Michael Epperson

Research Professor
Founding 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 is a research professor and founding director of the Center 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 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).  

Epperson’s philosophical interests also include ethics and just war theory, and his work in these areas includes the 2005 documentary film, The 11th Day, (writer, producer) which chronicles the story of the Cretan civilian resistance against Nazi occupation in World War II. (www.The11thDay.org). The documentary received critical acclaim in publications including The Chicago Tribune, Canada’s National Post, The Sacramento Bee, and Newsday. Exhibitions have included a special advance screening requested by members of the United States Congress in 2004, held at the Capitol, and at the British Embassy in Athens, Greece in 2009.  Research for the film, including unpublished photos and diaries, has been requested by and provided to museums around the world, including the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, The CIA Museum at CIA Headquarters, and Britain’s Imperial War Museum.

Curriculum Vitae
Selected publications related to CPNS research



Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. 2nd ed. Fordham University Press, New York (2012)

(1st ed. Hardcover, Fordham University Press, 2004)


Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature.
Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield, New York (2013)

with Elias Zafiris


Physics and Speculative Philosophy: Potentiality in Modern Science De Gruyter, New York / Berlin (2016)




R. Kastner, S. Kauffman, M. Epperson "Taking Heisenberg's Potentia Seriously" (arXiv:1709.03595 [quant-ph]) (2017)
(See also Tom Siegfried's review article on this paper in Science News)

M. Epperson, “Event-Ontological Quantum Mechanics: A Process Theoretic Approach” in Physics and Speculative Philosophy: Potentiality in Modern Science. Eds. Timothy Eastman, Michael Epperson, and David Ray Griffin. Berlin: De Gruyter (2016)

M. Epperson, “The Common Sense of Quantum Theory: Exploring the Internal Relational Structure of Self-Organization in Nature”, Coding as Literacy, Metalithicum 5. Ed. Vera Bühlmann and Ludger Hovestadt. Birkhäuser (2015)

“Whitehead and Modern Physics” in Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. Nicholas Rescher, Johanna Seibt, Michel Weber, eds. De Gruyter (2013)

K. Bschir, M. Epperson, E. Zafiris, “Decoherence: A View from Topology,” European Journal for the Philosophy of Science (in review)

“The Mechanics of Concrescence: Quantum Theory and Process Metaphysics,” Studia Whiteheadiana (Polish translation), Vol 4 (2010): 159-190)

“Quantum Mechanics and Relational Realism: Logical Causality and Wavefunction Collapse,” Process Studies, 38:2 (2009)

"Relational Realism: The Evolution of Ontology to Praxiology in the Philosophy of Nature," World Futures, 65:19-41, Routledge (2009)

“The Mechanics of Concrescence: Quantum Theory and Process Metaphysics” in “The Resource Guide to Physics and Whitehead: Process, Quantum, and Experience,” Timothy E. Eastman and Hank Keeton, eds, SUNY Press, (2003)



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