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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
Anaximander
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
George Berkeley
Isaiah Berlin
Richard J. Bernstein
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
Michael Burke
Lawrence Cahoone
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Carneades
Nancy Cartwright
Gregg Caruso
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Austin Farrer
Herbert Feigl
Arthur Fine
John Martin Fischer
Frederic Fitch
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Bas van Fraassen
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Gorgias
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
Sam Harris
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
Heraclitus
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
Frank Jackson
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Walter Kaufmann
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Thomas Kuhn
Andrea Lavazza
Christoph Lehner
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Jules Lequyer
Leucippus
Michael Levin
Joseph Levine
George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
C. Lloyd Morgan
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
Arthur O. Lovejoy
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
Alasdair MacIntyre
Ruth Barcan Marcus
James Martineau
Nicholas Maxwell
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
Thomas Nagel
Otto Neurath
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
Parmenides
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Porphyry
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Protagoras
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
Isabelle Stengers
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
Voltaire
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
C.F. von Weizsäcker
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

David Albert
Michael Arbib
Walter Baade
Bernard Baars
Jeffrey Bada
Leslie Ballentine
Marcello Barbieri
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Mara Beller
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Jean Bricmont
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Melvin Calvin
Donald Campbell
Sadi Carnot
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Gregory Chaitin
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Rudolf Clausius
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
Jerry Coyne
John Cramer
Francis Crick
E. P. Culverwell
Antonio Damasio
Olivier Darrigol
Charles Darwin
Richard Dawkins
Terrence Deacon
Lüder Deecke
Richard Dedekind
Louis de Broglie
Stanislas Dehaene
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Gerald Edelman
Paul Ehrenfest
Manfred Eigen
Albert Einstein
George F. R. Ellis
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
David Foster
Joseph Fourier
Philipp Frank
Steven Frautschi
Edward Fredkin
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A. O. Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Dirk ter Haar
Jacques Hadamard
Mark Hadley
Patrick Haggard
J. B. S. Haldane
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Ralph Hartley
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Donald Hebb
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Basil Hiley
Art Hobson
Jesper Hoffmeyer
Don Howard
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
E. T. Jaynes
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Martin J. Klein
William R. Klemm
Christof Koch
Simon Kochen
Hans Kornhuber
Stephen Kosslyn
Daniel Koshland
Ladislav Kovàč
Leopold Kronecker
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Joseph LeDoux
Gilbert Lewis
Benjamin Libet
David Lindley
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
Owen Maroney
Humberto Maturana
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
John McCarthy
Warren McCulloch
N. David Mermin
George Miller
Stanley Miller
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Alexander Oparin
Abraham Pais
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Henry Quastler
Adolphe Quételet
Lord Rayleigh
Jürgen Renn
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Tilman Sauer
Jürgen Schmidhuber
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Sebastian Seung
Thomas Sebeok
Claude Shannon
Charles Sherrington
David Shiang
Abner Shimony
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
Edmund Sinnott
B. F. Skinner
Lee Smolin
Ray Solomonoff
Roger Sperry
John Stachel
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
Max Tegmark
Teilhard de Chardin
Libb Thims
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Giulio Tononi
Peter Tse
Francisco Varela
Vlatko Vedral
Mikhail Volkenstein
Heinz von Foerster
Richard von Mises
John von Neumann
Jakob von Uexküll
C. H. Waddington
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
Herman Weyl
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
Günther Witzany
Stephen Wolfram
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek
Konrad Zuse
Fritz Zwicky

Presentations

Biosemiotics
Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
 
About the Information Philosopher
Information Philosophy (I-Phi) is a new philosophical method grounded in science, especially modern physics, biology, psychology, neuroscience, and the science of information. Information philosophy offers novel solutions to classical problems in philosophy, notably freedom of the will, the objective foundation of values, and the problem of knowledge (epistemology). Insights into human freedom and cosmic values form the basis for a new system of belief and a guide to moral conduct.

Information analysis also provides insight into several problems in modern physics, including a new interpretation of quantum mechanics and the quantum irreversibility that underlies the second law of thermodynamics. Perhaps most importantly, it explains how life, mind, purpose, and consciousness entered the material universe.

Bob Doyle is the Information Philosopher. He has possibly read more works of philosophers and scientists than any other modern thinker, and has critically analyzed and written about the key ideas of hundreds of them on these
I-Phi web pages, as seen in the left navigation.

Bob is now an Associate in the Harvard Astronomy Department. He and his wife Holly, earned Ph.D's in Astrophysics from Harvard University in 1968. Anti-nepotism rules prevented them from getting academic positions in the same university (long since eliminated by the rise of feminism). Bob decided to become an entrepreneur in the hopes of earning an independent income so he and Holly could remain in Cambridge near Harvard. There Bob could pursue his lifelong interest in some great problems in philosophy, using the resources of Harvard's excellent libraries.

Bob's Ph.D. thesis was on the quantum mechanics of the hydrogen quasi-molecule (two atoms in collision) and the interaction of matter with radiation that he saw makes atomic collisions ontologically indeterministic and irreversible.

Bob was the secretary of NASA's Astronomy Missions Board from 1968 to 1972 and he edited A Long-Range Program in Space Astronomy, which NASA submitted to Congress, leading to the launch of the High Energy Astronomical Observatory HEAO-1 satellite and subsequently the Einstein (HEAO-2) and Chandra observatory-class X-Ray missions.

From the Johnson Spacecraft Center in Houston, Bob coordinated the Collaborative Observing Program for the Skylab astronauts from 1973 to 1974, which allowed 250 astronomical observatories around the world to synchronize their ground-based solar observations with X-Ray images made by the Skylab astronauts using the Apollo Telescope Mount on board Skylab.

From 1973 to 1978, Bob was the CEO of Super8 Sound, where he pioneered double-system synchronous-sound recording and editing for Super8 professional filmmakers.

As a full member of the sound engineering committee of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Bob helped specify standards for digital synchronization signals between Super-8 film cameras, cassette tape recorders, and the Super8 Sound fullcoat magnetic film recorder.

The Super8 Sound Catalog became the definitive equipment reference for Super8 filmmakers. It went through three editions with an average circulation of 15,000 copies.

Hollywood's American Cinematographer magazine devoted the November 1975 issue to Professional Super 8 tools and techniques developed by Super8 Sound.

The legacy of Super8 Sound continues with worldwide support for the Super8 medium at Phil and Rhonda Vigeant's Pro8mm in California. Phil is called "the man who saved Super8." He was one of Super8 Sound's first employees.

Bob holds several patents and is the co-inventor, with his wife Holly Thomis Doyle and brother in law Wendl Thomis, of a number of handheld computer games, including Parker Brothers Merlin (1978), Wildfire (1979), and Stop Thief (1979).

Merlin sold 5.5 million copies in 13 languages and was the most popular game or toy in the US in 1980, according to the Toy Manufacturers of America. Merlin was on the October 1978 cover of Boston Magazine and the December 1978 cover of Newsweek magazine.

In 1979, Bob founded iXO and developed a handheld personal computer terminal he called a "telecomputer" to access airline reservations, banking, stock trading, and many future online services.

It was featured on the cover of BYTE magazine in April 1982 and in an INC magazine article on our electronic games and telecomputer in September 1982.

In 1984, Bob wrote the first desktop publishing program for a personal computer, MacPublisher, for the then new Apple Macintosh computer. Bob was the eleventh certified software developer for the Macintosh. He had previously met with Steve Jobs to discuss licensing of iXO telecomputer technology as a potential Apple "Blueberry."

In 1988, Bob helped Matt and Patrice York launch Videomaker Magazine. Matt had been a Super8 Sound customer and noted that when Super8 Filmaker magazine was launched there were already a few hundred thousand Super8 film cameras, but there was as yet no magazine for videomakers, despite over a million video cameras sold that year.

In the late 1990's Bob was invited to become the "digital video guru" for NewMedia magazine.

In 2003, Bob helped Christopher Lydon and Dave Winer create the first "podcasts." at Harvard's Berkman Center. Winer recently posted an archive of those early podcasts.

Bob spent much of his life building tools to "help communities communicate." He says he "puts the means of production in the hands of the people," not as Karl Marx imagined by nationalizing them, but by making them affordable, even free and "open source."

He provided technical, logistic, and financial support to many individuals and media groups in the Boston area, including the Boston Cyberarts Festival, Boston Film/Video Foundation, Cambridge Community Television, Quad Sound Studios, Harvard Radcliffe Television, and Massachusetts College of Art.

The iTV-Studio is a research and development project by Bob, who has been adapting consumer devices to reduce the cost of film and video tools for nearly fifty years to "help communities communicate."

iTV-Studio is a conversion of Bob's former NewMedia Lab, where studies of early digital video technology were conducted for NewMedia magazine. The lab is now a state-of-the-art multi-camera webcasting facility, from which Bob's online lectures on information philosophy are produced for live streaming.

Open the image below in a new tab to see an ITV-Studio full panorama. The three rolling pedestal cameras at left are being installed at a news webcasting studio for the Harvard Crimson.

