Copernicus, Kant, and the anthropic cosmological principles

In the last three decades several cosmological principles and styles of reasoning termed 'anthropic' have been introduced into physics research and popular accounts of the universe and human beings' place in it. I discuss the circumstances of 'fine tuning' that have motivated this development, and what is common among the principles. I examine the two primary principles, and find a sharp difference between these 'Weak' and 'Strong' varieties: contrary to the view of the progenitors that all anthropic principles represent a departure from Copernicanism in cosmology, the Weak Anthropic Principle is an instance of Copernicanism. It has close affinities with the step of Copernicus that Immanuel Kant took himself to be imitating in the 'critical' turn that gave rise to the Critique of Pure Reason. I conclude that the fact that a way of going about natural science mentions human beings is not sufficient reason to think that it is a subjective approach; in fact, it may need to mention human beings in order to be objective.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/S1355-2198(02)00029-1
 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: 16,667
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
Ernan McMullin (1993). Indifference Principle and Anthropic Principle in Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (3):359-389.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

261 ( #4,695 of 1,726,564 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #61,090 of 1,726,564 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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