Michael Epperson

Research Professor
Director and Principal Investigator

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Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
California State University Sacramento

Michael Epperson did his doctoral work in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion at The University of Chicago, and earned his Ph.D. there in 2003. His dissertation, Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, was written under the direction of philosopher David Tracy and physicist Peter Hodgson, Head of the Nuclear Physics Theoretical Group at the University of Oxford. It was published the following year by Fordham University Press, and re-released in paperback by Oxford University Press in 2012. His current research explores the philosophical implications of recent innovations in quantum mechanics, cosmology, and complexity theory. His latest work exploring the ontological significance of potentia and contextuality in quantum mechanics, toward a mereotopological, relational interpretation, is presented in his most recent book, Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature (Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), co-authored with Elias Zafiris.

Elias Zafiris

Senior Research Fellow in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
Institute of Mathematics
National University of Athens, Greece


Elias Zafris holds an M.Sc. (Distinction) in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces from Imperial College, University of London, and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Imperial College. He is author of Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature (Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), co-authored with Michael Epperson and has published research papers on the following areas: Generalized spacetime quantum theory and the decoherent histories approach to quantum theory, symmetries and exact solutions in general relativity, covariant kinematics of relativistic strings and branes, foundations of quantum physics, quantum event and quantum observable structures, category-theoretic methods in quantum physics and complex systems theories, topological localization and modern differential geometry in quantum field theory and quantum gravity. His current research focus is on the development of a functorial sheaf-theoretic approach to quantum mechanics, quantum logic and quantum gravity using concepts and techniques of mathematical category theory and algebraic differential geometry, as well as on the study of its conceptual and interpretational implications.


Stuart A. Kauffman

Professor, Departments of Biochemistry and Mathematics & Senior Researcher
Complex Systems Center, University of Vermont;
External Professor, The Santa Fe Institute


Stuart Kauffman is the founding director of the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics and a professor of biological sciences, physics, and astronomy at the University of Calgary. He is Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a MacArthur Fellow, and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, of which he was a founding member. His books include: The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution and At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity.   


Roland Omnès

Professor Emeritus, Theoretical Physics
University of Paris XI
CNRS – French National Center for Scientific Research


Roland Omnès is currently Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics in the Faculté des sciences at Orsay, at the Université Paris-Sud XI. Having made a career in particle physics and astrophysics, he contributed significantly to the modern renewal in the foundations and interpretation of quantum mechanics. He has been instrumental in developing the consistent histories and quantum decoherence approaches in quantum mechanics, and his books to this end include The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (Princeton University Press, 1994), Understanding Quantum Mechanics (Princeton University Press, 1999), Quantum Philosophy: Understanding and Interpreting Contemporary Science (English Edition - Princeton University Press, 1999), and Converging Realities: Toward a Common Philosophy of Physics and Mathematics (Princeton University Press, 2004).


Karim Bschir

Senior Research Fellow
Chair for Philosophy
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich


Karim Bschir studied biochemistry and philosophy at the University of Zurich and in 2010 received a PhD in philosophy of science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where he has served as a research fellow since 2007. From 2009 to 2010, Karim was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation), and in 2012 was awarded the prestigious Branco Weiss Fellowship from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (www.society-in-science.org/karim-bschir.html). He is an affiliated researcher at the Collegium Helveticum and a co-investigator for the research project, ‘Foundations of Relational Realism’ at the Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences at California State University, Sacramento, where he is also a research fellow. Karim’s philosophical work focuses on scientific realism and the question of to what extent the concept of “potentiality” might be used to address certain interpretational problems in science and natural philosophy. Besides his expertise in philosophy of science, he has strong interests in history of philosophy and history of science, epistemology and metaphysics, as well as in philosophy of biology.


Timothy E. Eastman

Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center &
Director, Space Physics and Plasma Sciences - Plasmas International


Dr. Timothy E. Eastman of Plasmas International is a consultant and concurrently Perot Systems Group Manager for science support at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Eastman discovered the Low-Latitude Boundary Layer (LLBL) of the Earth’s magnetosphere (1976), and discovered gyro-phase bunched ions in space plasmas by analyzing energetic ion distribution functions near Earth’s bow shock (1981).  He has published 100 research papers in space physics and related fields and has provided key leadership of the nation’s research programs in space plasma physics while program manager at NASA Headquarters (1985-1988) and NSF (1991-1994).   


David Ritz Finkelstein

Professor Emeritus - Department of Physics
Georgia Tech

David Ritz Finkelstein works on the intersection of quantum theory, general relativity, and elementary particles. His project is to convert deeper levels of physics from Boole's logic to  quantum logic. This leads to a multilevel quantum logic reported in his book Quantum Relativity: A Synthesis of the Ideas of Einstein and Heisenberg. As offshoots of this activity, he has contributed to early work on the topology of the gravitational field, the concept of the black hole, the gauge theory of electroweak interactions, and a philosophical interpretation of quantum theory that replaces states of being by modes of interaction--ontology by praxiology.   
Spyridon A. Koutroufinis
Institut für Philosophie, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte
Technische Universität Berlin

Dr. Spyridon Koutroufinis earned his Ph.D. in philosophy of science from the Humboldt University of Berlin. He wrote his habilitation, Organism as Process, at the Technical University of Berlin, where he is currently a Privatdozent for Philosophy. His main areas of specialization and teaching are philosophy and history of biology, process philosophy, ancient and modern metaphysics, and complexity theory. His recent work is on the foundation of a new theory of information including reference and meaning. He is the author of Selbstorganisation ohne Selbst, (Berlin: Pharus-Verlag, 1996) and editor of Prozesse des Lebendigen. Zur Aktualität der Naturphilosophie A.N. Whiteheads, (Freiburg, München: Alber, 2007) and Life and Process. Towards a New Biophilosophy (Frankfurt: Ontos, forthcoming), as well as several articles and book chapters.

Henry P. Stapp

Senior Staff - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Physicist - University of California Berkeley


Henry Stapp did his doctorial work under the direction of Nobel Laureates Emilio Segre and Owen Chamberlain. He created the theoretical framework for the analysis of the scattering of polarized protons, and then analyzed the data obtained from the experiments at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory at the University California in Berkeley, obtaining the phase shifts first at 360 Mev at later at higher energies. His work was the first large-scale computer analysis in high-energy physics. Subsequently he worked closely with Wolfgang Pauli in Zurich on parity violations, and on fundamental problems in quantum theory.


William Kallfelz

Departments of Philosophy and Mathematics
Mississippi State University

Dr. William Michael Kallfelz specializes in research in the foundations of physics, philosophy of science, and mathematical physics, with an additional area of competence in the philosophy of language.  He holds Master of Science degrees in physics and in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia.) as well a Master of Theological Studies from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia.) William has recently earned a Ph.D. in the Committee for Philosophy and the Sciences (CPaS) program at the University of Maryland, working under Jeffrey Bub, in May, 2008.   

Jorge Luis Nobo

Department of Philosophy
Washburn University

Dr. Jorge Luis Nobo, is professor of philosophy at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. In 1973, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where he wrote his dissertation on Whitehead under the direction of Dr. Charles Hartshorne. Dr. Nobo specializes in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, process philosophy, and the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. He is the author of Whitehead's Metaphysics of Extension and Solidarity, SUNY Press (New York: 1986, 439 pp.), and co-editor of The Individual and Society, Southwestern Journal of Philosophy Press (Norman: 1978, 213 pp.). His articles have appeared in various philosophy journals and books. He is currently working on issues regarding free will and the ultimate nature of time.   

George Shields

Chair, Division of Literature, Languages, and Philosophy
Kentucky State University


George W. Shields is the 2000-2001 University Distinguished Professor, Professor of Philosophy, and Chairperson of the Division of Literature, Languages, and Philosophy at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. He also serves as Professorial Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Louisville, where he has taught graduate level health care ethics and law at the Health Sciences campus. He holds the PhD from The University of Chicago, where he wrote a doctoral dissertation on the philosophy of Charles Hartshorne. He has done further study at Oxford University, England.   


