This is the WordPress website of author Deal Rasmussen. There are over a dozen faces pictured in the rocks, above.
Excerpts are available from the menu. Book descriptions follow.
Books are available (from Amazon) here.
BOOK DESCRIPTION, INVERSE ATOMISM: describing the simple in terms of the complex (2017)
This book can be understood in comparison with the latest theories in mathematics, where numbers are defined by their relationships with other numbers rather than being what they are in their own right, absent those relationships. The mathematicians claim that science, being about physical objects rather than abstractions like numbers, has nothing like it. But this book makes the case that science still has a different yet comparable approach. Science describes simple objects as having complex qualities, such as describing molecules as being in equilibrium with other molecules (and an equilibrium, like numbers, is about the logic of relationships).
The book shows how science routinely describes events in this manner—it is a different way to see the “scientific method”—so that what a thing even “is” in science depends on how it fits logically with others, not just depend on its physical traits. (A molecule is not just a thing but “a thing in equilibrium”). The argument is that science doesn’t so much define objects by their relationships (as in math) as it describes them in terms of expansive qualities (such as equilibria) which, like numbers, have a logic to what they are.
The book explores the broad philosophical implications of that, for our conceptions of science, truth, causality, absolutes, and other applications.
BOOK DESCRIPTION, THE ENERGYISTS (2014)
Modern philosophy tends to take its inspiration from how science describes forces, to arrive at philosophical notions such as causation. But it is also possible to take our inspiration from how science describes energy. When a boulder rolls down a hillside, physicists can calculate its impact by summing all the forces working on it as it bumps its way to the bottom, but they can also get the same answer simply by subtracting its energy at the bottom from that at the top. So why does it work to ignore all the cause-and-effect? (Energy does not even have a direction to it, as do forces and causation).
This book explores how scientists think in terms of energy and how a philosophy based on that might appear. It describes Lagrangian dynamics, which solves even problems in mechanics in terms of energy rather than forces. (The book might be considered a primer on Lagrangian approaches for students of the humanities). And whereas most accounts of how the world works start with the notion of the essences of things and with laws being carried out, this book starts with Brownian motion and with how things move randomly from having energy in them. Then it shows how the world works because of how biasing enables the random motions to become organized into complex structures and actions.
Finally, the book explores the paradoxes of Lagrangian mechanics which, although not the same as the more famous paradoxes of quantum mechanics, are in many ways just as mysterious.
Both books are available (from Amazon) here.
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