An Argument for a Second-Order Cosmology

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This paper proposes the feasibility of a second-order approach in cosmology. It is intended to encourage cosmologists to rethink standard ideas in their field, leading to a broader concept of self-organization and of science itself. It is argued, from a cognitive epistemology perspective, that a first-order approach is inadequate for cosmology; study of the universe as a whole must include study of the scientific observer and the process of theorizing. Otherwise, concepts of self-organization at the cosmological scale remain constrained by unacknowledged assumptions and biases. Examples of limiting notions are discussed in the context of alternatives. To include the role of the theorist does not mean reducing science to subjective or sociological terms. On the contrary, second-order science would provide a more complete portrait of nature. The work of cosmologist Lee Smolin is discussed as a candidate example of second-order cosmology.
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First archival date: 2014-08-13
Latest version: 2 (2015-02-24)
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