Mohsen Shiri-Garakani

Department of Physics
Pace University


Mohsen Shiri-Garakani finished his doctoral work in physics under the direction of Prof. David Finkelstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In that work, Mohsen modified the quantum theory of the harmonic oscillator based on Segals’ Principle of Simplicity, which states: group of a physical theory must be a simple (Lie) group. This principle is based on an interesting observation that major changes in physical theories exhibit a distinct family resemblance: the non-semi-simple group of the old theory simplifies to the group of the new theory, while the latter reproduce the former in some appropriate limit, where (in the reverse order) a physical parameter (e.g. the speed of light) previously thought to be infinite in the old theory (e.g., Galileo relativity), becomes finite in the new theory (e.g., Einstein’s relativity).   


Ronny Desmet

Senior Research Fellow, Center for Logic and the Philosophy of Science
Vrije Universiteit, Brussels


Ronny Desmet received his M.S. in mathematics in 1983 from the University of Antwerp, specializing in the mathematics and philosophy of quantum mechanics. He received his M.A. in philosophy in 2005, and is currently preparing his Ph.D. dissertation on Whitehead's theory of relativity, supervised by Prof. Jean Paul Van Bendegem. After a career in the private sector, he left a position at Sun Microsystems in 2002 to study philosophy, and currently he is a research fellow at the Centre of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels and is a founding member of the Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences at California State University, Sacramento.


Theodore St. John

Medical Physicist, Naval Medical Center San Diego
Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics
San Diego State University


Dr. Theodore St. John (CDR, USN) is a senior U.S. Naval Officer serving as a Medical Physicist at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA and an Adjunct Professor of Physics at San Diego State University. As a member of the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, he has contributed critical research on the transformation of human cells exposed to depleted uranium. He is a member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and his philosophical interest is the evolution from conventional Cartesian mind-matter dualism toward a unified structural-relational realist ontology, via a practical bridging of process philosophical concepts to modern physics.

After earning dual B.S. degrees in physics and electrical engineering, he served as a nuclear submarine officer for 5 years. He later earned his M.S. in physics from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, specializing in ion-implantation research on recoil collisions using Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry. He earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering from the University of Florida, specializing in stereotactic radiosurgery at the University of Florida Brain Institute, where he created a geometrically-based method of intensity-modulated radiosurgery. After a tour as the Science Advisor for the Naval Dosimetry Center, where he was also adjunct professor and course director for the military’s medical school Radiation Dosimetry graduate program, he served as the head of the Radiology Department at the Navy Medical Center, Portsmouth VA. He received his M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War college, served as Executive Officer (second in Command) for the Naval Medical Research Unit, San Antonio, TX and will complete his naval career as a clinical Medical Physicist at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA.


Michael Fitzpatrick

CPNS Graduate Student Fellow
Department of Philosophy
Stanford University

Michael Fitzpatrick is a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy at Stanford University and a CPNS graduate student research fellow currently working on problems in metaphysics, particularly in issues of parthood, causality, evolution, as well as philosophy of language topics on meaning. His essay, "The Metaphysics of Evolution: Against Ted Sider's 'Against Parthood,'" was published in the most recent edition of Process Studies. He has given talks at various philosophy conferences along the west coast on the debate between realism and anti-realism, as well as the relationship between philosophy, the sciences, and human life. He is most prominently influenced by the philosophical work of Baruch Spinoza, Alfred North Whitehead, and Alain Badiou, and is currently working on an essay comparing the metaphysical systems of Whitehead and Badiou. He will be participating in the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Summer Internship program at UC Davis under the direction of Dr. Adam Sennet for summer 2014, and in fall 2014 will begin his Ph.D program in philosophy at Stanford University.

Miles Andrews

CPNS Graduate Student Fellow
Department of Philosophy
San Francisco State University

Miles Andrews earned his BA in philosophy and religious studies at CSUS via a specialized joint-major program, and will begin his graduate studies in philosophy at San Francisco State University in fall 2014. His paper "Divine Hiddenness and Affective Forecasting," which incorporates findings in the field of cognitive psychology, was published in Res Cogitans in 2014. Miles' philosophical interests lie mostly in the philosophy of religion, specifically religious epistemology. He is particularly interested in recent scholarship exploring the cognitive science of religion, and his graduate work will focus on the areas of epistemology, political philosophy, and the intersection of philosophy of science and religion (e.g., the philosophy of space and time and the fine-tuning argument.).


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