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Stability in Cosmology, from Einstein to Inflation

In Claus Beisbart, Tilman Sauer & Christian Wüthrich (eds.), Thinking About Space and Time. Basel: Birkhäuser (forthcoming)

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  1. On the Actual Impact of Deterministic Chaos.Theodor Leiber - 1997 - Synthese 113 (3):357-379.
    The notion of (deterministic) chaos is frequently used in an increasing number of scientific (as well as non-scientific) contexts, ranging from mathematics and the physics of dynamical systems to all sorts of complicated time evolutions, e.g., in chemistry, biology, physiology, economy, sociology, and even psychology. Despite (or just because of) these widespread applications, however, there seem to fluctuate around several misunderstandings about the actual impact of deterministic chaos on several problems of philosophical interest, e.g., on matters of prediction and computability, (...)
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  • Deterministic Probability: Neither Chance nor Credence.Aidan Lyon - 2011 - Synthese 182 (3):413-432.
    Some have argued that chance and determinism are compatible in order to account for the objectivity of probabilities in theories that are compatible with determinism, like Classical Statistical Mechanics (CSM) and Evolutionary Theory (ET). Contrarily, some have argued that chance and determinism are incompatible, and so such probabilities are subjective. In this paper, I argue that both of these positions are unsatisfactory. I argue that the probabilities of theories like CSM and ET are not chances, but also that they are (...)
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Duhem & P. P. Wiener - 1954 - Philosophy of Science 21 (4):354-355.
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  • Einstein's Role in the Creation of Relativistic Cosmology.Chris Smeenk - 2014 - In Michel Janssen & Christoph Lehner (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Einstein. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 228-269.
    This volume is the first systematic presentation of the work of Albert Einstein, comprising fourteen essays by leading historians and philosophers of science that introduce readers to his work. Following an introduction that places Einstein's work in the context of his life and times, the book opens with essays on the papers of Einstein's 'miracle year', 1905, covering Brownian motion, light quanta, and special relativity, as well as his contributions to early quantum theory and the opposition to his light quantum (...)
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  • The Implementation, Interpretation, and Justification of Likelihoods in Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:19-35.
    I discuss the formal implementation, interpretation, and justification of likelihood attributions in cosmology. I show that likelihood arguments in cosmology suffer from significant conceptual and formal problems that undermine their applicability in this context.
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  • Does Inflation Solve the Hot Big Bang Model׳s Fine-Tuning Problems?C. D. McCoy - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:23-36.
    Cosmological inflation is widely considered an integral and empirically successful component of contemporary cosmology. It was originally motivated by its solution of certain so-called fine-tuning 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 fine-tuned and how the alleged fine-tuning is problematic. Without clear explications (...)
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  • What Are the New Implications of Chaos for Unpredictability?Charlotte Werndl - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):195-220.
    From the beginning of chaos research until today, the unpredictability of chaos has been a central theme. It is widely believed and claimed by philosophers, mathematicians and physicists alike that chaos has a new implication for unpredictability, meaning that chaotic systems are unpredictable in a way that other deterministic systems are not. Hence, one might expect that the question ‘What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability?’ has already been answered in a satisfactory way. However, this is not the (...)
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  • Fragility and Deterministic Modelling in the Exact Sciences.R. K. Tavakol - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (2):147-156.
    The theoretical framework adopted in the exact sciences, for constructing and testing deterministic theories on the one hand, and modelling and analysis of observed phenomena on the other, is often implicitly assumed to be that of structural stability. In view of recent developments in nonlinear dynamics, it is argued here that in general it may not be possible to assume strict determinism and structural stability simultaneously; either strict determinism holds, in which case the fragility framework may turn out to be (...)
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  • Measures, Explanations and the Past: Should ‘Special’ Initial Conditions Be Explained?Craig Callender - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):195-217.
    For the generalizations of thermodynamics to obtain, it appears that a very ‘special’ initial condition of the universe is required. Is this initial condition itself in need of explanation? I argue that it is not. In so doing, I offer a framework in which to think about ‘special’ initial conditions in all areas of science, though I concentrate on the case of thermodynamics. I urge the view that it is not always a serious mark against a theory that it must (...)
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  • How Untidy is God's Mind? A Note on the Dynamical Implications of Nancy Cartwright's Metaphysics.Harmke Kamminga & Reza Tavakol - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):549-553.
    One of the points of principle made by Cartwright is that the fundamental laws do not describe reality because they are always employed together with ceteris paribus clauses, the implication being that ceteris paribus assumptions always have dire consequences. We here wish to offer a dynamical interpretation of ceteris paribus laws in terms of their stability or fragility. On this interpretation, the consequences of ceteris paribus assumptions become concretely dependent on the nature of the laws under consideration and cannot be (...)
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  • Simple Theories of a Messy World: Truth and Explanatory Power in Nonlinear Dynamics.Alexander Rueger & W. David Sharp - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):93-112.
    Philosophers like Duhem and Cartwright have argued that there is a tension between laws' abilities to explain and to represent. Abstract laws exemplify the first quality, phenomenological laws the second. This view has both metaphysical and methodological aspects: the world is too complex to be represented by simple theories; supplementing simple theories to make them represent reality blocks their confirmation. We argue that both aspects are incompatible with recent developments in nonlinear dynamics. Confirmation procedures and modelling strategies in nonlinear dynamics (...)
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  • Regularity in Nonlinear Dynamical Systems.D. Lynn Holt & R. Glynn Holt - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):711-727.
    Laws of nature have been traditionally thought to express regularities in the systems which they describe, and, via their expression of regularities, to allow us to explain and predict the behavior of these systems. Using the driven simple pendulum as a paradigm, we identify three senses that regularity might have in connection with nonlinear dynamical systems: periodicity, uniqueness, and perturbative stability. Such systems are always regular only in the second of these senses, and that sense is not robust enough to (...)
