Department Colloquium: Christopher Weaver

July 16, 2018
Friday, September 21, 2018 - 3:30pm
347 University Hall
UH

"Design in Reduction: The Case of Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics"

 

Abstract: I argue that the many-electron (strongly correlated) atomic systems of quantum chemistry enjoy a complexity that cannot, even in principle, be dynamically explained by independent single-body models whose model targets are the constituents of such many-body complex systems. If the reductionist or microphysicalist worldview is to be saved, it should look to the reduction relations supplied by contemporary analytic metaphysics to bridge the gap between subatomic constituents and atomic complexes. Thus, reductionists should look to metaphysics to bridge ontological gaps, and by consequence, the scientific explanations of atomic phenomena available to reductionists will require metaphysical and scientific laws. However, there’s a cost to double law utilization. The metaphysical and scientific laws must be coordinated in a way that cries out for an explanation. I argue that such coordination at least incrementally confirms theism.

Christopher Weaver is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois.

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