Advances in Scientific Knowledge and Implications for Philosophy

George Farre
Philosophy Department
Georgetown University

I. Introduction

Space has deeply affected philosophy as the study of the truths or principles underlying all knowledge and being (or reality). The earliest writings of ancient Greek fathers of Western philosophy reflect a concern for the haunting environment that lay overhead. The complex and symmetrical star patterns in the night sky, repeating with precision generation after generation, could not but stimulate the more curious and intelligent members of the robust Greek society. Nature included the night sky, but its qualities seemed different from those of Earth. The vastness, inaccessibility, symmetry, and permanence of the night sky made it a natural topic for philosophers pursuing an understanding of ultimate reality and of the divine. Space continually has animated the study of epistomology, logic, cosmology, metaphysics, and theology.

Until recent centuries, the inherent intertwining of philosophy and science resulted in leading practitioners in one field often being equally credentialed in the other (Aristotle represents the prime example). The Greeks bequeathed a view of a limited and harmonious universe, driven by a "prime mover" (1). This major philosophical paradigm permeated the conduct of cosmology, metaphysics, and theology in Western society for more than 1500 years (2).

The scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries brought the solar system into the domain of Newtonian physics, and many observers presumed that this concept constituted the Rosetta Stone for the entire universe. Although "first cause" still occasioned speculation, philosophers and scientists considered the problems of time, space, and matter as largely solved. Precise observation and application of gravitational mechanics could determine the structure of the universe at any given time in the past or future.

The cosmological confidence of the Newtonian world collapsed with the stunning achievements of Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and other scientists during the early part of the 20th century. Science redefined the problems of time, space, and matterčand the fundamental problems in epistomology arose once more, making the overall structure and future of the cosmos a continuing subject of debate (3).

Throughout the ages, developments in instrumentation have affected and often stimulated changes in philosophical perspectives related to space. For example, perhaps most fundamentally, the invention of the telescope in 1610 permitted astronomers to observe much more of the information about space reaching Earth through visible light. The discovery of so many new stars with the telescope prompted philosophers to conclude that the naked eye could perceive probably only a small fraction of the universe. This conclusion contributed to the dialogue on the finite or infinite nature of the universe, with the many philosophic implications that debate entailed.

The advent of spectroscopic analysis of the light from celestial bodies provided the first clues to their actual physical and chemical composition; the upshot was the understanding that the Sun is essentially just a medium-sized star with a very ordinary history and future. This observation stimulated lead thinkers to consider the fact that nothing distinguished the local space environment as distinctive from a cosmological perspective.

The rise of relativity theory and quantum mechanics produced the 20th century revolution in perceptions of cosmological physics. Moreover, these developments have been accompanied by a revolution in instrumentation that generates information about the cosmos not only from visible light, but also from radio waves and microwaves, infrared and ultraviolet light, and X-ray and gamma rays. Known in the aggregate as electromagnetic radiation, these waves and rays offer a more varied view of the universe than only visible light. The universe becomes a much more complex entity, exhibiting powerful phenomena and processes that function on planes of reality well outside our ordinary frame of reference .

Visible light and radio and radar waves constitute the only elements of the electromagnetic spectrum that reach the Earth's surface. The Earth's atmosphere impedes observations of other spectrum components. Following World War II, astronomers began to monitor radio waves from space to supplement research via radio telescopes.

The initiation of the space program in the late 1950s enabled astronomers to observe the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum free from the shielding effects of the Earth's atmosphere. The first satellites launched by the U.S. space program in 1958, Explorers One and Two, carried instruments to measure general cosmic radiation, as did the Mariner and Pioneer interplanetary probes in the early and mid 1960s. NASA later initiated the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory program, designed largely to study the ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. In the early 1970s, NASA launched satellites equipped to detect extragalactic sources of X-rays; in the late 1970s, satellites began observing gamma ray emissions. These satellites contributed a great deal to the development of a more comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of the cosmos. Scientists detected new phenomena (e.g., quasars) and, more importantly, the view of the universe as a serene collection of stars and galaxies gave way to a picture of a universe characterized by violent and cataclysmic events.

