The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

A Proposal in Natural Philosophy

Author(s): Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Lee Smolin
Publication Date: 07-10-2021

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Cosmology is in crisis. The more we discover, the more puzzling the universe appears to be. How and why are the laws of nature what they are? A philosopher and a physicist, world-renowned for their radical ideas in their fields, argue for a revolution. To keep cosmology scientific, we must replace the old view in which the universe is governed by immutable laws by a new one in which laws evolve. Then we can hope to explain them. The revolution that Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin propose relies on three central ideas. There is only one universe at a time. Time is real: everything in the structure and regularities of nature changes sooner or later. Mathematics, which has trouble with time, is not the oracle of nature and the prophet of science; it is simply a tool with great power and immense limitations. The argument is readily accessible to non-scientists as well as to the physicists and cosmologists whom it challenges.

  • Written by philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger and physicist Lee Smolin, both world-renowned for their radical ideas in their fields
  • Proposes a reorientation of cosmology, opposing influential ideas about the universe, with implications for physics and all science
  • Shows the far-reaching implications of the reality of time for our views of nature, mathematics, and ourselves and explores how we need to think so as to understand a universe in which everything, including the structure and laws of nature, changes sooner or later

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