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Under-determination in Cosmology: an Invitation

Butterfield, Jeremy (2012) Under-determination in Cosmology: an Invitation. [Preprint]

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I discuss how modern cosmology illustrates under-determination of theoretical hypotheses by data, in ways that are different from most philosophical discussions. I confine the discussion to the history of the observable universe from about one second after the Big Bang, as described by the mainstream cosmological model: in effect, what cosmologists in the early 1970s dubbed the `standard model', as elaborated since then. Or rather, the discussion is confined to a (very!) few aspects of that history. I emphasise that despite the under-determination, a scientific realist can, and should, endorse this description.

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Item Type: Preprint
Additional Information: The Inaugural Address as President of the Mind Association: given at the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and Mind Association, University of Stirling, Scotland, 6 July 2012. Published in the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXXXVI (2012), page 1-18
Keywords: under-determination, scientific realism, the standard model of cosmology, observationally indistinguishable spacetimes
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Jeremy Butterfield
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2012 12:53
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2012 12:53
Item ID: 9156
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1111/j.1467-8349.2012.00205.x

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