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History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Program - Department of History

In response to increasing student interest in science’s latest answers to the Big Questions, and the growing importance of science in today’s knowledge economy, Sacramento State will join the ranks of top-tier universities offering History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) programs, launching its own HPS Program in fall 2014. Sacramento State's HPS Program includes

new course offerings in the Department of History, a Student Research Initiative (see below), visiting scholars, graduate student liaisons at Stanford and San Francisco State, the Ultimate Questions Student Discussion Group, and more.  

CPNS Program for Science and Human Values

Graduate Courses at U.C. Berkeley - Graduate Theological Union: Starting spring 2015, the CPNS Program for Science and Human Values, in collaboration with U.C. Berkeley-GTU, will be offering graduate courses that explore the history and philosophy of religion and modern science. The first of these courses, "Orthodox Christianity and Modern Science: A Dialogue with the Western Scholastic Tradition" will be offered spring 2015, taught by Michael Epperson.



Research Programs

Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics

Foundations of Relational Realism (Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) represents the capstone of our 2010-2013 project, along with a number of published papers and conference presentations. With this foundational work in place, our next step is to demonstrate the experimental applicability of this sheaf theoretic quantum formalism and its philosophical conceptual framework—viz. its advantages both in terms of prediction and interpretation of data. To that end, for 2013-14, we propose to apply the relational realist framework to the task of explicating the well-known but poorly understood problem of quantum geometric phases. We are doing so via an analysis of experimental data on the Aharonov-Bohm Effect, the Pancharatnam Phase, and the Quantum Hall Effect, toward a unified interpretation of all three.

HPS Student Research Initiative

As part of Sacramento State's History and Philosophy of Science Initiative, CPNS Undergraduate Student Research Fellows develop and implement interdisciplinary research projects bridging empirical inquiry within the fields of the natural sciences and mathematics (NSM) into cross-connection with the field of history and philosophy of science (HPS). These faculty supervised student research projects give undergraduates crucial experience in the synthesis of new ideas and their proper investigation via both empirical study and analysis of scholarly literature in the natural sciences, philosophy of science, and history of science. Beyond these goals, the CPNS Student Research Initiative provides students with the unique opportunity to network and collaborate with both CPNS Graduate Research Fellows and CPNS Faculty Research Fellows across multiple institutions, both nationally and internationally. Click here for our 2014-2015 Project: "Tesla's Oscillator."

Ecology of Practices Research Network:

An affiliation of research centers spanning diverse disciplines in the sciences, humanities, engineering, and the arts, this network includes CPNS at California State University, Sacramento; the Program for Computer Aided Architectural Design at ETH Zurich; and the Synthesis Center in the School of Arts, Media & Engineering at Arizona State University. We focus on those disciplines where engineering and technology serve as a bridge between experience and scientific formal structures and conceptual frameworks.

  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), Michael Epperson (CPNS - CSUS). OPG is a research stream animated by the thesis that the living world in all its modes—biological, semiotic, economic, affective, social, etc.—escapes finite schema of description. Our work is based on a deep and sustained engagement with biological, physical, and computational sciences, operating in conjunction with anthropological, philosophical, and artistic modes of inquiry.


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