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  • Can Typicality Arguments Dissolve Cosmology’s Flatness Problem?C. D. McCoy - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1239-1252.
    Several physicists, among them Hawking, Page, Coule, and Carroll, have argued against the probabilistic intuitions underlying fine-tuning arguments in cosmology and instead propose that the canonical measure on the phase space of Friedman-Robertson-Walker space-times should be used to evaluate fine-tuning. They claim that flat space-times 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 (...)
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  • The Structure and Interpretation of Cosmology: Part I—General Relativistic Cosmology.Gordon McCabe - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):549-595.
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  • Deterministic Laws and Epistemic Chances.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2010 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem & Meir Hemmo (eds.), Probability in Physics. Springer. pp. 73--85.
    In this paper, a concept of chance is introduced that is compatible with deterministic physical laws, yet does justice to our use of chance-talk in connection with typical games of chance. We take our cue from what Poincaré called "the method of arbitrary functions," and elaborate upon a suggestion made by Savage in connection with this. Comparison is made between this notion of chance, and David Lewis' conception.
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  • No Chances in a Deterministic World.C. D. McCoy - manuscript
    Several philosophers have developed accounts to dissolve the apparent conflict between deterministic laws of nature and objective chances. These philosophers advocate the compatibility of determinism and chance. I argue that determinism and chance are incompatible and criticize the various notions of “deterministic chance” supplied by the compatibilists. Many of the compatibilists are strongly motivated by scientific theories where objective probabilities are combined with deterministic laws, the most salient of which is classical statistical mechanics. I show that, properly interpreted, statistical mechanics (...)
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  • A Paradox in Newtonian Gravitation Theory.John D. Norton - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:412 - 420.
    Newtonian cosmology is logically inconsistent. I show its inconsistency in a rigorous but simple and qualitative demonstration. "Logic driven" and "content driven" methods of controlling logical anarchy are distinguished.
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  • Naturalness, the Autonomy of Scales, and the 125GeV Higgs.Porter Williams - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:82-96.
    The recent discovery of the Higgs at 125 GeV by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC has put significant pressure on a principle which has guided much theorizing in high energy physics over the last 40 years, the principle of naturalness. In this paper, I provide an explication of the conceptual foundations and physical significance of the naturalness principle. I argue that the naturalness principle is well-grounded both empirically and in the theoretical structure of effective field theories, and (...)
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  • Models, Confirmation, and Chaos.Jeffrey Koperski - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):624-648.
    The use of idealized models in science is by now well-documented. Such models are typically constructed in a “top-down” fashion: starting with an intractable theory or law and working down toward the phenomenon. This view of model-building has motivated a family of confirmation schemes based on the convergence of prediction and observation. This paper considers how chaotic dynamics blocks the convergence view of confirmation and has forced experimentalists to take a different approach to model-building. A method known as “phase space (...)
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  • A Critical Look at Inflationary Cosmology.John Earman & Jesus Mosterin - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (1):1-49.
    Inflationary cosmology won a large following on the basis of the claim that it solves various problems that beset the standard big bang model. We argue that these problems concern not the empirical adequacy of the standard model but rather the nature of the explanations it offers. Furthermore, inflationary cosmology has not been able to deliver on its proposed solutions without offering models which are increasingly complicated and contrived, which depart more and more from the standard model it was supposed (...)
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  • When Good Theories Make Bad Predictions.Vadim Batitsky & Zoltan Domotor - 2007 - Synthese 157 (1):79 - 103.
    Chaos-related obstructions to predictability have been used to challenge accounts of theory validation based on the agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental data. These challenges are incomplete in two respects: they do not show that chaotic regimes are unpredictable in principle and, as a result, that there is something conceptually wrong with idealized expectations of correct predictions from acceptable theories, and they do not explore whether chaos-induced predictive failures of deterministic models can be remedied by stochastic modeling. In this paper (...)
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  • Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology.Richard C. Tolman - 1935 - Philosophy of Science 2 (2):262-265.
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  • Defining Chaos.Robert W. Batterman - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (1):43-66.
    This paper considers definitions of classical dynamical chaos that focus primarily on notions of predictability and computability, sometimes called algorithmic complexity definitions of chaos. I argue that accounts of this type are seriously flawed. They focus on a likely consequence of chaos, namely, randomness in behavior which gets characterized in terms of the unpredictability or uncomputability of final given initial states. In doing so, however, they can overlook the definitive feature of dynamical chaos--the fact that the underlying motion generating the (...)
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  • Lambda: The Constant That Refuses to Die.John Earman - unknown
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Duhem & Philip P. Wiener - 1955 - Science and Society 19 (1):85-87.
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  • A Relation Between Distance and Radial Velocity Among Extra-Galactic Nebulae.E. Hubble - 1929 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 15:168-173.
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  • Science and Method.Henri Poincaré - 1952 - New York]Dover Publications.
    " Vivid . . . immense clarity . . . the product of a brilliant and extremely forceful intellect." — Journal of the Royal Naval Scientific Service "Still a sheer joy to read." — Mathematical Gazette "Should be read by any student, teacher or researcher in mathematics." — Mathematics Teacher The originator of algebraic topology and of the theory of analytic functions of several complex variables, Henri Poincare (1854–1912) excelled at explaining the complexities of scientific and mathematical ideas to lay (...)
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  • Topics in the Foundations of General Relativity and Newtonian Gravitation Theory.David B. Malament - 2012 - Chicago: Chicago University Press.
    1.1 Manifolds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 Tangent Vectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (...)
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