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Scientific Realism and Primordial Cosmology

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I will begin by discussing the changing relations between physics and philosophy from about 1700 till the present. Then I will briefly state and defend the doctrine called scientific realism: the optimistic claim that science achieves objective knowledge, i.e. the claims made by our mature scientific theories are true. Then I will consider primordial cosmology, in particular inflation. How well does scientific realism fare, concerning claims about such an utterly inaccessible era?

This talk is part of the History & Philosophy of Science @ the Cavendish series.

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