Cosmology (philosophy)

Philosophical cosmology, philosophy of cosmology or philosophy of cosmos is a discipline directed to the philosophical contemplation of the universe as a totality, and to its conceptual foundations. It draws on several branches of philosophy—metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, and on the fundamental theories of physics.[1] The term cosmology was used at least as early as 1730, by German philosopher Christian Wolff, in Cosmologia Generalis.

1660 engraving Scenographia Systematis Copernicani
Scenographia Systematis Copernicani, engraving


Philosophical cosmology can be distinguished by two types of cosmological arguments: deductive and inductive cosmological arguments. The first type has a long tradition in the history of philosophy, proposed by thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Leibniz, and criticized by thinkers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell, while the latter has been formulated by philosophers like Richard Swinburne.

For Leibniz, all the plenum of the universe is entirely filled with tiny Monads, which cannot fail, have no constituent parts and have no windows through which anything could come in or go out. In his Aesthetics, philosopher José Vasconcelos explains his theory on the evolution of the universe and the restructuring of its cosmic substance, in the physical, biological and human orders.

Philosophical cosmology tries to respond questions such as:

  • What is the provenance of the cosmos?
  • What are the essential constituents of the cosmos?
  • Does the cosmos have an ulterior motive?
  • How does the cosmos behave?
  • How can we understand the cosmos in which we find ourselves?

See also


  1. ^ Philosophy of cosmology

Further reading


In Buddhism, Avīci (Sanskrit and Pali for "without waves" – Chinese and Japanese: 無間地獄, Wújiàn dìyù and 阿鼻地獄, Ābí dìyù) or Avichi is the lowest level of the Naraka or "hell" realm, with the most suffering, into which the dead who have committed grave misdeeds may be reborn. It is said to be a cube 20,000 yojanas (240,000 to 300,000 kilometres) to a side, buried deep underneath the divine (nonvisible) earth. Avīci is often translated into English as "interminable" or "incessant", referring to suffering without periods of respite, although it is believed to be ultimately impermanent.

Baba (Alevism)

An Alevi and sunni religious leader related to a Dede in Sufism.

Baba Ishak

Baba Ishak, also spelled Baba Ishāq, Babaî, or Bābā’ī, a charismatic preacher, led an uprising of the Turkmen of Anatolia against the Seljuq Sultanate of Rûm well known as Babai Revolt c. 1239 until he was hanged in 1241.

Babai revolt

The Babai revolt was an insurrection in the Sultanate of Rûm in the thirteenth century

Balım Sultan

Balım Sultan (d. circa 1517/1519) was a Bektashi sufi who established and codified the Bektashi Order at the beginning of the 16th century. The mystical practices and rituals of the Bektashi were systematized and structured by Balım, after which many of the order's distinct practices and beliefs took shape. He is considered the primary personality in the Bektashi Order after Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli (Haji Bektash) and is regarded as the “Second Pir” (pīr-e ṯānī or the second elder).


Baqaa (Arabic: بقاء‎ baqāʾ ), with literal meaning of subsistence or permanency, is a term in Sufi philosophy which describes a particular state of life with God, through God, in God, and for God. It is the summit of the mystical manazil, that is, the destination or the abode. Baqaa comprises three degrees, each one referring to a particular aspect of the divine theophanies as principle of existence and its qualitative evolution, consisting of faith, knowledge, and grace. It is the stage where the seeker finally gets ready for the constant vision of God. Hence, it can be termed as Divine Eternity.


The Buyruks are a collection of spiritual books providing the basis of the Alevi value system. The word buyruk in Turkish means "command". Topics addressed in the Buyruks include müsahiplik "spiritual brotherhood" and a wide range of Alevi stories and poems. The story of Haji Bektash Veli is found in them.

The Buyruks also contain Quranic verses, the sayings of Ali and the Twelve Imams, as well as sayings and songs written by Yunus Emre, Pir Abdal Musa, Pir Sultan Abdal, and Ismail I, known by his pen name, Khata'i.

Craig Callender

Craig Callender (born 1968) is a philosopher of science and professor of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego.

In 1997 he obtained his PhD from Rutgers University with a thesis entitled Time's Arrow; his thesis supervisor had been Robert Weingard.His main areas of research are philosophy of science, philosophy of physics and metaphysics.Callender has written articles for Scientific American on the philosophy of time and participated in the World Science Festival 2013 with Tim Maudlin and Max Tegmark on the same topic.

Düşkünlük Meydanı

The resolution of Alevi community disputes or problems in a Dushkunluk Meydani (Turkish: Düşkünlük Meydanı) or 'People's Court' presided over by the Alevi dede.

Kaygusuz Abdal

Kaygusuz Abdal (1341-1444) was a Turkish folk poet of the 14th century.

Murshid (Alevism)

A Murshid is one of the 12 ranks of Imam in Alevism.


Musahiplik or Müsahiplik (roughly, "Companionship / Spiritual brotherhood") is a covenant relationship between two men of the same age, preferably along with their wives. In a ceremony in the presence of a dede the partners make a lifelong commitment to care for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of each other and their children.

Pir (Alevism)

In Alevism, a Pir meaning Elder is one of the 12 ranks of Imam in Alevism. The rank of Dede or Ana are selected from among the Pirs.

Rehber (Alevism)

In Alevism, a Rehber also known as Murshid is one of the 12 ranks of Imam in Alevism. A Rehber assists the Pir, provides information to the newcomers and prepares them for commitment to the Alevi path or Tariqat.

Religious cosmology

Religious cosmology is a way of explaining the dynamic structure and order of the cosmos or universe as a process, from a religious perspective. This may include beliefs on origin in the form of a creation myth, subsequent evolution, current organizational form and nature, and eventual fate or destiny. There are various traditions in religion or religious mythology asserting how and why everything is the way it is and the significance of it all. Religious cosmologies describe the spatial lay-out of the universe in terms of the world in which people typically dwell as well as other dimensions, such as the seven dimensions of religion; these are ritual, experience and emotional, narrative and mythical, doctrinal, ethical, social, and material. Religious mythologies may include descriptions of an act or process of creation by a creator deity or a larger pantheon of deities, explanations of the transformation of chaos into order, or the assertion that existence is a matter of endless cyclical transformations. Religious cosmology differs from a strictly scientific cosmology informed by the results of the study of astronomy and similar fields, and may differ in conceptualizations of the world's physical structure and place in the universe, its creation, and forecasts or predictions on its future. The scope of religious cosmology is more inclusive than a strictly scientific cosmology (physical cosmology) in that religious cosmology is not limited to experiential observation, testing of hypotheses, and proposals of theories; for example, religious cosmology may explain why everything is the way it is or seems to be the way it is and prescribing what humans should do in context. Variations in religious cosmology include those of Indian origin, such as Buddhism, Hindu, and Jain; the religious beliefs of China; and, the beliefs of the Abrahamic faiths, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Religious cosmologies have often developed into the formal logics of metaphysical systems, such as Platonism, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, Daoism, Kabbalah, or the great chain of being.

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy is a book about cosmology, philosophy of time, metaphysics and scientific naturalism by the American theoretical physicist Lee Smolin and the Brazilian philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger. The authors argue that the current crisis in cosmology is a result of physicists making the wrong commitments to universalizing local experiments and to a block universe. They suggest instead that new research projects would be revealed if we took seriously the idea of one, and only one, universe as well as the reality of our experience of time. This new paradigm, they say, would also give rise to the revolutionary notion that the laws of nature might not be immutable. The book was initially published by Cambridge University Press on December 8, 2014.

Unity in diversity

Unity in diversity is a concept of "unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation" that shifts focus from unity based on a mere tolerance of physical, cultural, linguistic, social, religious, political, ideological and/or psychological differences towards a more complex unity based on an understanding that difference enriches human interactions. It has applications in many fields, including ecology, cosmology, philosophy, religion and politics.The idea and related phrase is very old and dates back to ancient times in both Western and Eastern Old World cultures. The concept of unity in diversity was used by both the indigenous peoples of North America and Taoist societies in 400–500 B.C. In premodern Western culture, it has existed in an implicit form in certain organic conceptions of the universe that developed in the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome."Unity in diversity" is used as a popular slogan or motto by a variety of religious and political groups as an expression of harmony and unity between dissimilar individuals or groups. The phrase is a deliberate oxymoron, the rhetorical combination of two antonyms, unitas "unity, oneness" and varietas "variety, variousness". When used in a political context, it is often used to advocate federalism and multiculturalism.

Victor J. Stenger

Victor John Stenger ( January 29, 1935 – August 25, 2014) was an American particle physicist, philosopher, author, and religious skeptic.

Following a career as a research scientist in the field of particle physics, Stenger was associated with New Atheism and he also authored popular science books. He published twelve books for general audiences on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, philosophy, religion, atheism, and pseudoscience, including the 2007 best-seller God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. His final book was God and the Multiverse: Humanity's Expanding View of the Cosmos (September 9, 2014). He was also a regular featured science columnist for the Huffington Post.He was an advocate for removing the influence of religion from scientific research, commercial activity, and the political decision process, and he coined the phrase "Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings".

History of
cosmological theories
Past universe
Present universe
Future universe
Structure formation
Related topics

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.