100 books like Semio Physics

By R. Thom, Vendla Meyer (translator),

Here are 100 books that Semio Physics fans have personally recommended if you like Semio Physics. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Glass Bead Game

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Author Of Memory Evolutive Systems: Hierarchy, Emergence, Cognition: Volume 4

From my list on mathematical approaches to complex systems.

Why are we passionate about this?

An accident of professional life led us, Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch and Andrée Ehresmann, to meet in 1979. Jean-Paul was then a young physician who was also interested in problems of emergence and complexity. Andrée was a mathematician working in Analysis and, more recently, in Category Theory with Charles Ehresmann (her late husband). With Charles, she shared the idea that: “a category theory approach could open a wealth of possibilities to the understanding of complex processes of any kind.”This idea appealed to Jean-Paul who suggested that we both try applying it to problems of emergence, complexity, and cognition. It led to our 40 years old development of MES. 

Andrée and Jean-Paul's book list on mathematical approaches to complex systems

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Why did Andrée and Jean-Paul love this book?

The first three books contributed to the development of new categorical notions for our MES theory. Our fourth book takes a different turn, narrating the tale of an austere order of intellectuals secluded in Castalia, where they essentially engage in the cultivation and play of the Glass Bead Game. This game represents an abstract synthesis of all arts and sciences, stimulating creativity.

From what is said about the rules of the game, and in terms of Margareth Boden (well known for her research on creativity and A.I. ), this game satisfies Boden’s rules for combinatory and exploratory creativity but not for transformational one. We posed the mathematical challenge of modifying the game's rules to enable transformational creativity and, utilizing MES; we gave conditions for this to become possible.

By Hermann Hesse, Clara Winston (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Glass Bead Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Glass Bead Game is an ultra-aesthetic game which is played by the scholars, creamed off in childhood and nurtured in elite schools, in the province of Castalia. The Master of the Glass Bead Game, Joseph Knecht, holds the most exalted office in Castalia. He personifies the detachment, serenity and aesthetic vision which reward a life dedicated to perfection of the intellect. But can, indeed should, man live isolated from hunger, family, children, women, in a perfect world where passions are tamed by meditation, where academic discipline and order are paramount? This is Herman Hesse’s great novel. It is a…


Book cover of The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory Of Consciousness

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Author Of Memory Evolutive Systems: Hierarchy, Emergence, Cognition: Volume 4

From my list on mathematical approaches to complex systems.

Why are we passionate about this?

An accident of professional life led us, Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch and Andrée Ehresmann, to meet in 1979. Jean-Paul was then a young physician who was also interested in problems of emergence and complexity. Andrée was a mathematician working in Analysis and, more recently, in Category Theory with Charles Ehresmann (her late husband). With Charles, she shared the idea that: “a category theory approach could open a wealth of possibilities to the understanding of complex processes of any kind.”This idea appealed to Jean-Paul who suggested that we both try applying it to problems of emergence, complexity, and cognition. It led to our 40 years old development of MES. 

Andrée and Jean-Paul's book list on mathematical approaches to complex systems

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Why did Andrée and Jean-Paul love this book?

This book by G. Edelman played an important role in the development of our mathematical MES theory for complex "living" systems. Our specific application of MES to neuro-cognitive systems, named MENS, represents a kind of mathematical translation of Edelman’s book into Category Theory. 

Specifically, leveraging the categorical concept of a 'colimit,' we expand upon Edelman's principle of the "degeneracy of the neural code" by introducing a form of non-isomorphic redundancy termed the Multiplicity Principle (MP), wherein the system admits multifaceted components. Subsequently, we establish a significant result: if an MES adheres to the MP, the system is reliant not on pure reductionism but rather on an "emergentist-reductionism" as defined by the philosopher and physicist Mario Bunge.

By Gerald Edelman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Remembered Present as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A genuine understanding of how mental states arise from the structure and function of the brain would be, as William James declared in 1892, "the scientific achievement before which all past achievements would pale." Can a comprehensive biological theory of consciousness be constructed in 1990? Any attempt has to reconcile evidence garnered from such diverse fields as developmental and evolutionary biology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy.Having laid the groundwork in his critically acclaimed books Neural Darwinism (Basic Books, 1987) and Topobiology (Basic Books, 1988), Nobel laureate Gerald M. Edelman now proposes a comprehensive theory of consciousness in…


Book cover of Janus: A Summing Up

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Author Of Memory Evolutive Systems: Hierarchy, Emergence, Cognition: Volume 4

From my list on mathematical approaches to complex systems.

