What is the origin of our universe? What are dark matter and dark energy? What is our role in the universe as human beings capable of knowledge? What makes us intelligent cognitive agents seemingly endowed with consciousness? Scientific research across both the physical and cognitive sciences raises fascinating philosophical questions. Philosophy and the Sciences For Everyone introduces these questions and more. It begins by asking what good is philosophy for the sciences before examining the following questions:
- The origin of our universe
- Dark matter and dark energy
- Anthropic reasoning in philosophy and cosmology
- Evolutionary theory and the human mind
- What is consciousness?
- Intelligent machines and the human brain
- Embodied Cognition.
Each chapter includes an introduction, summary and study questions and there is a glossary of technical terms. Designed to be used on the corresponding Philosophy and the Sciences online course offered by the University of Edinburgh this book is also a superb introduction to central topics in philosophy of science and popular science.
Table of Contents
1. What is this thing called science? A very brief philosophical overview Michela Massimi and Duncan Pritchard 2. The Origins of Our Universe. Laws, testability, and observability in cosmology Michela Massimi and John Peacock 3. What are dark matter and dark energy? Michela Massimi and John Peacock 4. The Anthropic Principle and Multiverse Cosmology John Peacock and Alasdair Richmond 5. Do our modern skulls house stone-age minds? Jane Suilin Lavelle and Kenny Smith 6. From intelligent machines to the human brain Peggy Seriès and Mark Sprevak 7. What is consciousness? David Carmel and Mark Sprevak 8. Embodied Cognition and the Sciences of the Mind Andy Clark. Glossary of key terms Index
Michela Massimi, David Carmel, Andy Clark, Jane Suilin Lavelle, John Peacock, Duncan Pritchard, Alasdair Richmond, Peggy Seriès, Kenny Smith, and Mark Sprevak are all based at the University of Edinburgh, UK.