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The Philosophy of Modern Cosmology (srsly)

15 Aug 2016, 12:32 UTC
The Philosophy of Modern Cosmology (srsly)
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Model of Inflation.img src: umich.eduI wrote my recent post on the “Unbearable Lightness of Philosophy” to introduce a paper summary, but it got somewhat out of hand. I don’t want to withhold the actual body of my summary though. The paper in question is Scientific Realism and Primordial CosmologyFeraz Azhar, Jeremy ButterfieldarXiv:1606.04071 [physics.hist-ph]Before we start I have to warn you that the paper speaks a lot about realism and underdetermination, and I couldn’t figure out what exactly the authors mean with these words. Sure, I looked it up, but that didn’t explain what the authors mean.Personally, I subscribe to a philosophy I’d like to call agnostic instrumentalism, which means I think science is useful and I don’t care what else you want to say about it – anything from realism to solipsism to Carroll’s “romantic naturalism” is fine by me. In newspeak, I’m a whateverist – now go away and let me science.The authors of the paper, in contrast, position themselves as follows: “We will first state our allegiance to scientific realism… We take scientific realism to be the doctrine that most of the statements of the mature scientific theories that we accept are true, or approximately true, whether the ...

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