Why are we passionate about this?

An accident of professional life led us, Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch and Andrée Ehresmann, to meet in 1979. Jean-Paul was then a young physician who was also interested in problems of emergence and complexity. Andrée was a mathematician working in Analysis and, more recently, in Category Theory with Charles Ehresmann (her late husband). With Charles, she shared the idea that: “a category theory approach could open a wealth of possibilities to the understanding of complex processes of any kind.”This idea appealed to Jean-Paul who suggested that we both try applying it to problems of emergence, complexity, and cognition. It led to our 40 years old development of MES. 

Andrée and Jean-Paul's book list on mathematical approaches to complex systems

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Why did Andrée and Jean-Paul love this book?

We appreciate this book because it helped us to introduce the concept of a ‘hierarchical category,’ which is necessary to describe our MES. We accomplished this by translating Koestler's concept of a "hierarchy of holons," where a holon embodies a 'hybrid nature' akin to a two-faced Janus.

Technically, a hierarchical category organizes objects into numbered levels (0 to m). An object at level n is dual-faced: 'simple' compared to levels above n, but 'complex' compared to levels < n, this object being the "colimit" (or combination) of linked objects < n. Within a hierarchical category, we compute the 'complexity order' for each object. The category aligns with pure reductionism if it lacks objects with a complexity order greater than 1.

By Arthur Koestler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Janus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excellent Book


Book cover of Innovation beyond Fiction: An Imaginative Play with Mathematics

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Author Of Memory Evolutive Systems: Hierarchy, Emergence, Cognition: Volume 4

From my list on mathematical approaches to complex systems.

Why are we passionate about this?

An accident of professional life led us, Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch and Andrée Ehresmann, to meet in 1979. Jean-Paul was then a young physician who was also interested in problems of emergence and complexity. Andrée was a mathematician working in Analysis and, more recently, in Category Theory with Charles Ehresmann (her late husband). With Charles, she shared the idea that: “a category theory approach could open a wealth of possibilities to the understanding of complex processes of any kind.”This idea appealed to Jean-Paul who suggested that we both try applying it to problems of emergence, complexity, and cognition. It led to our 40 years old development of MES. 

Andrée and Jean-Paul's book list on mathematical approaches to complex systems

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Why did Andrée and Jean-Paul love this book?

The last book on our list is a recent addition, distinguished by its illustrative format and contemporary content; in particular. Structured uniquely, it comprises three parts (plus a foreword). 

The first section, titled "The Innovator’s Odyssey," narrates the journey of a young innovator designer grappling with bureaucratic hurdles in organizational settings. Amidst these challenges, he embarks on a quest for a "mathesis singularis"–a unique mathematical framework to aid innovation management. This quest leads him to discover our MES book.

The second part features an insightful interview with the author, offering valuable insights into the book's creation. Lastly, the third section includes a short Mathematical Appendix (for further exploration).

By Mathias Bejean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Innovation beyond Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is about mathematics in the management of innovation, showing how recent advances in mathematics help us grasp and support innovation as a social activity of thinking and imagining together. It will make the reader rethink both innovation and mathematics by having them interplay in practical organizational settings.Told as fiction to make its argument more accessible, the book is nonetheless grounded in theoretical reflections and recent mathematical advances. In recounting the adventures of a committed and enthusiastic inventor-designer hampered by the increasing industrial bureaucratization of his world, it accounts for the fate of many innovation processes in large companies…


Book cover of Oxford Physics in the Thirteenth Century: (Ca. 1250-1270) Motion, Infinity, Place and Time

Peter Adamson Author Of Medieval Philosophy: A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, Volume 4

From my list on a fresh approach to medieval philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a professor of philosophy in Munich who has been working on various aspects of medieval philosophy for nearly three decades. My own research is on philosophy in the Islamic world but I've always been fascinated by philosophy in medieval Christian Europe. What I find most interesting is the way medieval philosophy constantly overturns our expectations: we imagine that this was a deeply conservative and highly controlled society where it was almost impossible to explore new ideas. Yet, it was an incredibly diverse and innovative time in the history of human thought. Thanks to my History of Philosophy podcast project I had the chance to delve deeply into medieval philosophy in Latin Christendom.

Peter's book list on a fresh approach to medieval philosophy

Peter Adamson Why did Peter love this book?

