What is the Cosmos?


The philosophical reflection on the knowledge of Nature from the dialogue with the natural sciences constitutes the Philosophy of Nature. Physics offers a set of theoretical representations to describe and explain the natural, observable and measured phenomena we perceive in the world. Among the concepts and presuppositions of physical theories we find the metaphysical ones, such as those of time, space, matter, objectivity, causality, continuity, individuality, etc. And it is at the level of presuppositions and concepts that physics and philosophy claim each other, for, as W. Heisenberg put it, “only by leaving open the question of the ultimate essence of bodies, matter, energy, etc., can the Physics to achieve an understanding of the properties of phenomena we describe with such concepts. ”

The sessions count on a  physical (30 min) and a philosopher (30 min), followed by discussion by the participants (professors and interested students, mainly of the Departments of Physics of the UM and Philosophy of the UCP).

The second session on “What is the Cosmos?” aims to address the current concepts of Physical Cosmology, as well as the underlying metaphysical and philosophical assumptions. The session will try to answer such questions as: Is Comos finite or infinite? Has it a beginning and an end? Does it need a Creator, or is it infinite and self-sufficient?

The Seminar is an activity enrolled in the project UID / 683 of the FCT.