A Philosophical Guide to the Cosmos

If ever there was a timeless philosophical question, "What is the ultimate nature of the universe?" must count as one of the most fascinating. Although the Ancients pondered this question and came up with their own answers, contemporary cosmology suggests that most of what they believed was wrong. Yet as our scientific knowledge of the universe expands, some of the greatest mysteries only deepen.

In this eight-episode series, sponsored by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, we invite listeners on a grand philosophical journey through the cosmos, tackling deeply puzzling questions about the nature of the universe, and our knowledge of it.

What is the origin of the universe? What exactly are space and time? Could the laws of physics ever change? Is the universe fine-tuned to support intelligent life? What are dark matter and dark energy? Are we part of a multiverse? How does science make progress in answering these questions? And are there limits to what we can ultimately know about the nature of the cosmos?


A Philosophical Guide to the Cosmos

Episode Title Guest Related Content

The Ancient Cosmos - When the Earth Stood Still

Carlo Rovelli, Professor of Physics, Aix-Marseille University

The Ancient Cosmos

Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

Author and Essayist Jim Holt

Why Does Anything Exist?

The Big Bang - Before and After

Katherine Freese, Professor of Physics, University of Michigan A Big Bang Blog

Matter and Energy - The Dark Side

Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor of Astronomy, Yale University

The Dark Side of the Cosmos

The Mystery of the Multiverse

George Ellis, Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town

The Mystery of the Multiverse

The Space-Time Continuum

Tim Maudlin, Professor of Philosophy, New York University Space, Time, and Space-time

Could the Laws of Physics Ever Change?

Massimo Pigliucci, Professor of Philosophy, City University of New York Can the Laws of Physics Change?

Are We Alone?

Paul Davies, Professor of Physics, Arizona State University Is There Life on Mars?