Philosophical cosmology, philosophy of cosmology or philosophy of cosmos is a discipline directed to the philosophical contemplation of the universe as a totality, to its conceptual foundations. It draws on several branches of philosophy—metaphysics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, on the fundamental theories of physics; the term cosmology was used at least as early as 1730, by German philosopher Christian Wolff, in Cosmologia Generalis. Philosophical cosmology can be distinguished by two types of cosmological arguments: deductive and inductive cosmological arguments; the first type has a long tradition in the history of philosophy, proposed by thinkers like Plato, Aristotle and Leibniz, criticized by thinkers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell, while the latter has been formulated by philosophers like Richard Swinburne. For Leibniz, all the plenum of the universe is filled with tiny Monads, which cannot fail, have no constituent parts and have no windows through which anything could come in or go out.
In his Aesthetics, philosopher José Vasconcelos explains his theory on the evolution of the universe and the restructuring of its cosmic substance, in the physical and human orders. Philosophical cosmology tries to respond questions such as: What is the provenance of the cosmos? What are the essential constituents of the cosmos? Does the cosmos have an ulterior motive? How does the cosmos behave? How can we understand the cosmos in which we find ourselves? Cosmogony Cosmology Ernan McMullin Physical cosmology Religious cosmology "Philosophical Cosmology"
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, between possibility and actuality. The word "metaphysics" comes from two Greek words that, together mean "after or behind or among the natural", it has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics. Metaphysics studies questions related to what it is for something to exist and what types of existence there are. Metaphysics seeks to answer, in an abstract and general manner, the questions: What is there? What is it like? Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence and their properties and time, cause and effect, possibility. Metaphysics study, conducted using deduction from that, known a priori. Like foundational mathematics, it tries to give a coherent account of the structure of the world, capable of explaining our everyday and scientific perception of the world, being free from contradictions.
In mathematics, there are many different ways. While metaphysics may, as a special case, study the entities postulated by fundamental science such as atoms and superstrings, its core topic is the set of categories such as object and causality which those scientific theories assume. For example: claiming that "electrons have charge" is a scientific theory. There are two broad stances about; the strong, classical view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weak, modern view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of introspection and conceptual analysis; some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these "worlds" and what can be inferred about each one. Some philosophers, such as the logical positivists, many scientists, reject the strong view of metaphysics as meaningless and unverifiable. Others reply that this criticism applies to any type of knowledge, including hard science, which claims to describe anything other than the contents of human perception, thus that the world of perception is the objective world in some sense.
Metaphysics itself assumes that some stance has been taken on these questions and that it may proceed independently of the choice—the question of which stance to take belongs instead to another branch of philosophy, epistemology. Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as the core of metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, subdivided according to similarities and differences. Identity is a fundamental metaphysical issue. Metaphysicians investigating identity are tasked with the question of what it means for something to be identical to itself, or — more controversially — to something else. Issues of identity arise in the context of time: what does it mean for something to be itself across two moments in time? How do we account for this? Another question of identity arises when we ask what our criteria ought to be for determining identity?
And how does the reality of identity interface with linguistic expressions? The metaphysical positions one takes on identity have far-reaching implications on issues such as the mind-body problem, personal identity and law; the ancient Greeks took extreme positions on the nature of change. Parmenides denied change altogether, while Heraclitus argued that change was ubiquitous: "ou cannot step into the same river twice." Identity, sometimes called Numerical Identity, is the relation that a "thing" bears to itself, which no "thing" bears to anything other than itself. A modern philosopher who made a lasting impact on the philosophy of identity was Leibniz, whose Law of the Indiscernibility of Identicals is still in wide use today, it states that if some object x is identical to some object y any property that x has, y will have as well. Put formally, it states ∀ x ∀ y However, it seems, that objects can change over time. If one were to look at a tree one day, the tree lost a leaf, it would seem that one could still be looking at that same tree.
