The Philosophy of Science: What It Is, and Why Cosmologists Should Care

Dr. Bridget Falck of the University of Oslo, will present a lecture entitled "The Philosophy of Science: What It Is, and Why Cosmologists Should Care"

After a coffee break, we will then have a discussion session on philosophical issues relating to models, measurement, and computer simulations, with the title "Are N-body Simulations experiments? a discussion on the epistemology of cosmological simulations within cosmology, and their role in the verification and validation of physical theory", introduced by Dr. Jack Morrice (Cosmology UCT).

Workshop on the Philosophical Foundations of Cosmology

Cosmology has the unique privilege of being the study of the Universe as a whole. This brings with it unique challenges compared to other fields of science - e.g., we cannot run direct experiments on the entire Universe in a lab, we cannot observe the Universe from a different location, and we cannot change its initial conditions. Cosmology can thus especially benefit from philosophical considerations. The goal of this half-day workshop is to provide scientists with the philosophical foundations with which to explore the philosophical issues faced in cosmology, such as: Are theories that predict multiverses testable? Does the anthropic principle have explanatory power? What is the epistemic value of cosmological simulations, compared to theory and experiment? How do we make statistical statements about the Universe? We hope that you can join us! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 13:30

UCT Mathematics Department Room MAM111, Mathematics Building, UCT Upper campus.