this time I studied theology and scholastic philosophy. I then attended Barnard College where I majored in philosophy. I also took courses at Columbia University. The teachers who influenced me in philosophy were Sidney Morgenbesser, Richard Taylor, Arthur Danto, David Sidorsky, Joh Herman Randall, Mary Mothersill and Jean Potter; in religion, Jacob Taubes and Anton Zigmund-Cerbu. I took my masters and doctorate at New York University. Finishing in 1974, I studied Hegel and Marx with Sidney Hook. My thesis advisor was a Marxist philosopher, Chauncy Downes. But the most important philosophical influence on me at N.Y.U. was the analytic philosopher Raziel Abelson. Following his suggestion I wrote a masters thesis defending the possibility of free will and a doctoral thesis defending the meaningfulness of religious belief.
I worked from 1965 to 1967 as a caseworker with the Department of Welfare. From 1967 to 1968 I taught part-time at NYC Community College, Long Island University, Broklyn College and N.Y.U. In 1969 I started to teach at William Paterson. I continue to teach there now as a Professor of Philosophy.
In 1981 I began to develop what has been a longstanding interest in Buddhist philosophy. I returned to Columbia University to audit a course in Sanskrit and to take a course in Tibetan. I continue to study at the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center and I am involved in some translation projects there.
I am also interested in philosophy of childhood, and have given lectures and published on children's rights and the nature of childhood.
I live in Stuyvessant Town in Manhattan. I am married to Raziel Abelson and have two childrean, Maris and Benjamin.