• Science and Theology
    Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 5 (1-2): 141-162. 1993.
    The scientific and theological enterprises share many fundamental assumptions and have methodological similarities, though the two disciplines often have different focuses of investigation. Science seeks to unravel the detailed workings of nature by focusing on the quantitative aspects discemable in the universe. Theology strives to understand the essence, activity, and purposes of God in the universe. These two enterprises are partial views of the multi-faceted reality we call the world that oc…Read more
  • Jaki, Stanley L. Science and Creation (review)
    Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (1-2): 195-196. 1990.
  •  43
    Contextual Emergence of Physical Properties
    Foundations of Physics 50 (5): 481-510. 2020.
    Contextual emergence was originally proposed as an inter-level relation between different levels of description to describe an epistemic notion of emergence in physics. Here, we discuss the ontic extension of this relation to different domains or levels of physical reality using the properties of temperature and molecular shape as detailed case studies. We emphasize the concepts of stability conditions and multiple realizability as key features of contextual emergence. Some broader implications …Read more
  •  40
    The Physics of Emergence
    Morgan & Claypool publication as part of IOP Concise Physics. 2019.
    This book explores whether physics points to a reductive or an emergent structure of the world and proposes a physics-motivated conception of emergence that leaves behind many of the problematic intuitions shaping the philosophical conceptions. Examining several detailed case studies reveals results that point to stability conditions playing a crucial though underappreciated role in the physics of emergence. This contextual emergence has thought-provoking consequences for physics and beyond.
  •  8
    A review of *Niels Bohr’s Philosophy of Quantum Physics in the Light of the Helmholtzian Tradition of Theoretical Physics *
  •  13
    Practices, Power, and Cultural Ideals
    with Frank C. Richardson
    Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2): 179-195. 2004.
    This article and the following ones by Slife and Westerman represent a coordinated effort on the authors' part to begin to mine the resources of what has been termed the "practice turn in contemporary theory" for psychology. The liberal approach tends to focus on a fear of power and how it can corrupt our best ideals, while the postmodernist tends to focus on a fascination with power flowing through the social and institutional expressions of these very ideals. Given modern Western culture's dee…Read more
  •  17
    What Could Be Worse than the Butterfly Effect?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4): 519-547. 2008.
    The discovery of sensitive dependence on initial conditions (SDIC) in nonlinear models runs counter to the textbook vision of CM, a vision guided by an almost exclusive focus on linear systems. Therefore, it is important to clearly distinguish between linear and nonlinear systems along with establishing some basic terminology (§I). The notions of SDIC and chaos also need clarification, since they play crucial roles in sensitive dependence (SD) arguments. This will require some discussion of Lyap…Read more
  •  23
    Rethinking determinism in social science
    with Frank Richardson
    In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism, Thorverton Uk: Imprint Academic. pp. 425--446. 2002.
    A re-examination of determinism and compatibilism and incompatibilism in free will debates.
  •  46
    Free will in absentia: Dennett on free will and determinism
    Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 23 (2): 168-183. 2003.
    Mark Crooks has given a helpful discussion of Daniel Dennett's "philosophical abolition of mind," adding to the list of reasons why many philosophers jokingly say Dennett should have titled his 1991 book "Consciousness Explained Away". As Crooks argues, Dennett really is committed 'to our phenomenal experience, beliefs, desires, etc. as all being illusory in the strongest possible sense. Yet, when it comes to free will, Dennett fights hard to maintain that free will is something more than an ill…Read more
  •  39
    For a long time, Daniel Dennett, like many philosophers, has been trying to understand how to make room for free will in a world of ordered causes. A core feature of Dennett's view on these matters is that the world is deterministic and his approach to this project has been to show how determinism really is our friend rather than our enemy . His most recent foray into this arena is the ambitious book, Freedom Evolves, where he once again seeks to make clear that determinism does not threaten any…Read more
  •  33
    Overcoming neoliberalism
    with Frank C. Richardson and Jacqueline Garcia-Joslin
    Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 38 (1): 15-28. 2018.
    Psychology may have to get seriously political as human aims in living and selfhood itself are increasingly influenced in a deleterious manner by the vicissitudes of living in a neoliberal political economy and one-sided “enterprise culture” (Martin & McLellan, 2013; Sugarman, 2015). This article reviews recent writings of several social critics, including Jackson Lears (2015), Sebastion Junger (2015), Philip Blond (2010), and Christopher Lasch (1995), who richly flesh out the picture of this de…Read more
  •  41
    The causal argument for physicalism is anayzed and it's key premise--the causal closure of physics--is found wanting. Therefore, a hidden premise must be added to the argument to gain its conclusion, but the hidden premise is indistinguishable from the conclusion of the causal argument. Therefore, it begs the question on physicalism.
  •  80
    What is this naturalism stuff all about?
    Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 29 (2): 108-113. 2009.
    Wading into the thicket of science, naturalism, and theism in the context of psychology can seem quite daunting. One prerequisite for avoiding confusions and missteps is to properly distinguishing two forms of naturalism that are logically independent of each other: metaphysical and methodological. Once this underbrush is cleared away, interesting and important questions about psychology’s compatibility with theism, the psychological study of religion and other topics can be fruitfully engaged. …Read more
  •  125
    On Separating Predictability and Determinism
    Erkenntnis 58 (2): 169-188. 2003.
