David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (1):5-35 (2003)
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.
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References found in this work BETA
Roger White (2000). Fine-Tuning and Multiple Universes. Noûs 34 (2):260–276.
Ernan McMullin (1993). Indifference Principle and Anthropic Principle in Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (3):359-389.
Yuri Balashov (1994). Uniformitarianism in Cosmology: Background and Philosophical Implications of the Steady-State Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (6):933-958.
John Earman (1987). The Sap Also Rises: A Critical Examination of the Anthropic Principle. American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (4):307 - 317.
P. J. McGrath (1988). The Inverse Gambler's Fallacy and Cosmology--A Reply to Hacking. Mind 97 (386):265-268.
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