Friday, May 4, 2007

New online journal - request for contributions

Ulrich Mohrhoff, author of the Pondicherry interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, is launching a new online journal called AntiMatters.

Ulrich is inviting contributions for the inaugural issue of AntiMatters. Here is an excerpt from the journal's statement of focus and scope:

Focus and Scope
Materialism, in one form or another, is still widely accepted as the overarching framework for discussing issues not only in science but also in the humanities. AntiMatters is dedicated to illuminating these issues from nonmaterialistic perspectives.

Materialism is by nature pluralistic. It assigns ultimate reality to a multitude (particles, spacetime points, monads, actual occasions, bits, q-bits, etc.). It models reality "from the bottom up." Its principal explanatory concepts are composition and interaction, to which modern field theories have added the concept of instantiation (usually of physical properties by spacetime points).

AntiMatters encourages the exploration of ontologies that are essentially monistic, not because they aim to reduce reality to a single category such as matter or mind, but because they assign ultimate reality to an entity or principle that is intrinsically one. Such ontologies model reality "from the top down," using novel explanatory concepts such as differentiation, manifestation, emanation, or emergence (and probably others that no one has though of yet).

AntiMatters is for those who are uncomfortable with (or unconvinced of) materialism, or who favor a non-materialistic world view. Such persons are oftentimes unaware of how much of what is claimed to have been scientifically established is actually spurious. For their benefit, the Journal aims to critically examine the alleged scientific evidence for materialism. While authors are expected to respect and take account of all relevant empirical data, they should bear in mind that empirical data are inevitably theory-laden and paradigm-dependent, and that theories and paradigms, being to a considerable extent social constructions, are relative.

Science operates within an interpretative framework that formulates questions and interprets answers. This framework is itself not testable. AntiMatters wants to serve as a platform for the comparative study of alternative interpretative frameworks. The Journal emphasizes the following criteria for the evaluation of such frameworks:

(i) Consistency with all empirical data, not only the quantifiable ones but also those obtained through phenomenological methods, altered states of consciousness, and mystical or spiritual experience.

(ii) An appropriate ontological status for what we value most, such as happiness, self-fulfillment, excellence — the Platonic trinity of beauty, good, and truth.

The Journal wants to set high intellectual standards, without sacrificing substance. Style is important, but more so is content. Positive thinking is as essential as clarity of exposition. Deconstruction for its own sake qualifies as little as religious dogma.

It is not the (primary) aim of AntiMatters to "convert" die-hard materialists. Instead, the Journal offers non-materialists the opportunity of a stimulating exchange of views. It will invite comments on articles that are accepted for publication and encourage comments on published articles. Authors will of course be allowed to respond to comments.

Discussions of "anomalies", which are neglected or ignored by mainstream science, also fall within the scope of the Journal.

Looks like a very worthy project. We wish Ulrich a great deal of success with this new project and invite readers of AMNAP to consider contributing material.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, M.C. !
- Ulrich

M.C. said...

You're most welcome. I'm very much looking forward to reading the first issue.