Philosophical cosmology, philosophy of cosmology or philosophy of cosmos is a discipline directed to the philosophical contemplation of the universe as a totality, and to its conceptual foundations. It draws on several branches of philosophy—metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, and on the fundamental theories of physics. The term cosmology was used at least as early as 1730, by German philosopher Christian Wolff, in Cosmologia Generalis.
Philosophical cosmology can be distinguished by two types of cosmological arguments: deductive and inductive cosmological arguments. The first type has a long tradition in the history of philosophy, proposed by thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Leibniz, and criticized by thinkers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell, while the latter has been formulated by philosophers like Richard Swinburne.
For Leibniz, all the plenum of the universe is entirely filled with tiny Monads, which cannot fail, have no constituent parts and have no windows through which anything could come in or go out. In his Aesthetics, philosopher José Vasconcelos explains his theory on the evolution of the universe and the restructuring of its cosmic substance, in the physical, biological and human orders.
Philosophical cosmology tries to respond questions such as:
- What is the provenance of the cosmos?
- What are the essential constituents of the cosmos?
- Does the cosmos have an ulterior motive?
- How does the cosmos behave?
- How can we understand the cosmos in which we find ourselves?