Eugene Halton
professor emeritus

Department of Sociology

The University of Notre Dame


Eugene Halton is an American sociologist and philosopher. He is professor emeritus in Sociology and American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Halton has written extensively on consumption and materialism, and the problematic nature of modern civilization and the civilizational mindset more generally. His recent works concern a new philosophy of history regarding the limitations of the civilizational mindset, and guideposts toward re-attuning contemporary civilization to what he has termed “sustainable wisdom.”

        More on his: career and related.


Halton is the author of:


From the Axial Age to the Moral Revolution:

John Stuart-Glennie, Karl Jaspers, and a New Understanding of the Idea

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)




The Great Brain Suck (University of Chicago Press, 2008)
Bereft of Reason (University of Chicago Press, 1995, paperback, 1997)
Meaning and Modernity
(University of Chicago Press, 1986)

The Meaning of Things, coauthor with M. Csikszentmihalyi

(Cambridge University Press, 1981) an enlarged version of Halton's dissertation

Also in German, Italian, Japanese and Hungarian translations


And coeditor, 2019:

Indigenous Sustainable Wisdom:

First Nation Know-How for Global Flourishing

Edited by Darcia Narvaez, Four Arrows, Brian Collier, Eugene Halton, and Georges Enderle.

New York: Peter Lang Publishing.




2024 Is God Sustainable?

Philosophies 9 (4): 93. 2024. Essay in special issue of the journal Philosophies on the theme of The Creative Death of God.


Selected additional publications

And other news:


* See Halton interviewed by Gerry Fialka on YouTube, Innerviews #184, December 30, 2022

      and Innerviews #142, September 30, 2022.


* Video from Author Meets Critics Session on Halton's book, From the Axial Age to the Moral Revolution, sponsored by

The Karl Jaspers Society of North America in conjunction with the 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Society,

Pacific Division, San Diego, March 31, 2018.


* Listen to Halton speaking at the Kansas City Public Library: Kansas City Public Library, January 8, 2009


* Listen to Halton on WCUR Kansas City's The Walt Bodine Show: Walt Bodine Show Archives, January 8, 2009

* See Halton interviewed on Christmas and Materialism, 2008.

* Hear Halton on the National Public Radio show The Connection, speaking with Tom Litton from the self storage

industry and host Dick Gordon on the theme of "Storing the Self," from August 25, 2003:

Storing the Self


Print Media and Related


* An article on Halton by Bill Moor in the South Bend Tribune,

 Jumpin Gene Looks to New Heights After Retiring from Notre Dame

 May 17, 2020.


* 2023: Retro news from the archives!

Halton New York Times Op-ed from 1990:

Cold War's Victims Deserve a Memorial


* Halton interviewed by Brian Resnick of Vox on

 Why objects can be more meaningful gifts than experiences December 23, 2016.


* Halton's contribution, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? to debate on the theme of

Will Donald Trump be a Good President? December 15, 2016


* Rockne on the Move. Money is no object when it comes to moving

quarter of a million dollar football coach statues at Notre Dame for single games.

South Bend Tribune photo by Halton.


* Notre Dame Magazine, Winter "Lists" issue, 2015, Eugene Halton, 10 Signs the Apocalypse is Upon Us.


* A blog entry from September 28, 2011 on The Megapower Elite


* A blog entry from August 9, 2011 at Notre Dame Magazine on Where U At?


* Halton reading his poem Keystrokes at a 2011 poetry marathon sponsored by Artpost.


* An Op-ed on Swine or "NAFTA" flu from 2009, responding to Indiana Health officials: 

Recent op-ed on H1N1 flu leaves public ill-informed

* Read an essay from Notre Dame Magazine, "Spent," by John Monczunski, who visited Halton's class on materialism: Spent


* And another visit to the class by English actor Paul McCleary:

British Actors Make the Classroom Their Stage


* And a short piece on Halton from The Bend Magazine, Fall, 2005: Jumpin' Gene


* From Jumpin' Gene's early high jumping and protest days, 40 years later, May, 2010: Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming


* And an excerpt from a short interview with Halton by Andrew S. Hughes in The South Bend Tribune on When Stars Die


* You can read a brief biographical statement here about the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce,
    the founder of pragmatism and the doctrine of signs known as semeiotic.

* And here is a brief biographical sketch of  Lewis Mumford , another American original, who Malcolm Cowley called the last of the great humanists.

* Another brief statement is on Charles Morris , a philosopher associated with semiotics, pragmatics, and George Herbert Mead's work.


Halton has performed blues harmonica internationally over a few decades.

2023: Retro news from the archives!

* Jumpin' Gene Halton performing harmonica live with legendary blues pianist and multiple Grammy Award

winner Pinetop Perkins and The Swingin' Crawdads in 1993.

This is the Roosevelt Sykes tune, Miss Ida B: Pinetop Perkins and The Swingin Crawdads Miss Ida B

* Jumpin' Gene Halton performing harmonica with the Mighty Hurricanes in 1994 on the Little Walter classic, Fast Boogie.


* And more recently Gene performing the tune he wrote, Big Bad Wolf, live with The Newports at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks Michigan on November 27, 2021.

* And the Muddy Waters classic, Got My Mojo Working live.

* Interviewed on Jonny's Secret Stash, Radio Harbor Country, WRHC in Three Oaks, Michigan and WRHZ in Sawyer, Michigan. Episode 48 with Bill Bielby and Gene Halton of The Newports, November 26, 2021: Jonny's Secret Stash, Episode 48

* Click for The Newports YouTube Channel

* And with The Newports at The Jazz Showcase in downtown Chicago, Aug. 24, 2015: Cold Shot

* And here's Jumpin' Gene performing at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago in 2008 with the legendary performer, The Tail Dragger: Don't Start me Talkin'  and My Head is Bald

* Gene's lyrics for the song "Smoke and Mirrors" appear on the Rockin’ Johnny Burgin CD, Neoprene Fedora, 2017.

* Gene's lyrics for the song "Empty Bed Blues" appear on the Rockin’ Johnny Burgin CD, Greetings from Greaseland, released in 2015.

* Gene's lyrics for the song "Tow Truck Man" appears on the Willie Buck CD on Delmark Records, released in 2012.

* Here are some other samples of Jumpin' Gene's music


High Jumping Days:

* Where Jumpin' Gene's Name Originally Came From

* Halton elected to Jersey Shore Athletic Club Hall of Fame Class of 2021

* An article on Halton by Bill Moor in the South Bend Tribune,

 Jumpin Gene Looks to New Heights After Retiring from Notre Dame

 May 17, 2020.


* Jumpin' Gene at 7 feet, Princeton University, October 21, 2023


* Jumpin' Gene's Basketball Background


* And just shooting baskets, May, 2023


Email address is


Thought of the Day: This Vegetable Universe