Cosmology at the crossroads of natural and human sciences: is demarcation possible? Part 2. explication

Alexei Nesteruk

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Abstract

This is the second part of the paper on the problem of demarcation between the dimensions of natural and the human sciences in contemporary cosmology. Here we explicate further the sense of some cosmology’s claims in the perspective of philosophical phenomenology. The observation that in cosmology the subject of cosmological research and its “object” are inseparable is linked to such a feature of cosmology as its untestability. We discuss the sense of reality assigned to cosmological theories in the conditions of untestability and propose a hypothesis that theoretical cosmology operates along the lines of principles related to coherence of epistemic justification of its theories. Correspondingly the sense of reality changes by making an inseparable link between humanity and the sense of the universe more explicit. Finally the paper explicates in detail the sense of the interplay between natural and human sciences’ dimensions in cosmology by appealing to a sort of calm in promoting of a definite ontological commitment in cosmology. It appeals to a dispassionate phenomenological description of the universe as it discloses itself in the natural attitude, in the language of causes on the one hand and in the language of intentional immanence through communion on the other hand. Hence the conclusion is made that the objective of a philosophical insight in cosmology, is not to find a unified language for understanding the universe, but rather to realise that in our approach to its totality, always initiated in the life-world, we progress by the various ways given to humanity. The reality of the universe then is much more than is met by the discursive mind, it forms a mysterious sense of “identity”, which is intuited, but never completely grasped by the mind: it bedazzles us, while constituting our own sense of identity to the extent that we cannot circumscribe the universe in the rubrics of thought. The “I” of a cosmologist is constituted exactly to the extent this “I” cannot comprehend the universe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-666
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Siberian Federal University - Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • cosmology
  • phenomenology
  • coherence
  • untestability
  • intentionality
  • causality
  • subjectivity

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