Two rival theories to account for the relationship between change and identity are perdurantism, which treats the tree as a series of tree-stages, endurantism, which maintains that the organism—the same tree—is present at every stage in its history. Objects appear to us in space and time, while abstract entities such as classes, r
Philosophy of science
Philosophy of science is a sub-field of philosophy concerned with the foundations and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern what qualifies as science, the reliability of scientific theories, the ultimate purpose of science; this discipline overlaps with metaphysics and epistemology, for example, when it explores the relationship between science and truth. There is no consensus among philosophers about many of the central problems concerned with the philosophy of science, including whether science can reveal the truth about unobservable things and whether scientific reasoning can be justified at all. In addition to these general questions about science as a whole, philosophers of science consider problems that apply to particular sciences; some philosophers of science use contemporary results in science to reach conclusions about philosophy itself. While philosophical thought pertaining to science dates back at least to the time of Aristotle, philosophy of science emerged as a distinct discipline only in the 20th century in the wake of the logical positivism movement, which aimed to formulate criteria for ensuring all philosophical statements' meaningfulness and objectively assessing them.
Thomas Kuhn's 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was formative, challenging the view of scientific progress as steady, cumulative acquisition of knowledge based on a fixed method of systematic experimentation and instead arguing that any progress is relative to a "paradigm," the set of questions and practices that define a scientific discipline in a particular historical period. Karl Popper and Charles Sanders Peirce moved on from positivism to establish a modern set of standards for scientific methodology. Subsequently, the coherentist approach to science, in which a theory is validated if it makes sense of observations as part of a coherent whole, became prominent due to W. V. Quine and others; some thinkers such as Stephen Jay Gould seek to ground science in axiomatic assumptions, such as the uniformity of nature. A vocal minority of philosophers, Paul Feyerabend in particular, argue that there is no such thing as the "scientific method", so all approaches to science should be allowed, including explicitly supernatural ones.
Another approach to thinking about science involves studying how knowledge is created from a sociological perspective, an approach represented by scholars like David Bloor and Barry Barnes. A tradition in continental philosophy approaches science from the perspective of a rigorous analysis of human experience. Philosophies of the particular sciences range from questions about the nature of time raised by Einstein's general relativity, to the implications of economics for public policy. A central theme is; that is, can chemistry be reduced to physics, or can sociology be reduced to individual psychology? The general questions of philosophy of science arise with greater specificity in some particular sciences. For instance, the question of the validity of scientific reasoning is seen in a different guise in the foundations of statistics; the question of what counts as science and what should be excluded arises as a life-or-death matter in the philosophy of medicine. Additionally, the philosophies of biology, of psychology, of the social sciences explore whether the scientific studies of human nature can achieve objectivity or are shaped by values and by social relations.
Distinguishing between science and non-science is referred to as the demarcation problem. For example, should psychoanalysis be considered science? How about so-called creation science, the inflationary multiverse hypothesis, or macroeconomics? Karl Popper called this the central question in the philosophy of science. However, no unified account of the problem has won acceptance among philosophers, some regard the problem as unsolvable or uninteresting. Martin Gardner has argued for the use of a Potter Stewart standard for recognizing pseudoscience. Early attempts by the logical positivists grounded science in observation while non-science was non-observational and hence meaningless. Popper argued; that is, every genuinely scientific claim is capable of being proven false, at least in principle. An area of study or speculation that masquerades as science in an attempt to claim a legitimacy that it would not otherwise be able to achieve is referred to as pseudoscience, fringe science, or junk science.
Physicist Richard Feynman coined the term "cargo cult science" for cases in which researchers believe they are doing science because their activities have the outward appearance of it but lack the "kind of utter honesty" that allows their results to be rigorously evaluated. A related question is what counts as a good scientific explanation. In addition to providing predictions about future events, society takes scientific theories to provide explanations for events that occur or have occurred. Philosophers have investigated the criteria by which a scientific theory can be said to have explained a phenomenon, as well as what it means to say a scientific theory has explanatory power. One early and influential theory of scientific explanation is the deductive-nomological model, it says that a successful scientific explanation must deduce the occurrence of the phenomena in question from a scientific law. This view has been subjected to substantial criticism, resulting in several acknowledged counterexamples to the theory.
It is challenging to characterize what is meant by an explanation when the thing to be explained cannot be deduc