I was born in Guatemala, C.A., and grew up in San Francisco, Calif. I attended the University of California at Berkeley, earning my B.A. and an M.A. I then taught at Chaminade University in Honolulu before emigrating to Canada and doing my Ph.D at Queens University, where I taught philosophy until retirement.
My training was in analytic philosophy, and my dissertation was on D. M. Armstrong, especially on his A Materialist Theory of the Mind. My first book was a critical analysis of non-creedal religion. In 1981 I was a visiting fellow at Princeton University and there met Richard Rorty. Due to Rortys influence, I delved into Continental philosophy and became intrigued by the work of Michel Foucault. In the process of widening my philosophical horizon, I also worked on an aspect of medical ethics: the rationality of suicide and assisted suicide in terminal illness.