Citations of:
Philosophy of Cosmology
In Robert Batterman (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 607652 (2013)
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Modern observations based on general relativity indicate that the spatial geometry of the expanding, largescale Universe is very nearly Euclidean. This basic empirical fact is at the core of the socalled “flatness problem”, which is widely perceived to be a major outstanding problem of modern cosmology and as such forms one of the prime motivations behind inflationary models. An inspection of the literature and some further critical reflection however quickly reveals that the typical formulation of this putative problem is fraught (...) 

La relativité générale permet les singularités et nous devons comprendre l'ontologie si nous voulons comprendre la nature de l'espace et du temps dans l'univers d'aujourd'hui. Bien que certains physiciens pensent que les singularités indiquent un échec de la relativité générale, d'autres pensent que les singularités ouvrent un nouvel horizon dans la cosmologie, avec de réels phénomènes physiques pouvant contribuer à un progrès profond dans notre compréhension du monde. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.24491.18728 . 

I present a recent historical case from cosmology—the story of inflationary cosmology—and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems is a reliable method for making progress in science. In particular, I claim that the success of inflationary theory at solving its predecessor’s explanatory problems justified the theory epistemically, even in advance of the development of novel predictions from the theory and the later confirmation of those predictions. 

I discuss how modern cosmology illustrates underdetermination of theoretical hypotheses by data, in ways that are different from most philosophical discussions. I confine the discussion to the history of the observable universe from about one second after the Big Bang, as described by the mainstream cosmological model: in effect, what cosmologists in the early 1970s dubbed the ‘standard model’, as elaborated since then. Or rather, the discussion is confined to a few aspects of that history. I emphasize that despite the (...) 

Singularitățile la care se ajunge în relativitatea generală prin rezolvarea ecuațiilor lui Einstein au fost și încă mai sunt subiectul a numeroase dezbateri științifice: Există sau nu, singularități? Big Bang a fost o singularitate inițială? Dacă singularitățile există, care este ontologia acestora? Este teoria generală a relativității o teorie care șia arătat limitele în acest caz? În acest eseu argumentez faptul că există singularități, iar teoria generală a relativității, ca de altfel oricare altă teorie științifică din prezent, nu este valabilă (...) 

Cosmological arguments for the existence of God face a gap problem. This is the problem of convincingly arguing that their intermediate conclusions that some first cause or necessary being exists provide evidence for their main conclusion that God exists. This paper develops a simple and innovative approach to solving this problem, applicable to many cosmological arguments. According to the proposal, the best explanation for why the necessary being is found to have necessary existence is that it is a perfect being. (...) 

We introduce a novel point of view on the “models as mediators” framework in order to emphasize certain important epistemological questions about models in science which have so far been little investigated. To illustrate how this perspective can help answer these kinds of questions, we explore the use of simplified models in high energy physics research beyond the Standard Model. We show in detail how the construction of simplified models is grounded in the need to mitigate pressing epistemic problems concerning (...) 

Cosmological inflation is widely considered an integral and empirically successful component of contemporary cosmology. It was originally motivated by its solution of certain socalled finetuning problems of the hot big bang model, particularly what are known as the horizon problem and the flatness problem. Although the physics behind these problems is clear enough, the nature of the problems depends on the sense in which the hot big bang model is finetuned and how the alleged finetuning is problematic. Without clear explications (...) 

The singularities from the general relativity resulting by solving Einstein's equations were and still are the subject of many scientific debates: Are there singularities in spacetime, or not? Big Bang was an initial singularity? If singularities exist, what is their ontology? Is the general theory of relativity a theory that has shown its limits in this case? In this essay I argue that there are singularities, and the general theory of relativity, as any other scientific theory at present, is not (...) 

Cosmology raises novel philosophical questions regarding the use of probabilities in inference. This work aims at identifying and assessing lines of arguments and problematic principles in probabilistic reasoning in cosmology. / The first, second, and third papers deal with the intersection of two distinct problems: accounting for selection effects, and representing ignorance or indifference in probabilistic inferences. These two problems meet in the cosmology literature when anthropic considerations are used to predict cosmological parameters by conditionalizing the distribution of, e.g., the (...) 

Several physicists, among them Hawking, Page, Coule, and Carroll, have argued against the probabilistic intuitions underlying finetuning arguments in cosmology and instead propose that the canonical measure on the phase space of FriedmanRobertsonWalker spacetimes should be used to evaluate finetuning. They claim that flat spacetimes in this set are actually typical on this natural measure and that therefore the flatness problem is illusory. I argue that they misinterpret typicality in this phase space and, moreover, that no conclusion can be drawn (...) 

This paper surveys the issue of relativistic causality within the framework of algebraic quantum field theory . In doing so, we distinguish various notions of causality formulated in the literature and study their relationships, and thereby we offer what we hope to be a useful taxonomy. We propose that the most direct expression of relativistic causality in AQFT is captured not by the spectrum condition but rather by the axiom of local primitive causality, in that it entails a form of (...) 

I argue that the CarrollChen cosmogonic model does not provide a plausible scientific explanation of our universe's initial lowentropy state. 

I explain the difficulty of making various concepts of and relating to probability precise, rigorous and physically significant when attempting to apply them in reasoning about objects living in infinitedimensional spaces, working through many examples from cosmology. I focus on the relation of topological to measuretheoretic notions of and relating to probability, how they diverge in unpleasant ways in the infinitedimensional case, and are even difficult to work with on their own. Even in cases where an appropriate family of spacetimes (...) 

Many realist writings exemplify the spirit of ‘recipe realism’. Here I characterise recipe realism, challenge it, and propose replacing it with ‘exemplar realism’. This alternative understanding of realism is more piecemeal, robust, and better in tune with scientists’ own attitude towards their best theories, and thus to be preferred. 