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Cosmology: The Impossible Integration?

De Baerdemaeker, Siska (2020) Cosmology: The Impossible Integration? Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation introduces a new account of how empirical methods and lines of evidence can come to bear on cosmological model-building. Through a careful study of the recent history of cosmology and dark matter research, I explicate a new type of justification for experiments, a `method-driven logic'. This structure of justification underlies terrestrial experiments researching dark matter and dark energy, but it is more generally prevalent in cases of an underdescribed target. Using a method-driven logic comes with a cost, however. Specifically, interpreting the empirical results of experiments justified through a method-driven logic is non-trivial: negative results warrant secure constraints on the space of possibilities for the target, whereas significant positive results remain ambivalent. While this ambivalence
can be resolved through the amalgamation of multiple lines of evidence, this solution is sometimes faced with conflicts between those lines of evidence. I propose that, under specific circumstances, restricting the relevant empirical evidence can be warranted. Finally, I discuss the use of cosmological evidence as a constraint in other subfields of physics. This brings me full-circle on the integration of disciplines in cosmology|an integration driven by experimental practice.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
De Baerdemaeker, Siskasad116@pitt.edusad116
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairNorton, Johnjdnorton@pitt.edujdnorton
Committee MemberMitchell, Sandrasmitchel@pitt.edusmitchel
Committee MemberWoodward, Jamesjfw@pitt.edujfw
Committee MemberKosowsky, Arthurkosowsky@pitt.edukosowsky
Date: 8 June 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 31 March 2020
Approval Date: 8 June 2020
Submission Date: 2 March 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 121
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: History and philosophy of science, integration, philosophy of experiment, cosmology, dark matter
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 16:07
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 16:07


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