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Jeffrey Koperski [36]Jeffrey David Koperski [1]
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Jeffrey Koperski
Saginaw Valley State University
  1.  86
    The Physics of Theism: God, Physics, and the Philosophy of Science.Jeffrey Koperski - 2015 - Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.
    Theologians and philosophers of religion are increasingly interested in physics. From the fine-tuning of universal constants to quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology, physics is a surprisingly common subject where religion is involved. Bridging the gap between issues in religion and those in physics can be quite difficult, however. Fortunately, the philosophy of science provides a middle ground between the two disciplines. In this book, a philosopher of science provides a critical analysis of the ways in which physics is brought into (...)
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  2. Two bad ways to attack intelligent design and two good ones.Jeffrey Koperski - 2008 - Zygon 43 (2):433-449.
    Four arguments are examined in order to assess the state of the Intelligent Design debate. First, critics continually cite the fact that ID proponents have religious motivations. When used as criticism of ID arguments, this is an obvious ad hominem. Nonetheless, philosophers and scientists alike continue to wield such arguments for their rhetorical value. Second, in his expert testimony in the Dover trial, philosopher Robert Pennock used repudiated claims in order to brand ID as a kind of pseudoscience. His arguments (...)
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  3.  69
    Divine Action, Determinism, and the Laws of Nature.Jeffrey Koperski - 2020 - London, UK: Routledge.
    A longstanding question at the intersection of science, philosophy, and theology is how God might act, or not, when governing the universe. Many believe that determinism would prevent God from acting at all, since to do so would require violating the laws of nature. However, when a robust view of these laws is coupled with the kind of determinism now used in dynamics, a new model of divine action emerges. This book presents a new approach to divine action beyond the (...)
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  4. Should we care about fine-tuning?Jeffrey Koperski - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):303-319.
    There is an ongoing debate over cosmological fine-tuning between those holding that design is the best explanation and those who favor a multiverse. A small group of critics has recently challenged both sides, charging that their probabilistic intuitions are unfounded. If the critics are correct, then a growing literature in both philosophy and physics lacks a mathematical foundation. In this paper, I show that just such a foundation exists. Cosmologists are now providing the kinds of measure-theoretic arguments needed to make (...)
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  5. Teleological Arguments for God’s Existence.Jeffrey Koperski & Del Ratzsch - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    -/- Some phenomena within nature exhibit such exquisiteness of structure, function or interconnectedness that many people have found it natural—if not inescapable—to see a deliberative and directive mind behind those phenomena. The mind in question, being prior to nature itself, is typically taken to be supernatural. Philosophically inclined thinkers have both historically and at present labored to shape the relevant intuition into a more formal, logically rigorous inference. The resultant theistic arguments, in their various logical forms, share a focus on (...)
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  6. Theism, naturalism, and scientific realism.Jeffrey Koperski - 2017 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 53 (3):152-166.
    Scientific knowledge is not merely a matter of reconciling theories and laws with data and observations. Science presupposes a number of metatheoretic shaping principles in order to judge good methods and theories from bad. Some of these principles are metaphysical (e.g., the uniformity of nature) and some are methodological (e.g., the need for repeatable experiments). While many shaping principles have endured since the scientific revolution, others have changed in response to conceptual pressures both from within science and without. Many of (...)
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  7. God, Chaos, and the Quantum Dice.Jeffrey Koperski - 2000 - Zygon 35 (3):545-559.
    A recent noninterventionist account of divine agency has been proposed that marries the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics to the instability of chaos theory. On this account, God is able to bring about observable effects in the macroscopic world by determining the outcome quantum events. When this determination occurs in the presence of chaos, the ability to influence large systems is multiplied. This paper argues that although the proposal is highly intuitive, current research in dynamics shows that it is far (...)
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  8.  17
    Divine Action and the Laws of Nature: A Reply to Łukasiewicz.Jeffrey Koperski - 2020 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 68 (3):127-136.
