Sacramento State History and Philosophy of Science Program
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  Michael Epperson, "The Creative Universe" Institute of Art and Ideas News, Issue 96, June 11, 2021

History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Program

Sacramento State's HPS Program includes new course offerings in the Department of History, a visiting speaker from NASA, graduate student liaisons at Stanford and San Francisco State, the Ultimate Questions Student Discussion Group, and more.

"Sac State Initiative Combines Science, History and Philosophy"

  • Sacramento State News Article

"Program Cultivates Critical Thinking"

  • State Hornet News Article

Michelle Spremich, a Sacramento State History Major and CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow, has a new article published in Clio, the academic journal of the national History Honor Society Phi Alpha Theta, Rho Xi Chapter. The article, "Ancient Greek Ideas on the Nature of Reality and Their Direct Influence on the Discovery of Quantum Mechanics" (Clio vol. 30,


Spring 2020) was written as a project of Sacramento State's HPS Student Research Initiative, which included the following HPS courses--HIST 104, History of Ancient Science, HIST 107, History of the Physical Sciences, and HIST 199, Special Problems in History and Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics. Michelle graduated in 2020, and is now a History Department graduate student and CPNS Graduate Research Fellow.


Elizabeth Keys, a Sacramento State Physics Major and CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow, was accepted to Duke University’s PhD program in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Elizabeth was a student coordinator for CPNS's Ultimate Questions Discussion Group and HPS Student Research Initiative. She 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, a Sacramento State Physics Major and CPNS Undergraduate Research Fellow, was accepted to Duke University’s PhD program in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Christopher was a student coordinator for CPNS's HPS 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).

CPNS Research - Ontogenesis Process Group

Ontogenesis Process Group

Sha Xin Wei (ASU), Stuart Kauffman (Santa Fe), Giuseppe Longo (École Normale Supérieure), Adam Nocek (ASU), Cary Wolfe (Rice), Phillip Thurtle (Univ. of Washington), Gaymon Bennett (ASU), Erin Espelie (University of Colorado Boulder),Giuseppe Longo (École Normale Supérieure), Michael Epperson (CPNS - CSUS). Our work entails a deep and sustained engagement with biological, physical, and computational sciences, operating in conjunction with anthropological, philosophical, and artistic modes of inquiry. Recent publication: Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 25.3, Special Issue, "Ontogenesis Beyond Complexity," June 2020.

CPNS Research in Science News
Science News editor Tom Siegfried recently reviewed a paper by CPNS Senior Fellows Stuart Kauffman, Michael Epperson, and Ruth Kastner--"Taking Heisenberg's Potentia Seriously" International Journal of Quantum Foundations, 4:2 (2018): 158-172.
Books by CPNS Research Fellows

Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature - Michael Epperson and Elias Zafiris (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014)

In this unique two-part volume, Michael Epperson and Elias Zafiris chart out a novel, intuitive, event-ontological interpretation of quantum mechanics formalized via the mathematics of category theory and algebraic topology.

"Recommended reading for graduate students and researchers." CHOICE (March 2014)


Differential Sheaves and Connections: A Natural Approach to Physical Geometry - Elias Zafiris and Anastasios Mallios (World Scientific, 2015)

This unique book provides a self-contained conceptual and technical introduction to the theory of differential sheaves. This serves both the newcomer and the experienced researcher in undertaking a background-independent, natural and relational approach to "physical geometry". In this manner, this book is situated at the crossroads between the foundations of mathematical analysis with a view toward differential geometry and the foundations of theoretical physics with a view toward quantum mechanics and quantum gravity.


Physics and Speculative Philosophy: Potentiality in Modern Science - Tim Eastman, Michael Epperson, David Ray Griffin, Eds. (De Gruyter, 2016)

Through both an historical and philosophical analysis of the concept of possibility, we show how including both potentiality and actuality as part of the real is both compatible with experience and contributes to solving key problems of fundamental process and emergence. Contribtors include Michael Epperson, Stuart Kauffman, Elias Zafiris, George Shields, Karim Bschir, Reginald Cahill, David Ray Griffin.


Foundations of Relational Realism: The Evolution of Set Theoretic External Relations to Category Theoretic Internal Relations Toward an Event-Ontological, Topological Approach to Quatnum Mechanics

Principal Investigator: Michael Epperson, Director, CPNS, California State University, Sacramento. Co-Investigators: Elias Zafiris, Senior Research Fellow in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, University of Athens; Karim Bschir, Research Fellow, Philosophy of Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology; Timothy Eastman, NASA-Goddard; Stuart Kauffman, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania.

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