Back to Publications


Physics and Speculative Philosophy

Physics and Speculative Philosophy: Potentiality in Modern Science
Eastman, T.E.Epperson, M.Griffin, D.R. Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
California State University,
Sacramento, USA
2016 Foundations, Physics

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.


The book is organized into four main sections that incorporate our routes to potentiality:

(1) potentiality in modern science [history and philosophy; quantum physics and complexity];

(2) Relational Realism [ontological interpretation of quantum physics; philosophy and logic];

(3) Process Physics [ontological interpretation of relativity theory; physics and philosophy];

(4) on speculative philosophy and physics [limitations and approximations; process philosophy].

We conclude that certain fundamental problems in modern physics require complementary analyses of certain philosophical and metaphysical issues, and that such scholarship reveals intrinsic features and limits of determinism, potentiality and emergence that enable, among others, important progress on the quantum theory of measurement problem and new understandings of emergence.

The article was published in: Physics and Speculative Philosophy: Potentiality in Modern Science 27: 1.

Full article

This work was supported (in part) by the Fetzer Franklin Fund of the John E. Fetzer Memorial Trust.