Can we justifiably assume the cosmological principle in order to break model underdetermination in cosmology?

Abstract
If cosmology is to obtain knowledge about the whole universe, it faces an underdetermination problem: Alternative space-time models are compatible with our evidence. The problem can be avoided though, if there are good reasons to adopt the Cosmological Principle (CP), because, assuming the principle, one can confine oneself to the small class of homogeneous and isotropic space-time models. The aim of this paper is to ask whether there are good reasons to adopt the Cosmological Principle in order to avoid underdetermination in cosmology. Various strategies to justify the CP are examined. For instance, arguments to the effect that the truth of the CP follows generically from a large set of initial conditions; an inference to the best explanation; and an inductive strategy are assessed. I conclude that a convincing justification of the CP has not yet been established, but this claim is contingent on a number of results that may have to be revised in the future.
Keywords Cosmology  Cosmological principle  Space-time  Underdetermination  General theory of relativity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,337
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Richard Boyd (1984). Scientific Realism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 21 (1&2):767-791.
John Earman (1993). Underdetermination, Realism, and Reason. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):19-38.

View all 22 references

Citations of this work BETA
Jeremy Butterfield (2012). Underdetermination in Cosmology: An Invitation. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):1-18.
Jeremy Butterfield (forthcoming). On Under-Determination in Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
Brigitte Falkenburg (forthcoming). On the Contributions of Astroparticle Physics to Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-01-13

Total downloads

100 ( #10,412 of 1,096,601 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

22 ( #5,120 of 1,096,601 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.