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Center for Science and Thought

[PIs: Amunts, Dreiner, Forster, Gabriel, Luu, Meißner, Memmesheimer, Mukherjee, Nilles]

The CST is a radical interdisciplinary platform that investigates pressing questions at the limits of current scientific knowledge that arise within science itself. The CST deals with these questions from the angles of the special sciences in which the issues appear and from the standpoint of theoretical philosophy alike.  During conferences and workshops over the last year we identified five central research topics (RTs) that will  form the core around which subprojects will be specified.

  • RT (1) deals with the simulation hypothesis. This hypothesis raises the issue how we can know that our universe is not a computer simulation. The hypothesis is not mere speculation, as it draws on insights into the computational power and grid structure required for large-scale simulations of complex systems and thereby sheds light both on scientific and  metaphysical questions.
  • RT (2): The notion of causality apparently requires different application conditions in mechanistic and non-mechanistic, highly complex systems in the life and social sciences for which there is no foreseeable reduction to subsystems with much lesser complexity. This topic has ramifications in statistics, computer science, neuroscience, and neurobiology.
  • RT (3) and (4) explore very advanced topics in theoretical physics concerning the cosmological constant’s size and the potential of anthropic reasoning. In this context, we will also investigate what happens in the theory of quantum gravity which reaches beyond empirical testing and therefore sheds light on the fact of physics’ status as an empirical science that can only progress if it goes beyond available data.
  • RT (5): Data driven sciences and the increasing availability of new  computational methods challenges our understanding of intelligence. Together with the Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge the CST, will work on a theory of kinds of intelligence. The aim is to delineate and measure animal as opposed to specific human intelligence in contrast to the emerging kind of intelligence in A.I.-research.

The CST is an interdisciplinary hub spanning all RUs of CASCADE and  providing a discussion ground that will feed back into scientific projects within the RUs.



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