Philosophy of Science 66 (1):1-49 (1999)

Authors
John Earman
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
Inflationary cosmology won a large following on the basis of the claim that it solves various problems that beset the standard big bang model. We argue that these problems concern not the empirical adequacy of the standard model but rather the nature of the explanations it offers. Furthermore, inflationary cosmology has not been able to deliver on its proposed solutions without offering models which are increasingly complicated and contrived, which depart more and more from the standard model it was supposed to improve upon, and which sever the connection between cosmology and particle physics that initially made the inflationary paradigm so attractive. Nevertheless, inflationary cosmology remains a promising research program, not least because it offers an explanation of the origin of the density perturbations that seeded the formation of galaxies and other cosmic structures. Tests of this explanation are underway and may settle the issue of whether inflation played an important role in the early universe
Keywords Cosmology   Philosophy of Science   Physics   Explanation
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DOI 10.1086/392675
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Measures, Explanations and the Past: Should ‘Special’ Initial Conditions Be Explained?Craig Callender - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):195-217.
On Under-Determination in Cosmology.Jeremy Butterfield - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (1):57-69.
Can We Justifiably Assume the Cosmological Principle in Order to Break Model Underdetermination in Cosmology?Claus Beisbart - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):175-205.
Does Inflation Solve the Hot Big Bang Model׳s Fine-Tuning Problems?C. McCoy - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:23-36.
The Fine-Tuning Argument.Neil A. Manson - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):271-286.

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