Right-click to open a new tab

This iTV-Studio is a one-man operation. While lecturing, Bob switches between 7 Sony PTZ cameras and three media sources (two PCs and two Surface Pros that show his web pages, including YouTube videos, and online Skype guests), using the Black Magic Design ATEM switcher app on an iPad Pro.

Behind these are four DisplayLink screens extending his desktops. To his left on a pull-out drawer are the Sony PTZ camera controller, a laptop PC running his teleprompter software, an audio mixer, and the ATEM multiview screen on the table. The PTZ controller has multiple presets for the seven cameras. To his right on a pull-out drawer are three iPads running the Teradek VidiU app and Teradek Core streaming to YouTube and to CCTV cable television in Cambridge.

Bob was included in a feature film project called "Psi" on free will by French filmmaker Olivier Wright. In the film, Olivier imagines five different lives he might have lived if he had freedom of the will.

Also featured were philosophers and scientists Dan Dennett, Michael Gazzinaga, Bob Kane, Alfred Mele, Galen Strawson, Barry Schwartz, and Max Tegmark.

Information Philosopher Website

Bob's goal for the I-Phi website is to provide web pages on all the major philosophers and scientists who have worked on the problems of freedom, value, and knowledge. Each page has excerpts from the thinker's work and a critical analysis. The original three major sections of the website each have a history of the problem, the relevant physics, biology, cosmology, etc, and pages on the core concepts of the problem. In recent years, sections have been added on the mind, chance, and the quantum.

In 2016, Bob launched Metaphysicist.com to show how information philosophy can solve many problems, puzzles, and paradoxes in metaphysics. As opposed to metaphysicians, who are today mostly analytic language philosophers, a metaphysicist can show that information is physical, but immaterial. Thoughts in minds are immaterial, yet they causally influence the actions of the material brain and body.

Bob had the great privilege of working with some of the world's leading philosophers of the free will problem starting in 2009, when his first published philosophy appeared in Nature.

A paper in William James Studies on the two-stage free-will model of William James got Bob an invitation to the William James Symposium at Harvard in August, 2010 to present a 90-minute seminar (available on YouTube) on his ideas on free will, along with the similar ideas of a dozen scientists and philosophers since James. Since 2010, another dozen thinkers have been discovered who support Bob's two-stage model of free will.

The compatibilist philosopher Daniel Dennett invited Bob to take part in his graduate seminar on free will at Tufts in the Fall of 2010. He submitted many short papers to the seminar on his positions relative to Dennett's.

Bob was invited to present his two-stage model of free will at an "Experts Meeting" on Free Will at the Social Trends Institute in Barcelona, Spain in October, 2010, along with Robert Kane, editor of the Oxford Handbook on Free Will, Alfred Mele, who directed a program at Florida State University that studied free will with a $4.4 million grant from the Templeton Foundation, and Martin Heisenberg (a son of Werner Heisenberg), who claimed in Nature that even the lowest animals have a kind of "behavioral freedom." They are not biological machines reacting predictably to stimuli with programmed responses. They originate actions, stochastically.

In February, 2011, Bob Kane encouraged Bob to turn the Freedom section of this website into a book, which he did amazingly quickly, thanks to Adobe InDesign and a print-on-demand service at the Harvard Book Store in Harvard Square that produced 14 revisions in as many weeks.

Bob's first philosophy book - Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy - was published on June 19, 2011, his 75th birthday. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, along with eBook versions for the Kindle and Nook.

His second book - Great Problems in Philosophy and Physics Solved? - was published on September 15, 2016. HIs third - Metaphysics Problems , Puzzles, and Paradoxes Solved? - appeared in December 2016. They are both available on Amazon.

His fourth book - My God, He Plays Dice! - How Albert Einstein Invented Most of Quantum Mechanics was published in 2019.

All Bob's books are available as free PDF downloads on the I-Phi website.

In addition to his extensive websites (this one and metaphysicist.com) and his printed books, Bob produced fifty lectures on his YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Bob's email is bobdoyle@informationphilosopher.com.

His address and phone number are:
77 Huron Avenue
Cambridge, Mass 02138
617-876-5678
Skype handle:bobdoyle
YouTube channel: infophilosopher
Twitter username: infophilosopher
Facebook page: infophilosopher
I-Phi Blog: i-phi.org

Bob is an Associate in the Astronomy Department, Harvard University
His faculty email is rodoyle@fas.harvard.edu

Bob's philosophical publications
Robert O. Doyle, "Free Will: it’s a normal biological property, not a gift or a mystery," Nature, 459, June 2009, p.1052.

