• 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.
  •  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. ...
  •  19
    Varieties of Causation in Consciousness Studies
    with Harald Atmanspacher and J. Scott Jordan
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6): 5-6. 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
  •  43
    Arrow of Time in Rigged Hilbert Space Quantum Mechanics
    International Journal of Theoretical Physics 43 (7). 2004.
    Arno Bohm and Ilya Prigogine's Brussels-Austin Group have been working on the quantum mechanical arrow of time and irreversibility in rigged Hilbert space quantum mechanics. A crucial notion in Bohm's approach is the so-called preparation/registration arrow. An analysis of this arrow and its role in Bohm's theory of scattering is given. Similarly, the Brussels-Austin Group uses an excitation/de-excitation arrow for ordering events, which is also analyzed. The relationship between the two approac…Read more
  •  24
    Fluid Convection, Constraint and Causation
    Interface Focus 2 4-12. 2012.
    Complexity–nonlinear dynamics for my purposes in this essay–is rich with metaphysical and epistemological implications but is only recently receiving sustained philosophical analysis. I will explore some of the subtleties of causation and constraint in Rayleigh-Bénard convection as an example of a complex phenomenon, and extract some lessons for further philosophical reflection on top-down constraint and causation particularly with respect to causal foundationalism.
  •  27
    This second part of a two-part essay discusses recent developments in the Brussels-Austin Group after the mid 1980s. The fundamental concerns are the same as in their similarity transformation approach (see Part I), but the contemporary approach utilizes rigged Hilbert space (whereas the older approach used Hilbert space). While the emphasis on nonequilibrium statistical mechanics remains the same, the use of similarity transformations shifts to the background. In its place arose an interest in …Read more
  •  74
    Whence chemistry?
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2): 171-177. 2010.
    Along with exploring some of the necessary conditions for the chemistry of our world given what we know about quantum mechanics, I will also discuss a different reductionist challenge than is usually considered in debates on the relationship of chemistry to physics. Contrary to popular belief, classical physics does not have a reductive relationship to quantum mechanics and some of the reasons why reduction fails between classical and quantum physics are the same as for why reduction fails betwe…Read more
  •  127
    Quantum time arrows, semigroups and time-reversal in scattering
    International Journal of Theoretical Physics 723-733. 2005.
    Two approaches toward the arrow of time for scattering processes have been proposed in rigged Hilbert space quantum mechanics. One, due to Arno Bohm, involves preparations and registrations in laboratory operations and results in two semigroups oriented in the forward direction of time. The other, employed by the Brussels-Austin group, is more general, involving excitations and de-excitations of systems, and apparently results in two semigroups oriented in opposite directions of time. It turns o…Read more
  •  99
    Determinism is a rich and varied concept. At an abstract level of analysis, Jordan Howard Sobel (1998) identifies at least ninety varieties of what determinism could be like. When it comes to thinking about what deterministic laws and theories in physical sciences might be like, the situation is much clearer. There is a criterion by which to judge whether a law–expressed as some form of equation–is deterministic. A theory would then be deterministic just in case all its laws taken as a whole wer…Read more
  •  85
    Stability Conditions in Contextual Emergence
    with Harald Atmanspacher
    Chaos and Complexity Letters 2 139-150. 2007.
    The concept of contextual emergence is proposed as a non-reductive, yet welldefined relation between different levels of description of physical and other systems. It is illustrated for the transition from statistical mechanics to thermodynamical properties such as temperature. Stability conditions are crucial for a rigorous implementation of contingent contexts that are required to understand temperature as an emergent property. It is proposed that such stability conditions are meaningful for co…Read more