»Experimental Metaphysics: The Big Questions and Modern Science

This group will explore the implications of modern science (with special reference to the ground-breaking work being done at Chapman by Yakir Aharonov and the Center for Quantum Studies at Chapman) to several of the “big questions” that have occupied philosophers and theologians for centuries, including the following:

a. The nature of time and our experience of time

b. The problem of free will

c. The nature of persons

  • Members
  • Research projects
  • Grants/fundings
  • Student research
  • Jeff Tollaksen, Schmid College and Center for Quantum Studies

    Joseph Rachiele, Department of Philosophy

    Michael Pace, Department of Philosophy

    Gail Stearns, Religious Studies and Fish Interfaith Center

    Nancy Martin, Religious Studies

    David Pincus, Schmid College (Psychology)

  • In February 2013 we organized an interdisciplinary conference with the title, “The Experimental Metaphysics of Free Will”. This conference brought together prominent physicists, philosophers, psychologists and religious practitioners to discuss the classic problem of free will in the context of the work being done by Yakir Aharonov and his team on backwards causation and weak measurements in quantum physics.

    We are planning a series of interdisciplinary conferences on related themes, beginning with a conference in March 2014 on our experience of time. We hope to widely disseminate this work, and we are exploring the possibility of publishing a collection of papers on the conference themes.

  • a. The Templeton Foundation

    b. NEH

  • Students will be encouraged to attend and interact with the conference participants, as they did in last years’ conference. Each conference includes a panel discussion aimed at a student audience and open to the public. We will also explore other ways to involve students in research projects related to the themes of the group.