Faculty Profiles

Robert Bishop

Robert Bishop, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics and Philosophy;
John and Madeleine McIntyre Chair of Philosophy and History of Science

On Faculty since 2007
Science Center 356

Dr. Bishop's research involves the history and philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, philosophy of social science, philosophy of mind and psychology, and metaphysics. He is particularly interested in chaos and complex systems and their philosophical implications. Dr. Bishop is the area editor for philosophy of science at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and looking for article proposals. See below for a link to submit yours! In his free time, Dr. Bishop enjoys reading, hiking, golf, the arts, music, games and homemade ice cream.

University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D., Philosophy, 1999

University of Texas at Austin
M.A., Physics, 1986

University of Texas at Austin
B.S., Physics, 1984


  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Physics
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences
  • Physics and Free Will
  • Science and Theology


  • American Physical Society: member
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science: member
  • Philosophy of Science Association: member
  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science: member
  • American Scientific Affiliation: Fellow
  • Thermodynamics
  • Particle Physics and Cosmology
  • Senior Seminar
  • Natural Science: Foundations, Methods, Challenges
  • Origins of Science
  • Ideas of Modern Science
  • Theories of Origins
  • History of Cosmology

Dr. Bishop is interested in the foundations of the physical and social sciences. In particular, he explores determinism, irreversibility in statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, nonlinear dynamics and its implications for modeling, hidden cultural and ethical ideals in the social sciences, and the implications of science and its assumptions for theories of mind, free will, and consciousness.

“Contextual Emergence of Physical Properties,” with George Ellis, Foundations of Physics 50 (2020, pp 481-500).

“Why Human Inquiry Is Different than Natural Science Inquiry,” in the Routledge International Handbook of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Brent D. Slife, Stephen C. Yanchar, and Frank C. Richardson eds. (Routledge 2022, pp. 412-431).

“Overcoming Neoliberalism,” with Frank C. Richardson and Jacqueline Garcia-Joslin, Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 38 (2018, pp. 15-28).

“Contextual Emergence of Deterministic and Stochastic Descriptions,” with Peter beim Graben in
From Chemistry to Consciousness: The Legacy of Hans Primas, Harald Atmanspacher and Ulrich Müller-Herold eds. (Springer 2016, pp. 95-110).

“Chaos,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (October 2015).


“Philosophical Hermeneutics and the One and the Many,” with Frank Richardson in Festschrift in Honor of Charles Gugnion, Megan Altman ed. (Springer, 2015, pp. 145-164)

Review Essay: Teleology at Work in the World? Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-
Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, Thomas Nagel, in Mind and Matter 11, no. 2 (2014, pp. 243-255).

“In Bondage to Reason: Evidentialist Atheism and Its Assumptions,” with Joshua Carr, Christian
Scholar’s Review XLII, no. 3 (2013, pp. 221-243).
Review Essay: After Physicalism,ed. Benedikt Göcke, in Essays in Philosophy 14, no. 2 (2013, pp. 269-290)
“God and Methodological Naturalism in the Scientific Revolution and Beyond,” Perspectives on
Science and Christian Faith 65, no. 1 (2013, pp. 10-23).

“A Dialog on Free Will: Robert Bishop,” Methode. Analytic Perspectives 2, no 3 (2013, pp. 20-29).

“Excluding the Causal Exclusion Argument against Nonreductive Physicalism,” Journal of
Consciousness Studies 19, nos. 5-6 (2012, pp. 57-74).

“Fluid Convection, Constraint and Causation,” Interface Focus 2 (2012, pp. 4-12).
“Chaos, Indeterminism and Free Will,” in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, second edition, Robert Kane ed. (Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 84-100).
“Metaphysical and Epistemological Issues in Complex Systems,” in Philosophy of Complex
Systems, vol 10, Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Clifford Hooker volume ed. (North Holland 2011, pp. 119-150).
“Whence Chemistry? Reductionism and Neoreductionism,” Studies in History and Philosophy of
Modern Physics 41 (2010, pp. 171-177).
“Contemporary Views on Compatibilism and Incompatibilism: Dennett and Kane,”Mind and Matter 7 (2009, pp. 91-110).
“What Could Be Worse than the Butterfly Effect?” The Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (2008, pp. 519-548).
“Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties,” with Harald Atmanspacher. Foundations of Physics 36 (2006, pp. 1753-1777).
The Hidden Premise in the Causal Argument for Physicalism,” Analysis 66 (2006, pp. 44-52).
“Patching Physics and Chemistry Together,” Philosophy of Science 72 (2005, pp. 710-722).
A list of all publications is available at ResearchGate Publications

See  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Bishop4/publications

Chaos Theory A Quick Immersion


Emergence in Context A Treatise in Twenty-First Century Natural Philosophy


Hermeneutic Dialogue and Shaping the Landscape of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology The Work of Frank Richardson


The Physics of Emergence Institute of Physics Concise Physics Series


 Faculty Profile Book Cover Crop


The Philosophy of Social Sciences by Robert Bishop Book Cover

Between Chance and Choice by Robert Bishop Book Cover