Michael Epperson

    Research Professor
    Founding Director and Principal Investigator
    Consortium for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences
    Director, History and Philosophy of Science Program
    Department of History
    California State University Sacramento

    Michael Epperson is a research professor and founding director of the Consortium for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences at California State University, Sacramento, and the founding director of the university's History and Philosophy of Science Program. Epperson did his doctoral work in metaphysics, 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 (Fordham University Press, 2004, 2nd ed. 2012) 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. His follow-on work Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), co-authored with quantum theorist and mathematician Elias Zafiris (Ph.D., Theoretical Physics, Imperial College, University of London) explores the ontological significance of potentia and contextuality in quantum mechanics, toward a mereotopological, relational interpretation. Epperson’s current research with Stuart Kauffman explores the philosophical implications of recent innovations in quantum mechanics and complexity theory. (Latest paper: R. Kastner, S. Kauffman, M. Epperson, "Taking Heisenberg's Potentia Seriously" International Journal of Quantum Foundations, 4:2 (2018): 158-172. See also this commentary article in Science News).

    Elias Zafiris

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

    Elias Zafiris 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 co-author, with Michael Epperson, of Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature (Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) and Differential Sheaves and Connections: A Natural Approach to Physical Geometry (2015, World Scientific). He 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 Kauffman

    Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics
    University of Pennsylvania

    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. He has published over 350 articles and 6 books: The Origins of Order (1993), At Home in the Universe (1995), Investigations (2000), Reinventing the Sacred (2008), Humanity in a Creative Universe (2016), and A World Beyond Physics (2019). In 2018, exploring the concept that reality consists of both ontologically real "possibles" (res potentia) and ontologically real "actuals" (res extensa), Kauffman co-authored, with Ruth Kastner and Michael Epperson, "Taking Heisenberg's Potentia Seriously" (International Journal of Quantum Foundations, 4:2 [2018] 158-72) and featured in Science News.

    Roland Omnès

    Professor Emeritus, Theoretical Physics
    University of Paris XI
    CNRS – French National Center for Scientific Research
    (In Memoriam - August 2, 2022)

    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).

    Timothy E. Eastman

    Senior Scientist (retired) - NASA Goddard
    Director, Space Physics and Plasma Sciences - Plasmas International

    Dr. Timothy E. Eastman, Senior Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (retired) is a consultant in plasma science. 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 within 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
    (In Memoriam - January 24, 2016)

    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. He developed this later work as Co-Investigator on the CPNS research project, "Logical Causality in Quantum Mechanics: Relational Realism and the Evolution of Ontology to Praxiology in Natural Philosophy."

    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 Physicist
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    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
    (In Memoriam - August 7, 2019)

    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
    (In Memoriam - August 13, 2020)

    George W. Shields, 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 served 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 Chemistry and Physical Sciences
    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.

    Elizabeth Keys

    CPNS Graduate Research Fellow
    Ph.D. Program - Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Duke University

    CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow
    Student Coordinator - HPS Student Research Initiative
    Physics Major
    California State University, Sacramento

    Elizabeth is a CPNS Graduate Research Fellow and a new PhD student and research associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. Having earned her B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at CSUS, Elizabeth was also a student coordinator for CPNS's Ultimate Questions Discussion Group. Elizabeth has won multiple Royal Vandenberg and James Clerk Maxwell Awards, is a member of the National Physics Honor Society, and has worked on a number of different research projects, including the 2016 BLAST (Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope) project, serving as an instrument designer (Elizabeth designed a pinhole sun sensor instrument package). Recent research projects include an analysis of semi-elastic collisions in ballistics and a study investigating negative refraction in metamaterials.

    Christopher Keys

    CPNS Graduate Research Fellow
    Ph.D. Program - Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Duke University

    CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow
    Student Coordinator - HPS Student Research Initiative
    Physics Major

    Christopher is a CPNS Graduate Research Fellow and a new PhD student and research associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. Having earned his B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at CSUS, Christopher was also a student coordinator for CPNS's Student Research Initiative, developing an historical and scientific analysis of the Tesla Oscillator and its potential applications in modern structural engineering. Christopher has won multiple Royal Vandenberg and James Clerk Maxwell Awards. He has served as the President of the local chapter of the Society of Physics Students, and during his entire tenure at CSUS has served as a volunteer physics tutor. In addition, Christopher has worked on a number of different research projects, including the 2016 BLAST (Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope) project (he designed and built the pressure vessel and internal components housing the data storage unit).

    Michelle Spremich

    CPNS Graduate Research Fellow
    MA Program, Department of History
    California State University, Sacramento

    CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow
    History Major
    California State University, Sacramento

    Michelle is an MA student in the Department of History. In her senior undergraduate year, her HPS Student Research Initiative project, entitled, "Ancient Greek Ideas on the Nature of Reality and Their Direct Influence on the Discovery of Quantum Mechanics" (HIST 199, 3 UNITS) was published in Clio, the academic journal of the national History Honor Society Phi Alpha Theta, Rho Xi Chapter. The article, (Clio vol. 30, Spring 2020).

    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.