Michael J Zenzen
Professor, Cognitive Science
Research interests: Philosophy of science and foundations of physics, especially the use of mathematics in the construction of physical theory.
Modern physics presents extraordinary challenges to our intuition and "common sense." I am interested in the general relation between rationality and intuition, and in particular, the use of formalism to extend our intuitive understanding.
Case studies of the developmental stages of physical theory (special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, and strig theory) provide examples of abductive, inductive, and statistical reasoning while showing the interaction between intuitive and mathematical thought processes.
My guiding research question is: To what extent is "intuition" dependent on how it is represented and to what extent is it malleable and educable?