This course covers philosophical questions about cosmology and about the exploration of terra incognita related to space. First, we cover the meaning of exploration for mankind in general (exploration of new territories as well as of laws of the physical world and laws in general). Second, we specialize to questions related to space: What is the idea behind a finite or infinite world? What does the exploration of space mean for the “position” of mankind within the Universe, for the world view of human beings? What would it mean for mankind if the search for extraterrestrial life will be successful? In what sense can cosmology missions “uncover” the dynamics of the universe from the Big Bang to the far future? What concept of time is involved here and what counts as evidence and why?
Learning outcome/learning goals:
• Knowledge of basic notions from the philosophy of the natural sciences (natural law, space, time, infinity, …)
• Basic insights into the aims of scientific inquiry and the generation of scientific knowledge (by means of examples from the history of cosmology)
• Ideas involved in human self-understanding related to “other worlds” or extraterrestrial life
• Basic knowledge of cosmology.
[Will be announced at the beginning of the course.]
After enrolment, participants will manually be selected.
Potential participants are given additional information before enroling to the course.