PhilSci Archive

“The most philosophically of all the sciences”: Karl Popper and physical cosmology

Kragh, Helge (2012) “The most philosophically of all the sciences”: Karl Popper and physical cosmology. [Preprint]

PDF - Draft Version
Download (671Kb) | Preview


    Problems of scientific cosmology only rarely occur in the works of Karl Popper. Nevertheless, it was a subject that interested him and which he occasionally commented on. What is more important, his general claim of falsifiability as a criterion that demarcates science from non-science has played a significant role in periods of the development of modern physical cosmology. The paper examines the historical contexts of the interaction between cosmology and Popperian philosophy of science. Apart from covering Popper’s inspiration from Einstein and his views on questions of cosmology, it focuses on the impact of his thoughts in two periods of controversy of modern cosmology, the one related to the steady state theory and the other to the recent multiverse proposal. It turns out that the impact has been considerable, and continues to be so, but also that the versions of Popperian methodology discussed by cosmologists are sometimes far from what Popper actually thought and wrote.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:

    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Karl Popper; Hermann Bondi; cosmology; falsifiability; demarcation; steady state theory
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
    General Issues > Philosophers of Science
    Depositing User: Helge Kragh
    Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2012 07:37
    Last Modified: 27 Mar 2012 07:37
    Item ID: 9062

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads