26 November 2016

Relativistic cosmology

Further to my last post on relativistic signals/messages: 

i) Interesting in connection with the cosmological theory of the expanding universe (based on empirical observations of the remote universe through radio telescopes) is that it is spherical only in the sense of expanding from any point concentrically at uniform (or uniformly accelerating or uniformly decelerating?) velocity and isotropically (without any preferred direction). Thus there is no limit to this 'sphere'; it is _apeiron_, open.

ii) This mathematico-empirical cosmology is ontogenetic through and through, thus conforming with the favourite mode of explanation, whether scientific, historiographical, geistesgeschichtlich, mythological or whatever, to wit, explaining what is today from what was before, temporally prior, from origins, Herkunft. For this mode of explanation the linear time-line is essential, no matter whether this time-line is straight or bent around into a circle (cyclical).  That other, philosophical mode of thinking according to which 'prior' is to be conceived not temporally, but according to the order of thinking through from the most elementary and abstract to the more and more concrete that thus has many more presuppositions, is forgotten or explicitly repudiated as 'unscientific'. This ontological way of thinking that respects the order of concepts from the most elementary with the least presuppositions is foreign not only to modern mathematico-empirical science, but to modern ways of thinking as a whole. People want to hear stories; narrative is easy to consume; it is the stuff of movies.

iii) The homology between Plato's Timaios and modern science is curious. You can drop Plato's creator god in Timaios without losing the basic cosmological conception whose elements crop up in modern scientific cosmology, e.g. that time (_chronos_) came about together with the sky (_ouranos_ synonymous with _pan_, the universe) with its moving celestial bodies from which time is counted. Or the elementary 'fair', symmetrical geometrical, triangularly constructed shapes of cube (Earth),
icosa-  (Water), octo- (Air), tetrahedron (Fire), which interestingly correlate with the four modern-scientific states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, plasma, respectively.

iv) Whereas Plato encapsulates his universe spherically in a psyche, i.e. in the principle of life, modern relativity cosmology encloses, or rather, sections, the ever-expanding universe into time-cones in 4D space-time emanating from each observer-subject. The relative future for each observer is cut by the cone of the photons that will be able to reach it at the speed of light at a later point in linear time.
The relative past for each observer is cut by the cone of the photons that can reach it at the absolute speed of light from an earlier point of time. Only within this (Minkowski) time-cone do space-time events 'exist' for each observer-subject in the sense that at some present point of time, photons (or gravitons) can be registered as 'information' by the observer's receiver-apparatus. Points in space-time outside the observer's time-cone can never reach it (they haven't enough time=light-metres to reach it). The limit to which the observer can look back into its time-cone is given by the sensitivity of its receiver-apparatus (radio telescope, gravitational interferometer); improvement in sensitivity of apparatuses is the key to uncovering the past by recovering the photons and gravitons it sent out long ago. Scientists are therefore keen on getting billions of funding to build more sensitive apparatus such as LISA.

v) Speculative cosmology in the philosophical sense is not ontogenetic. 'Speculatio' is the Latin rendering of Greek _theoria_, whose root in both Latin and Greek is 'to see'. Such speculative seeing is not reliant on the empirical receipt of photonic or gravitonic messages at the speed of light in the present, but on thinking backward, not in linear time, but to the most elementary conceivable presuppositions. Modern science with its absolute faith in empirical scientific method must be absolutely hostile to speculation in this sense. Nonetheless, _theoria_ in its philosophical sense is unconcerned with looking backward into the time-cone, constructing theoretical models of a Big Bang, a steady-state or a cyclically pulsating universe, or whatever, but is concerned with the simplest, most elementary preconditions for our 'seeing', understanding the world at all, without any superadded fanciful speculations. The work performed by philosophical thinking is therefore deconstructive in the sense of unearthing, disassembling, removing and disposing of the tacit presuppositions underpinning previous philosophies, including especially the subjectivist metaphysics upon which all modern (natural and social) scientific thinking is tacitly based. Thinking gets simpler and simpler, gaining a wider vista by stepping back from dogmatically held, unquestioned presuppositions.


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