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Cosmology and Convention

Merritt, David (2017) Cosmology and Convention. Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies In History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 57. pp. 41-52. ISSN 13552198

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Abstract

I argue that some important elements of the current cosmological model are 'conventionalist’ in the sense defined by Karl Popper. These elements include dark matter and dark energy; both are auxiliary hypotheses that were invoked in response to observations that falsified the standard model as it existed at the time. The use of conventionalist stratagems in response to unexpected observations implies that the field of cosmology is in a state of 'degenerating problemshift’ in the language of Imre Lakatos. I show that the 'concordance’ argument, often put forward by cosmologists in support of the current paradigm, is weaker than the convergence arguments that were made in the past in support of the atomic theory of matter or the quantization of energy.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Merritt, Daviddavid.r.merritt@gmail.com0000-0002-9339-1551
Keywords: cosmology dark matter dark energy Karl Popper Imre Lakatos falsification astrophysics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
General Issues > Conventionalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Depositing User: David Merritt
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2022 15:25
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2022 15:25
Item ID: 21457
Journal or Publication Title: Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies In History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2016.12.002
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
General Issues > Conventionalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Date: 1 February 2017
Page Range: pp. 41-52
Volume: 57
ISSN: 13552198
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21457

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