This book is perhaps aimed more at specialist scholars but I wanted to suggest it nonetheless because it does such a good job of getting across three important points about medieval philosophy. First, it is not about theology but physics so shows the thematic range of medieval philosophy. Second, it is mostly about works by philosophers who are anonymous: Trifogli talks about commentaries on Aristotle with no names attached to them. It turns out there are many, many such works and they tend to be overlooked even though they are innovative, simply because we have no name to put to the ideas. Third, it’s clear throughout the book that these commentators were responding to philosophers from the Islamic world, especially Ibn Rushd (Averroes). So it illustrates the relevance of cross-cultural contacts for medieval thought.

By Cecilia Trifogli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oxford Physics in the Thirteenth Century as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume deals with the reception of Aristotle's natural philosophy in Oxford between 1250 and 1270. It examines a group of ten unedited commentaries on Aristotle's Physics.
This book consists of four main chapters devoted respectively to the concepts of motion, infinity, place, and time. Topics included are the question about the nature of motion, the discussion of the actual infinity in numbers, the relation between Aristotle's concepts of place in the Physics and in the Categories, the debate about the reality and the unicity of time.
This book offers a comprehensive philosophical analysis of a hitherto unexplored phase of…


Book cover of Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution

Tim Maudlin Author Of Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory

From my list on quantum theory and its history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of philosophy at New York University, but my interests have always fallen at the intersection of physics and philosophy. Unable to commit to just one side or the other, I got a joint degree in Physics and Philosophy from Yale and a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. My fascination with Bell’s Theorem began when I read an article in Scientific American in 1979, and I have been trying to get to the bottom of things ever since. My most recent large project is a Founder and Director of the John Bell Institute for the Foundations of Physics.

Tim's book list on quantum theory and its history

Tim Maudlin Why did Tim love this book?

Beller did a lot of the historical work that Becker relies on, delving deeply into the personal interaction between Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and the other founders of quantum theory. The presentation is more scholarly than Becker’s but is a goldmine for anyone who wants to understand the fine details of how quantum theory emerged from that set of distinctive personalities.

By Mara Beller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quantum Dialogue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work seeks to show that science is rooted not just in conversation but in disagreement, doubt and uncertainty. Mara Beller argues that it is precisely this culture of dialogue and controversy within the scientific community that fuels creativity. Beller draws her argument from her reading of the history of the quantum revolution, especially the development of the Copenhagen interpretation. One of several competing approaches, this version succeeded largely due to the rhetorical skills of Niels Bohr and his colleagues. Using archival research, Beller shows how Bohr and others marketed their views, misrepresenting and dismissing their opponents as "unreasonable" and…


Book cover of How Physics Makes Us Free

John T. Maier Author Of Options and Agency

From my list on defending the reality of free will.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a philosopher and psychotherapist, with a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Princeton. From the beginning of my work in philosophy, I have been interested in the nature of agency: what is it to be an agent, and how is agency even possible in the first place? These questions naturally drew me to the metaphysics of free will, as well as related topics in the logic and semantics of agentive modality (that is, the kind of possibility and necessity that is characteristic of agents). Much of my recent work has been on more clinical issues, especially on understanding addiction. I continue to be fascinated by fundamental topics in metaphysics, and especially the question of free will.

John's book list on defending the reality of free will

John T. Maier Why did John love this book?

Ismael is one of our leading philosophers of physics, and of fundamental questions more generally.

This book is a comprehensive exploration of the intersection of physics and free will, with the surprising moral signaled by her title. Properly understood, contemporary physics, even if it is deterministic, does not threaten free will. On the contrary, it helps to explain how free beings like us are possible in the first place.

By J.T. Ismael,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How Physics Makes Us Free as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1687 Isaac Newton ushered in a new scientific era in which laws of nature could be used to predict the movements of matter with almost perfect precision. Newton's physics also posed a profound challenge to our self-understanding, however, for the very same laws that keep airplanes in the air and rivers flowing downhill tell us that it is in principle possible to predict what each of us will do every second of our entire lives, given the early conditions of the
universe.

Can it really be that even while you toss and turn late at night in the throes…


Book cover of Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality

Richard Botelho Author Of The Full Extent: An Inquiry Into Reality and Destiny

From my list on reality and destiny.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author, thinker, philosopher, and social critic. My previous books include gold award winner The New Individualism: Personal Change to Transform Society, Leah’s Way, and Reason for Existence. My works are used in hundreds of colleges and universities and have been featured in several publications. I received my B.A. in Government and M.A. in Government from California State University, Sacramento. My thesis was entitled “Toward a Credible Central Intelligence Agency.” The research included interviews with the intelligence community and national security officials, including a former CIA Director. That process enabled vast insights into the structures and functions of society, specifically the confluence of politics, economics, power, technology, security, order, religion, and transformation.