    Działanie Boga a prawa przyrody: odpowiedź Łukasiewiczowi W odpowiedzi Łukasiewiczowi na Opatrzność Boża a przypadek w świecie bronię trzech wniosków. Po pierwsze, stanowisko nazwane przez niego „deizmem epistemicznym” staje przed wyzwaniami ze strony fizyki, których często się nie zauważa. Po drugie, jeśli teiści opowiadający się za argumentem celowościowym opartym na tzw. delikatnym dostrojeniu nie mają racji, to nie ma jej również większość fizyków, która uważa, że delikatne dostrojenie wymaga wyjaśnienia. Po trzecie, nie wszystkie prawa przyrody są warunkowe w takim sensie, (...)
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  9.  57
    Divine Action and the Quantum Amplification Problem.Jeffrey Koperski - 2015 - Theology and Science 13 (4):379-394.
    For quantum mechanics to form the crux of a robust model of divine action, random quantum fluctuations must be amplified into the macroscopic realm. What has not been recognized in the divine action literature to date is the degree to which differential dynamics, continuum mechanics, and condensed matter physics prevent such fluctuations from infecting meso- and macroscopic systems. Once all of the relevant physics is considered, models of divine action based on quantum randomness are shown to be far more limited (...)
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  10.  64
    Models, confirmation, and chaos.Jeffrey Koperski - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):624-648.
    The use of idealized models in science is by now well-documented. Such models are typically constructed in a “top-down” fashion: starting with an intractable theory or law and working down toward the phenomenon. This view of model-building has motivated a family of confirmation schemes based on the convergence of prediction and observation. This paper considers how chaotic dynamics blocks the convergence view of confirmation and has forced experimentalists to take a different approach to model-building. A method known as “phase space (...)
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  11. Has chaos been explained?Jeffrey Koperski - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):683-700.
    In his recent book, Explaining Chaos, Peter Smith presents a new problem in the foundations of chaos theory. Specifically, he argues that the standard ways of justifying idealizations in mathematical models fail when it comes to the infinite intricacy found in strange attractors. I argue that Smith's analysis undermines much of the explanatory power of chaos theory. A better approach is developed by drawing analogies from the models found in continuum mechanics.
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  12.  58
    Breaking Laws of Nature.Jeffrey Koperski - 2017 - Philosophia Christi 19 (1):83-101.
    One of the main arguments against interventionist views of special divine action is that God would not violate his own laws. But if intervention entails the breaking of natural law, what precisely is being broken? While the nature of the laws of nature has been widely explored by philosophers of science, important distinctions are often ignored in the science and religion literature. In this paper, I consider the three main approaches to laws: Humean anti-realism, supervenience on more fundamental aspects of (...)
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  13. Motives Still Don't Matter: Reply to Pynes.Jeffrey Koperski & Andrés Ruiz - 2012 - Zygon 47 (4):662-665.
    This paper continues a dialogue that began with an article by Jeffrey Koperski entitled “Two Bad Ways to Attack Intelligent Design and Two Good Ones,” published in the June 2008 issue of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. In a response article, Christopher Pynes argues that ad hominem arguments are sometimes legitimate, especially when critiquing Intelligent Design (2012). We show that Pynes’s examples only apply to matters of testimony, not the kinds of arguments found in the best defenses of ID.
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  14.  16
    Decretalism Is (Still) Not Occasionalism.Jeffrey Koperski - 2023 - Philosophia Christi 25 (1):117-125.
    In “Koperski’s New (Improved?) Decretalism,” Robert Larmer argues that my version of nomological realism about the laws of nature logically entails occasionalism. Here I clarify and defend my view against this charge. The main disagreement is whether a proper account of the laws of nature must involve dynamic production—what is commonly called oomph.
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  15.  11
    When Dialogue was the Norm: Theology and the Rise of Modern Science.Jeffrey Koperski - 2023 - Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 10 (1):105.
    While scientists sometimes make light of philosophy, science relies on a variety of philosophical assumptions, such as the idea that there are laws of nature. Many of these arose during the Scientific Revolution with the rejection of Aristotelianism. Here we consider the theological motivations behind several key examples. While science is now officially naturalistic, its rise depended in part on theology.
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  16. Intelligent Design and the End of Science.Jeffrey Koperski - 2003 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):567-588.
    In his recent anthology, Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against Intelligent Design, there are many interesting topics in the philosophy of science to be found. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing intrinsically unscientific about Intelligent Design. At (...)
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  17.  86
    Models.Jeffrey Koperski - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The word “model” is highly ambiguous, and there is no uniform terminology used by either scientists or philosophers. Here, a model is considered to be a representation of some object, behavior, or system that one wants to understand. This article presents the most common type of models found in science as well as the different relations—traditionally called “analogies”—between models and between a given model and its subject. Although once considered merely heuristic devices, they are now seen as indispensable to modern (...)
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  18. Creationism.Jeffrey Koperski - 2006 - In Gary Laderman & Arri Eisen (eds.), Science, Religion, and Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Controversy. Sharpe Reference.
    Creationism is usually paired these days with evolution, as in “The Creation vs. Evolution Debate.” Although there is something right about that, it is not the whole story. The controversy is older than Darwin and touches on far more than biological evolution. In this chapter, we consider broader questions about the origin of the universe and the relation between science and Scripture: How old is the universe? If God created it, how did he do so? How should we interpret the (...)
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  19.  9
    Divine Action and the Laws of Nature.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 146–196.
    Theologians and philosophers have argued against an interventionist view of divine action for centuries. Although God could intervene in the natural order, they believe that God does not and will not. This chapter first considers the arguments against the traditional, interventionist view of divine action. There are five main reasons why divine intervention has come under fire in recent decades: (i) an incompetent god; (ii) a capricious or inconsistent god; (iii) the problem of evil; (iv) the god of the gaps; (...)
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  20. Think pieces.Carl S. Helrjch, Peter E. Hodgson, Nicholas T. Saunders, Jeffrey Koperski, Ursula Goodenough Religiopoiesis, Ursula Goodenough, Loyal Rue, David Knight, Phiup Cl-Ayton & Joseph M. Zycinski - 2000 - Zygon 35 (3-4):716.
  21. Think pieces.Peter E. Hodgson, Nigholas T. Saunders, Jeffrey Koperski, Ursula Goodenough Religiopoiesis, Ursula Goodenough, Loyal Rue, David Knight, Philip Clayton, Joseph M. Zycinski & Michael Heller - 2000 - Zygon 35 (3-4):716.
  22.  17
    Abrahamic Reflections on Randomness and Providence.Jeffrey Koperski & Kelly James Clark (eds.) - 2021 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    This open access book addresses the question of how God can providentially govern apparently ungovernable randomness. Medieval theologians confidently held that God is provident, that is, God is the ultimate cause of or is responsible for everything that happens. However, scientific advances since the 19th century pose serious challenges to traditional views of providence. From Darwinian evolution to quantum mechanics, randomness has become an essential part of the scientific worldview. An interdisciplinary team of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars—biologists, physicists, philosophers (...)
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  23.  8
    Fine‐Tuning and Cosmology.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 58–101.
    This chapter considers two types of fine‐tuning, those dealing with the initial conditions of the universe and those based on fixed parameters. Three approaches have been taken to argue that fine‐tuning does not need any special explanation. The first is an appeal to coincidence. The second is that the data are biased by our own observations. The third has to do with the nature of probability itself. The chapter assesses each of these objections in detail. Many naturalistic explanations have been (...)
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  24.  25
    Intelligent Design and the End of Science.Jeffrey Koperski - 2003 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):569-590.
    In his recent anthology, Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the volume’s rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against Intelligent Design, it touches upon many interesting topics in the philosophy of science. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing intrinsically unscientific about Intelligent Design. At this (...)
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  25.  4
    Introduction.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 1–10.
