Cosmology and teleology: purposiveness in the study of the universe through the reading of Kant’s Third Critique

Alexei Nesteruk

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Abstract

This paper investigates the delimiters in cosmological research which originate in the structure of the human knower, in particular, how the purposiveness of human actions cascades towards the purposiveness of cosmological research. It is not dealing with a traditional teleology, which would imply the study of the purposiveness of the universe’s physical evolution. It rather deals with a “formal” purposiveness of cosmology related to the explicability of the universe. This explicability is linked to the human intentional search for the sense of its own existence in the universe, so that the purpose of explanation in cosmology is related to the explication of the human condition. It is argued, in particular, that the theoretical representations of the “universe as a whole” and “the Big Bang” (as the encapsulated origin of the universe) act as the telos of cosmological explanation and, hence, as well, as the telos of anthropological explanation related to the origin of individual persons at birth. As a historic-philosophical reference, the method of Kant’s Critique of Judgment is used, which is quite novel and unexpected in questions related to the philosophy of science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1304-1335
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Siberian Federal University - Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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