Richard's book list on reality and destiny

Richard Botelho Why did Richard love this book?

Another wonderful examination of the foundational nature of Consciousness in the universe. Levy makes the subject matter easy to understand. In many ways, this book is an imploration for the public to comprehend the quantum discoveries of the past century since such mass awareness can fundamentally change our world. Reality is not as it appears and the public deserves to know the truth.

Book cover of The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism

Dave Pruett Author Of Reason and Wonder: A Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit

From my list on bridging science and spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

A late bloomer—Ph.D. at 38, married at 39, father at 47—I struggled to “individuate,” torn between my rational nature, inherited from Dad, and my intuitive side from Mom. Serendipitously, in mid-life, I happened upon an extraordinary mentor, the late Quaker mystic John Yungblut. Through John, I encountered shining examples of those who successfully navigated the “struggle of the mystic,” among them the iconic psychoanalyst Carl Jung and the French paleontologist-priest Teilhard de Chardin. As I subsequently achieved some success at individuation, I came to see my struggle as symptomatic of broader tensions within Western society: the perennial conflict between science and religion. Reason and Wonder celebrates both modes of knowing.

Dave's book list on bridging science and spirituality

Dave Pruett Why did Dave love this book?

This transformational classic, first published in 1975 and now translated into nearly two dozen languages, pioneered the integration of modern scientific insights from quantum mechanics with ancient spiritual wisdom.

I read it in mid-life when I was struggling to integrate my own identity, torn between competing poles: the rational and the intuitive. There were so many “Aha” passages in this brilliant book, but the fundamental insight is “both-and,” not “either-or.” At root, science and spirituality are complementary, not antagonistic.

Capra’s motivation for writing the book: “Physicists do not need mysticism, and mystics do not need physics, but humanity needs both.” Metaphorically speaking, we human beings are amphibians occupying two worlds: physical and spiritual. This book helped me to embrace both.

By Fritjof Capra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tao of Physics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special edition of the “brilliant” best-selling classic on the paradoxes of modern physics and their relationship to concepts of Eastern mysticism (New York Magazine)
 
The Tao of Physics brought the mystical implications of subatomic physics to popular consciousness for the very first time. Many books have been written in the ensuing years about the connections between quantum theory and the ideas of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism, but Fritjof Capra’s text serves as the foundation on which the others have been built—and its wisdom has stood the test of time. Its publication in more than twenty-three languages stands as testimony…


Book cover of Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity: Metaphysical Intimations of Modern Physics

Nicolas Gisin Author Of Quantum Chance: Nonlocality, Teleportation and Other Quantum Marvels

From my list on nonlocality, teleportation, and other quantum marvels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am totally fascinated by the quest of how Nature does it. In particular, I love the fact that humans managed to enters the strange world of atoms and photons by just using their brute intellectual force and imagination. This world obeys precise rules, but very different ones from those we get used to since childhood. For example, the laws that govern the microscopic world allow for indeterminacy and randomness. Moreover, some random events may manifest themselves at several locations at once, leading to the phenomenon of quantum non-locality. I am very fortunate that I could spend all my professional time on such fascinating conceptual questions, combined with highly timely new technologies.

Nicolas' book list on nonlocality, teleportation, and other quantum marvels

Nicolas Gisin Why did Nicolas love this book?

This is a wonderful and highly convincing analysis of quantum non-locality, written by one of the top expert philosophers of science. Personally, I learned a lot from this book, which clearly influenced me and helped me to become an expert in the field. The book goes deep into explaining why we live in a world full of non-local correlations and what that means. It analyses in depth the tension between quantum non-locality and relativity. Moreover, it contains several original ideas, like, e.g., how many bits of communication are needed to simulate quantum non-locality. It is still today a very timely book.

By Tim Maudlin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Modern physics was born from two great revolutions: relativity and quantum theory. Relativity imposed a locality constraint on physical theories: since nothing can go faster than light, very distant events cannot influence one another. Only in the last few decades has it become clear that quantum theory violates this constraint. The work of J. S. Bell has demonstrated that no local theory can return the predictions of quantum theory. Thus it would seem that the central pillars of modern physics are contradictory. Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity examines the nature and possible resolution of this conflict. Beginning with accurate but non-technical…


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