    Theologians and philosophers of religion often look to science, especially physics, for ideas. They want to know how the world was created, how God might interact with it, and whether there are any fingerprints of divine action. This chapter considers the recent history of cosmology. Modern cosmology has never just been about science. Although Einstein's field equations for general relativity showed that the universe would expand or contract over time, that idea did not square with his philosophical views. The back (...)
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  26.  63
    Metatheoretic Shaping Principles: Where Science meets Theology.Jeffrey Koperski - 2011 - In William Hasker Thomas Jay Oord & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), God in an Open Universe.
    Scientific knowledge is often categorized as experimental or theoretical. There is, however, a third layer where philosophy of science and science proper overlap, the realm of metatheoretic shaping principles. For example, we assume that the causal regularities observed today will also hold tomorrow. Researchers are thereby relying on two metaphysical doctrines: the uniformity of nature and mechanistic causation. There are also the “explanatory virtues” of simplicity, testability, internal and external coherence, fruitfulness, and wide scope. My first goal is to categorize (...)
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  27.  2
    Naturalisms and Design.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 197–224.
    Intelligent design (ID) raises several challenges for the relation between science and religion. One's views on these matters ramify across the other sciences, including physics. Can design, especially supernatural design, play any legitimate role in science? Is the ID question just a matter of evidence? What is the proper role for naturalism in all this? These are important questions in the philosophy of science. Before taking them up, this chapter briefly looks at the core concepts used in ID today. There (...)
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  28.  3
    Reduction and Emergence.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 225–245.
    This chapter considers the arguments for and against reductionism and then considers its main rival: emergence. A large part of the reductionist program is generally considered a failure. Philosophers of science have been chipping away at reductionist claims for a couple of decades now. Philosopher Jaegwon Kim has been a central figure in matters of reduction, supervenience, and emergence. He presents three related puzzles for the antireductionist: causal redundancy; downward causation and causal drainage. According to the author, reduction and emergence (...)
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  29.  8
    Relativity, Time, and Free Will.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 102–145.
    Physics has often undermined the notion of free will, and philosophers have been concerned about this for many reasons. One is that freedom seems to be a necessary condition for moral responsibility. This chapter explains how special theory of relativity (STR) leads to the idea that there is no flow of time. It analyzes several proposals that reintroduce a classical view of time without violating relativity. The chapter suggests two ways in which the philosophy of science can add some helpful (...)
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  30.  4
    Science and Religion.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 11–57.
    To understand the relation between science and religion, this chapter begins with some history. It starts with ancient Greece, tracing the influence of Aristotelian thought into the late Middle Ages. A turning point occurs in the 14th century with attacks on Aristotelian/ Thomism. This shift reverberates through Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, and the early modern era. After the overview of history, the chapter considers the overall structure of science and several models used to describe its relationship to religion. At the end, (...)
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  31.  6
    The Philosophy of Science Tool Chest.Jeffrey Koperski - 2014 - In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 246–274.
    This chapter looks at approaches developed by philosophers of science that may be useful to those working in religion, theology, and the philosophy of religion. Philosophers of science have spent a lot of time thinking about how theories change, what to do with surprising data and conflicting explanations, and what to say when we need more categories than true and false. Sometimes, all this is hidden behind terms such as antirealism, paradigm, verisimilitude, and inference to the best explanation. The author (...)
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  32.  16
    Review: Divine Action, Determinism, and the Laws of Nature. [REVIEW]Jeffrey Koperski - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (2):211-213.
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  33. Hume's Abject Failure: The Argument Against Miracles. [REVIEW]Jeffrey Koperski - 2002 - Philosophia Christi 4 (2):558-563.
  34.  81
    BAS C. VAN FRAASSEN: The Empirical Stance. [REVIEW]Jeffrey Koperski - 2004 - Faith and Philosophy 21 (2):256-259.
  35. Book Review. [REVIEW]Jeffrey Koperski - 2002 - Philosophia Christi 4 (2):558-562.
     
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  36.  51
    The Design Revolution. [REVIEW]Jeffrey Koperski - 2004 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):674-679.