Abstract
During the last decade new developments in theoretical and speculative cosmology have reopened the old discussion of cosmology’s scientific status and the more general question of the demarcation between science and non-science. The multiverse hypothesis, in particular, is central to this discussion and controversial because it seems to disagree with methodological and epistemic standards traditionally accepted in the physical sciences. But what are these standards and how sacrosanct are they? Does anthropic multiverse cosmology rest on evaluation criteria that conflict with and go beyond those ordinarily accepted, so that it constitutes an “epistemic shift” in fundamental physics? The paper offers a brief characterization of the modern multiverse and also refers to a few earlier attempts to introduce epistemic shifts in the science of the universe. It further discusses the several meanings of testability, addresses the question of falsifiability as a sine qua non for a theory being scientific, and briefly compares the situation in cosmology with the one in systematic biology. Multiverse theory is not generally falsifiable, which has led to proposals from some physicists to overrule not only Popperian standards but also other evaluation criteria of a philosophical nature. However, this is hardly possible and nor is it possible to get rid of explicit philosophical considerations in some other aspects of cosmological research, however advanced it becomes.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2012.12.001
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,391
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

Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
Objective Knowledge.K. Popper - 1972 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 4 (2):388-398.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl R. Popper - 1959 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 14 (3):383-383.
The Mathematical Universe.Max Tegmark - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 38 (2):101-150.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

On Probability and Cosmology: Inference Beyond Data?Martin Sahlen - 2017 - In K. Chamcham, J. Silk, J. D. Barrow & S. Saunders (eds.), The Philosophy of Cosmology. Cambridge, UK:
Lines of Descent: Kuhn and Beyond.Friedel Weinert - 2014 - Foundations of Science 19 (4):331-352.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Testability and Epistemic Shifts in Modern Cosmology.Helge Kragh - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (1):48-56.
Some Epistemic Questions of Cosmology.Petar V. Grujić - 2007 - Foundations of Science 12 (1):39-83.
Paranoia and Reinforced Dogmatism: Beyond Critical Rationality.Abraham Rudnick - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (3):339-350.
Review of H Kragh (1996) Cosmology and Controversy. [REVIEW]Graham Oppy - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):387-9.
The Controversy Between Science and Pseudoscience Over Modern Cosmology.[author unknown] - 1988 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 19 (4):14-26.
The Controversy Between Science and Pseudoscience Over Modern Cosmology.Lz Fang - 1988 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 19 (4):14-26.
Reflections on Peirce's Concepts of Testability and the Economy of Research.Jeff Foss - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:28 - 39.
Sociology of Modern Cosmology.Martín López Corredoira - 2009 - In J. A. Rubiño-Martín, J. A. Belmonte, F. Prada & A. Alberdi (eds.), Cosmology across Cultures. Astronomical Society of Pacific. pp. 66-73.
The Testability of the Identity Theory.Kenneth G. Lucey - 1975 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):142-147.
Should We Believe in the Big Bang?: A Critique of the Integrity of Modern Cosmology.Graeme Rhook & Mark Zangari - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:228 - 237.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-02-20

Total views
9 ( #848,948 of 2,326,303 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #283,481 of 2,326,303 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes