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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
Anaximander
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
George Berkeley
Isaiah Berlin
Richard J. Bernstein
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
Daniel Boyd
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
Michael Burke
Lawrence Cahoone
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Carneades
Nancy Cartwright
Gregg Caruso
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Austin Farrer
Herbert Feigl
Arthur Fine
John Martin Fischer
Frederic Fitch
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Bas van Fraassen
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Gorgias
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
Sam Harris
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
Heraclitus
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
Frank Jackson
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Walter Kaufmann
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Thomas Kuhn
Andrea Lavazza
Christoph Lehner
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Jules Lequyer
Leucippus
Michael Levin
Joseph Levine
George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
C. Lloyd Morgan
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
Arthur O. Lovejoy
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
Alasdair MacIntyre
Ruth Barcan Marcus
Tim Maudlin
James Martineau
Nicholas Maxwell
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
Thomas Nagel
Otto Neurath
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
Parmenides
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Porphyry
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Protagoras
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
Isabelle Stengers
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
Voltaire
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
C.F. von Weizsäcker
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

David Albert
Michael Arbib
Walter Baade
Bernard Baars
Jeffrey Bada
Leslie Ballentine
Marcello Barbieri
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Mara Beller
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Jean Bricmont
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Melvin Calvin
Donald Campbell
Sadi Carnot
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Gregory Chaitin
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Rudolf Clausius
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
Jerry Coyne
John Cramer
Francis Crick
E. P. Culverwell
Antonio Damasio
Olivier Darrigol
Charles Darwin
Richard Dawkins
Terrence Deacon
Lüder Deecke
Richard Dedekind
Louis de Broglie
Stanislas Dehaene
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Bernard d'Espagnat
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Gerald Edelman
Paul Ehrenfest
Manfred Eigen
Albert Einstein
George F. R. Ellis
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
David Foster
Joseph Fourier
Philipp Frank
Steven Frautschi
Edward Fredkin
Benjamin Gal-Or
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A. O. Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Dirk ter Haar
Jacques Hadamard
Mark Hadley
Patrick Haggard
J. B. S. Haldane
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Ralph Hartley
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Donald Hebb
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Basil Hiley
Art Hobson
Jesper Hoffmeyer
Don Howard
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
E. T. Jaynes
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Martin J. Klein
William R. Klemm
Christof Koch
Simon Kochen
Hans Kornhuber
Stephen Kosslyn
Daniel Koshland
Ladislav Kovàč
Leopold Kronecker
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Joseph LeDoux
Gilbert Lewis
Benjamin Libet
David Lindley
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
Owen Maroney
Humberto Maturana
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
John McCarthy
Warren McCulloch
N. David Mermin
George Miller
Stanley Miller
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Alexander Oparin
Abraham Pais
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Henry Quastler
Adolphe Quételet
Lord Rayleigh
Jürgen Renn
Emil Roduner
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Tilman Sauer
Jürgen Schmidhuber
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Sebastian Seung
Thomas Sebeok
Franco Selleri
Claude Shannon
Charles Sherrington
David Shiang
Abner Shimony
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
Edmund Sinnott
B. F. Skinner
Lee Smolin
Ray Solomonoff
Roger Sperry
John Stachel
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
Max Tegmark
Teilhard de Chardin
Libb Thims
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Richard Tolman
Giulio Tononi
Peter Tse
Francisco Varela
Vlatko Vedral
Mikhail Volkenstein
Heinz von Foerster
Richard von Mises
John von Neumann
Jakob von Uexküll
C. S. Unnikrishnan
C. H. Waddington
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
Herman Weyl
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
Günther Witzany
Stephen Wolfram
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek
Konrad Zuse
Fritz Zwicky

Presentations

Biosemiotics
Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
 
Emil Roduner
Emil Roduner is a physical chemist at University of Stuttgart and the University of Pretoria, South Africa. His colleague Tjaart Krüger is a physicist at the University of Pretoria. They have recently written a paper on the origin of irreversibility. They were kind enough to cite my 2014 paper on the origin of irreversibility, which I located in quantum events that happen at indeterministic times and move in indeterministic directions, such as the emission and absorption of photons, as discovered by Albert Einstein in 1916.

Their latest work on irreversibility asks whether “memory” can be considered a new parameter for the physical state of matter? They write...

