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Why does cosmology need philosophy?

George Ellis

George Ellis

Cosmology is the study of the cosmos. But what is the cosmos? Does it include us with our emotions and other human baggage? Are the laws that govern it part of it? And what do we do with scientific theories we cannot test in experiments? Mathematician and cosmologist George Ellis explains why cosmology poses some deep philosophical questions.

We talked to Ellis at the International Philosophy of Cosmology conference in Tenerife in September 2014. The conference is the culmination of a project called Establishing the Philosophy of Cosmology. You can find out more about the project here and you can read an article accompanying this podcast here.

The image above shows the spiral galaxy Messier 83. Credit: ESO

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