History, Cosmology, and Philosophy

Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going. … We seem to be at a critical point in the history of science, in which we must alter our conception of goals and of what makes a physical theory acceptable. It appears that the fundamental numbers, and even the form, of the apparent laws of nature are not demanded by logic or physical principle.

– Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design

Anytime we mention history we discover a truth: history is always past, beyond us, transcendent. So if history is always and forever fallen into past time, the flow of an irreversible zone of non-meaning that we can neither contemplate nor imagine, then what are the conditions  necessary for its arising in discourse? We never have direct access to history – unless there are time-travelers among us; we only ever have indirect access to it through thinking it. But then is history nothing but fantasy? How do we think something that can never be directly or indirectly known? And, what of that greatest of all histories, the Universe itself? Cosmological history? How do those strange travelers of time, the physicists, cosmologists of the Big Bang and other theories, formulate their grand histories of the universe (or multiverse) when they never have direct access to that strange history? More importantly how can our understanding of cosmology and the sciences help us transform philosophy as we’ve come to know it into a instrument that allows us to both epistemologically and ontologically evaluate it and justify the truth of it by these sciences and their physical and mathematical theories? Or is it science itself that should be transformed by philosophy?

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