Most elementary theories describing processes of matter, like Newtonian dynamics and quantum mechanics, are symmetric with respect to time-reversal, but thermodynamics is not and describes processes that come to rest at equilibrium. A long-standing dispute is represented by the question: “How can microscopic equations of motion that are symmetric to time reversal give rise to macroscopic behavior that clearly does not share this symmetry?” The answer is commonly sought in size, with small systems being time-reversible and large systems not. It turns out that this is not correct. Time-reversibility and thermodynamic reversibility are two different issues. Thermodynamic equilibria are well-defined in terms of entropy or free energy and are reached in processes described by the “arrow of time”. But the process of equilibration can be either reversible or irreversible with respect to time, independent of the system size. There is a second criterion, the system’s memory of a previous state, which does not contribute to thermodynamic parameters. Time-reversible processes are deterministic, and if the past is understood, the future can be predicted. What destroys time-reversibility are non-Newtonian processes, mostly of probabilistic nature, like the decay of excited states.

In my analysis of the creation of information structures in the universe, I have shown that the reduced local entropy (so-called "negative entropy") of such structures requires that an amount of positive entropy equal to or greater than the negative entropy must be carried away from the structure, or the new pocket of negative entropy (also information) will not survive.

For example, in the early years after the origin of the universe, atoms were repeatedly being formed from protons combining with electrons. But the temperatures were so high and the radiation field so intense, that photons (some emitted by electrons as they fell into bound atomic states) immediately ionized atoms back to their elementary particles.

Some 380,000 years after the origin, the expansion of the universe had cooled the temperature to a few thousand degrees Kelvin, and even more importantly created vast numbers of new phase space cells that provided a cool thermodynamic "sink" into which the "source" of hot photons could radiate.

After that somewhat inaccurately called "recombination era" the combinations of protons and electrons into hydrogen atoms became stable. The free electron gas that was the major source of opacity preventing the photons from traveling very far disappeared. The universe became transparent to radiation, allowing astronomers today to see all the way back to that recombination era some 13.75 billion years ago to the isotropic microwave background radiation coming to us from all directions.

We are looking at the residue of the "Big Bang." The original blackbody spectrum of 5000K radiation (approximately the white light from our Sun with wavelengths from 400 to 700 nanometers) has been red-shifted to much longer wavelengths from 1 to 2 millimeters.

Based on a 1934 suggestion of Arthur Stanley Eddington and the 1970's work of my late Harvard colleague David Layzer, I have shown that the information structures in the universe today (from subatomic particles like electrons and quarks, to the galaxies, stars, and planets, as well as living things on Earth) are all dependent on a two-stage cosmic creation process.

In the first stage, there must be multiple indeterministic possibilities for different quantum arrangements of the particles of future structures. If/when the new arrangement has created a new information structure, energy released in the new binding of particles must be carried away in the second stage.

Note if there were only one possibility, information would be a constant and only one (predetermined?) possible future.

The great theoretician of quantum mechanics, John von Neumann, described the importance of new information created in a quantum measurement. He defined two fundamental processes in quantum mechanics, one the "causal" deterministic information-preserving time evolution of a quantum system between measurements, the other the indeterministic information-creating measurement itself.

Von Neumann said the deterministic causal evolution process "does not reproduce one of the most important and striking properties of the real world, namely its irreversibility, the fundamental difference between the time directions, 'future' and 'past.' "

He also said that the indeterministic measurement is "statistical" and causes a "change of the probabilities and the expectation values. Indeed, it is precisely for this reason that one introduces statistical ensembles and probabilities!"

See von Neumann's landmark book, Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, (English translation, pp.357-358)

Roduner and Krüger's study of memory critically involves the roles of irreversibility and the "arrow of time." Von Neumann saw those two issues as central to understanding quantum mechanics.

Memory depends on the recording of information in brains/minds and the recall/reproduction or "playback" of that information on demand, when needed by an agent to make a decision on the next action or thought. See our model of the mind as an Experience Recorder and Reproducer.

When particles collide, a quantum process can erase the past path information that would be needed to reverse their paths. This is the origin of irreversibility. But an interaction of a particle with a measurement apparatus can also generate new path information that allows us to predict (within some uncertainty) future events.

In quantum events, information can be both destroyed and created.

According to the second law of thermodynamics, entropy in the universe is is always increasing. But counterintuitively, we now also know that new information and new knowledge is also increasing. Both disorder and order are increasing in the direction of the "master arrow of time," the expansion of the universe, as shown in 1975 by my Harvard colleague David Layzer, based on a 1935 suggestion of Arthur Stanley Eddington.

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