The Physics and Philosophy of Non-Equilibrium Power Laws and Processes: Just Nature?

Professor Mary Lenzi
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Physics and philosophy armed together with theories of power-laws and processes, (that are blind to human designs, wills, and governments), claim to explain 'complexity,' as creative arrangements emerging from 'the edge of chaos.' Accordingly, these 'ubiquitous' power laws operate as much in the human heap of history as in cascading piles of sand. Physicists have applied these theories to invading armies of old, which when forging paths of destruction in victory, also created bolder, new paths in their wake.

Arguably, this interplay between physics and philosophy, regarding 'states' of equilibrium and disequilibrium, physical or political, cannot yet grant us license to dissect physical nature and human history alike in such broad strokes. Despite their noted 'ubiquity,' power laws and processes, even when set under the auspices of science and justice, and with philosophers and physicists waving a banner of the same cloth, have not yet adequately settled key issues concerning universal causality and mechanizations for power, nor further how power arranges all things in nature and history.

Keywords: Physics and Philosophy, Power and Justice, War and Peace, Complexity, Ubiquity, Equilibrium and Disequilibrium, Nature and History, Law and Order, Chance and Chaos
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Physics and Philosophy of Non-Equilibrium Power Laws and Processes, The

Professor Mary Lenzi

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, College of Liberal Arts and Education, The University of Wisconsin

Mary Lenzi, Ph.D., holds a full-time academic teaching position in Philosophy, and has a wide range of interdisciplinary interests and publications, in the history of philosophy, ethics, politics, psychology, and poetry. Mary has three entries forthcoming in the Encyclopedia for Science, Technology, and Ethics (Macmillan Gale Publishing, 2005).

Ref: T05P0269