    There has been a long-standing debate about the relationship of predictability and determinism. Some have maintained that determinism implies predictability while others have maintained that predictability implies determinism. Many have maintained that there are no implication relations between determinism and predictability. This summary is, of course, somewhat oversimplified and quick at least in the sense that there are various notions of determinism and predictability at work in the philosop…Read more
  •  16
    Chaos, indeterminism, and free will
    In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, Oxford University Press. pp. 84-100. 2002.
    An overview of chaos, indeterminism, free will and the relationship between physics and free will.
  •  304
    Downward causation in fluid convection
    Synthese 160 (2). 2008.
    Recent developments in nonlinear dynamics have found wide application in many areas of science from physics to neuroscience. Nonlinear phenomena such as feedback loops, inter-level relations, wholes constraining and modifying the behavior of their parts, and memory effects are interesting candidates for emergence and downward causation. Rayleigh–Bénard convection is an example of a nonlinear system that, I suggest, yields important insights for metaphysics and philosophy of science. In this pape…Read more
  •  61
    Kellert (In the Wake of Chars, University of Chicago press, Chicago, 1993) has argued that Laplacean determinism in classical physics is actually a layered concept, where various properties or layers composing this form of determinism can be peeled away. Here, I argue that a layered conception of determinism is inappropriate and that we should think in terms of different deterministic models applicable to different kinds of systems. The upshot of this analysis is that the notion of state is more…Read more
  •  75
    This is the definitive companion to the study of the philosophy of the social sciences. It provides the student with an accessible, comprehensive and philosophically rigorous introduction to all the major philosophical concepts, issues and debates raised by the social sciences. Ideal for use in undergraduate courses, the structure and content of this textbook-the most thorough, clearly argued and up-to-date available-closely reflect the way the philosophy of the social sciences is studied and ta…Read more
  •  49
    Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics Brussels–Austin style
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (1): 1-30. 2004.
    The fundamental problem on which Ilya Prigogine and the Brussels–Austin Group have focused can be stated briefly as follows. Our observations indicate that there is an arrow of time in our experience of the world (e.g., decay of unstable radioactive atoms like uranium, or the mixing of cream in coffee). Most of the fundamental equations of physics are time reversible, however, presenting an apparent conflict between our theoretical descriptions and experimental observations. Many have thought th…Read more
  •  50
    Chaos
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2015.
    The big news about chaos is supposed to be that the smallest of changes in a system can result in very large differences in that system's behavior. The so-called butterfly effect has become one of the most popular images of chaos. The idea is that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Argentina could cause a tornado in Texas three weeks later. By contrast, in an identical copy of the world sans the Argentinian butterfly, no such storm would have arisen in Texas. The mathematical version of this…Read more
  •  18
    Varieties of Causation in Consciousness Studies
    with J. Jordan and H. Atmanspacher
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6): 7-11. 2012.
    In cognitive neuroscience and in philosophy of mind, causation is a notion that is immensely important but usually not defined precisely enough to afford careful application. A widespread basic flaw is the confusion of causation with correlation. All empirical knowledge in the sciences is based on observing correlations; assigning causal relations to them or interpreting them causally always requires a theoretical background that is implicitly or (better) explicitly stated. This entails that dif…Read more
  •  58
    Excluding the causal exclusion argument against non-redirective physicalism
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6): 57-74. 2012.
    A much discussed argument in the philosophy of mind against non-reductive physicalism leads to the conclusion that all genuine causes involved in mental phenomena must be reductive physical causes. The latter ostensibly exclude any other causes from having genuine effects in human thought and behaviour. Jaegwon Kim has been the chief exponent of this line of argument, calling it variously the causal exclusion argument or the supervenience argument against non-reductive physicalism. I will analys…Read more
  •  22
    The fundamental problem on which Ilya Prigogine and the Brussels-Austin Group have focused can be stated briefly as follows. Our observations indicate that there is an arrow of time in our experience of the world (e.g., decay of unstable radioactive atoms like Uranium, or the mixing of cream in coffee). Most of the fundamental equations of physics are time reversible, however, presenting an apparent conflict between our theoretical descriptions and experimental observations. Many have thought th…Read more
  •  70
    The Via Negativa: Not the Way to Physicalism
    Mind and Matter 8 (2): 203-214. 2010.
    A recent defense of the causal argument for physicalism is to defune the physical in terms of the non-mental. This move is designed to defuse Hempel's dilemma, one version of which is taken to the problem that the physical cannot be successfully defined in terms of either present-day or a future completed physics. I argue that the inductive support offered for this non-mental move simply begs the question for physicalism
  •  287
    Patching physics and chemistry together
    Philosophy of Science 72 (5): 710-722. 2005.
    The "usual story" regarding molecular chemistry is that it is roughly an application of quantum mechanics. That is to say, quantum mechanics supplies everything necessary and sufficient, both ontologically and epistemologically, to reduce molecular chemistry to quantum mechanics. This is a reductive story, to be sure, but a key explanatory element of molecular chemistry, namely molecular structure, is absent from the quantum realm. On the other hand, typical characterizations of emergence, such …Read more
  •  339
    Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties
    with Harald Atmanspacher
    Foundations of Physics 36 (12): 1753-1777. 2006.
    The role of contingent contexts in formulating relations between properties of systems at different descriptive levels is addressed. Based on the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for interlevel relations, a comprehensive classification of such relations is proposed, providing a transparent conceptual framework for discussing particular versions of reduction, emergence, and supervenience. One of these versions, contextual emergence, is demonstrated using two physical exampl…Read more
  •  103
    Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism (edited book)
    with Harald Atmanspacher
    Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic. 2002.
    These and other questions emphasize the fact that chance and choice are two leading actors on stage whenever issues of determinism are under discussion. ...