Fermi Paradox versus Problem of Induction


This paper explores the relationships between some the problems of the Fermi Paradox (FP), with its variety of possible answers; and the Problem of Induction, and thus the possibility of a Theory of Everything. We seek to improve the hierarchy of plausibility within answers to FP, given by what we call “preference criteria”, among which we particularly highlight culture-independence. We argue that, if the question of whether a Theory of Everything is possible is answered negatively, then FP becomes much more serious than otherwise, and this makes many of FP’s solutions less preferable. This constitutes a further preference criterion. Armed with this tool, we try to outline a network of relative truths between FP and the Problem of Induction, in the form of a cross-answer table. Only two or three combinations of answers survive as preferable: 1) degenerate, pure solipsistic metaphysics; 2) accept Induction and the Anthropic Principle at the same time, thus saying that the human condition is a very rare one in the universe; or 3) that the Theory of Everything exists and its discovery is the Great Filter. This latter possibility is discussed with its implications for the current scientific and economic progress of our civilization.

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Federico Re
Università Degli Studi Di Milano Bicocca


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