Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 269, Issue 0, pp 693–720 | Cite as

Before the Beginning: Emerging Questions and Uncertainties

  • George F.R. Ellis


Because of the uniqueness of the universe, philosophical issues arise at all times in the study of cosmology. As one considers the earliest times and issues of origins (and what happened `before the beginning'), theory is diverging into producing a multiplicity of options to choose from, rather than converging to one overwhelming powerful position at the present time. It is going to become ever more important to pay serious attention to the philosophical argumentation underlying the different choices. This paper gives a framework for analysis of such questions, based on fifteen Theses which can be strongly defended. We will exit the `dark ages' by taking these themes seriously while we develop the observational and physical side of the analysis. Far from undermining the scientific understandings arrived at, such philosophical explorations will give them the best grounding they can attain.


Early Time Defend Scientific Understanding Philosophical Argumentation Good Grounding 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • George F.R. Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematics DepartmentUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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