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Philosophical Issues in Early Universe Cosmology  

Adam Koberinski and Chris Smeenk

There are many interesting foundational and philosophical issues that become salient in early universe cosmology. One major focus is on issues that arise at the boundaries of distinct theories or frameworks when trying to merge them for describing the early universe. These include issues at the boundary of gravity and statistical physics, as well as gravity and quantum field theory. These foundational issues arise in trying to unify distinct domains of physics. Another major theme of early universe cosmology is the methodological goal of finding dynamical explanations for striking features in the universe. Some examples of such a methodologyinclude the cosmic arrow of time, posits of a Past Hypothesis for the initial state of the universe, inflation, baryogenesis, and emergence of spacetime. There is much philosophical debate about the prospects for success of such a methodology; these are surveyed below.