A ten-minute animated tutorial on the Two-Stage Model for Free Will

Robert O. Doyle, "Jamesian Free Will: The Two-Stage Model of William James," William James Studies, June, 2010

Powerpoint presentation at the William James Symposium, August 28, 2010.

Videos of the presentation at William James Symposium:

Part 1, William James' Free Will Model
Part 2, The standard argument against free will.
Part 3, William James.
Part 4, Other Two-Stage Models.
Part 5, How Behavioral Freedom in Animals Evolves to Become Free Will in Humans.
Part 6, Quantum Noise in the Brain Generates Indeterminate Alternative Possibilities.

"The Two-Stage Model of Free Will: How biological freedom in lower animals evolved to become free will in higher animals and humans," submitted to Social Trends Institute for an Experts Meeting on the question "Is Science Compatible with the Desire for Human Freedom?", Barcelona, Spain, October, 2010

Is Science Compatible with Free Will?: Exploring Free Will and Consciousness in the Light of Quantum Physics and Neuroscience (on Amazon)

Powerpoint presentation at the STI Experts Meeting.

Video of presentation at the STI Experts Meeting

Two Steps to Free Will, Harvard Magazine, July-August 2012.

Mente e Libertà? (Mind and Freedom?), Interview, Avvenire, June 4, 2013.

Quantum Physics and the Problem of Mental Causation, presented in Milan, June 6, 2013, at a conference on "Quantum Physics and the Philosophy of Mind." (Slides)

Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy was published in June 2011.

480 pages, 40 figures, 15 sidebars, bibliography, glossary, index.

Philosophers who want to review it can download a PDF or an eBook.

PDFs of the individual chapters are here.

Great Problems in Philosophy (and Physics) Solved? was published in September 2016

472 pages, 45 figures, bibliography, index.

Philosophers who want to review it can download a PDF or an eBook.

PDFs of the individual chapters are here.

Metaphysics: Problems, Paradoxes, and Puzzles Solved? was published in December 2016

428 pages, 13 figures, bibliography, index.

Philosophers who want to review it can download a PDF or an eBook.

PDFs of the individual chapters are here.

My God, He Plays Dice! How Albert Einstein Invented Most of Quantum Mechanics, was published in March, 2019

452 pages, 71 figures, bibliography, index.

PDFs of the draft chapters are here.

His fifth book Bob did not write. He was an editor for David Layzer's book on free will. He did co-write a preface and afterword with Anthony Aguirre. In this book Bob's Harvard colleague and mentor Layzer answers Bob's fundamental question of information philosophy",

Why We are Free was published in March, 2021

168 pages pages, 4 figures, bibliography, index.

An interactive PDF of the book is here.

Paperback and Kindle versions are here

 


Bob on his philosophical background
My life-long love of philosophy began over sixty-five years ago with undergraduate courses at Brown University which were required for my degree in Physics. A course in Ethics made the biggest impression, especially its conclusion that science has absolutely nothing to contribute to the subject. Ethical values must be found in traditional sources like religion and secular humanism. This struck me as odd. As Bertrand Russell had written, "What science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.”

So I took a course in the philosophy of religion taught by Curt Ducasse, who had been a graduate student at Harvard during William James tenure. I learned that moral values are relative to different religious traditions, apart from a few axioms like "thou shalt not kill" and some form of the golden rule that seem to be universals. All ethical and moral values appeared to be relative to particular human cultures.

My third course was Existentialism taught by Vincent Tomas. Existentialism was then the most exciting new philosophy, since analytical philosophy was bogged down in nit-picking arguments over the truth of linguistic statements. I read Friedrich Nietzsche, who saw values as created by human beings. They turn them into truths and moral laws to acquire power over others. They invent gods as virtual enforcers. After the "death of God," Jean-Paul Sartre saw us as free agents, but in the absurd situation of choosing with no moral guides, no objective values.

In my ethics course, I studied various attempts to get values based on reason or human nature or even just on emotions. The English philosophers found us to have decent value systems (e.g., utilitarianism), but no freedom of will. For them, determinism was obviously true. Causality required every action to have a cause, back to Aristotle's first cause. As long as our own determined mind was involved as a cause of our actions and we were not coerced or constrained, this freedom of action was enough for them. They thought it allowed us to accept responsibility for our decisions. I was not so sure.

Freedom without values is absurd. But values without freedom are useless.

At Harvard to get my Ph.D. in the 1960's, I started reading the philosophy literature on my own and building the large Information Philosopher Institute library, which is the foundation for this I-Phi website.

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