The Shuttle's large carrying capacity permits NASA to place large satellites in orbit during the 1980s, including the Space Telescope and the Gamma Ray Observatory. Such satellites should exploit more fully the electromagnetic waves in the Earth's vicinity and penetrate more deeply the astrophysical reality of the universe.

Given the objectives of astrophysical research in general, any significant change in the scientific understanding of the universe clearly will produce an impact on the philosophical perception of the relationship between Earth (and its inhabitants) and the universe. As a consequence, humanity's conception of itself will change as well.

The literature documents a well known and intimate: if not always apparent: linkage between Plato's or Aristotle's views of humanity and the closed universe of the Greeks and the views of Galileo, Descartes, or Pascal and their perceptions of an infinite universe so radically different from that of the Ancients (4).

In like manner, the current concept of a universe expanding as the result of an initial big bang has significantly modified human beings' self-conceptions and views of the world's relation to the rest of nature. Some observers believe that the ratio of fundamental physical constants during the first instants of the present universe opened a narrow window in the energy spectrum for the emergence of life, consciousness, and intelligence and generated energy emissions that can move no faster than the speed of light. These emissions thus require considerable time to travel cosmic distancesčwhich, in a manner of speaking, permits the universe to look back on itself (5).

This fundamental linkage between purely physical events and the emergence of intelligence raises a number of properly philosophical issues. The significance of these issues in the context of NASA's space exploration program lies in the all-pervasive effect of a priori attitudes on both the way issues and problems are analyzed and, more generally, the cultural characteristics of society (6). Thus, policy decisions and the role of science in such decisions are determined in part by society's philosophical concerns.

The impact of the space program in general and the Space Shuttle in particular on college-level philosophy curricula will be most pronounced in those courses that focus on the nature of humanity and on the impact of science and technology on society (and, to a lesser extent, on the relation between science and technology in general). Each is discussed briefly below.

II. Nature of Man

Philosophical discussions address primarily two distinct conceptions of human beings, which may be labelled, for the sake of simplicity, the "dualist" (or two substance) theories and the "materialist" (or one substance) theories.

The two substance theories posit that each human is a composite of two radically distinct substances, mind and body, each possessing essential features which are irreducible to those of the other. Descartes represents perhaps the best known proponent of this view, although it can be traced to the writings of Plato and to even earlier works.

One of the principal advantages of this dualism is the provision of a separate basis for the moral nature of humans; the mind appears as the moral core of the composite, governed by laws that differ from those that control matter. By the same token, this view justifies the beliefs that humans are not simply ordinary objects or animals to be treated on a par with the rest of nature and that conflicts between values are resolved in favor of intrinsic human values (rooted in mind or soul) over utility or other socially defined goals. Seen in this way, the rest of nature may be classified as morally neutral, whereas humans are endowed with a moral conscience and, consequently, with inalienable rights that support the ideals of Western democracy as well as procedures such as the Nuremberg trials. This view should not be construed to suggest that a materialist theory necessarily would be incompatible with a doctrine of "intrinsic human rights," but rather to indicate that a dualist view makes such a conclusion much more "natural" and consonant with the whole cultural tradition rooted in classical Greece and later reinforced by Hellenized Christianity.

On the surface, materialist theories of mind correspond more fully with the (theory) of evolution of nature, since the materialist theory takes for granted that the mind, like all forms of life, results from the evolution of the material universe. As such, this theory largely rejects the view that values in general and moral values in particular are irreducible to the "laws" that are said to govern inanimate matter. Specifically, such views naturally support the notion that the individual can be totally reduced to social relations (humans as social animals), that each human represents a nexus of such relations without any residual or non-reducible core (so-called "organization" or "totalitarian" Man). Although values can be "emergent" in the evolutionary process, in a conflict of values, "social" ones tend to take precedence over individual or intrinsic ones. To put the matter differently, there is no obvious way to ground the inalienable rights of the individual (upholders of such rights are seen as dissidents or anti-scientific). Society, the Human Race, the Eclesia, and the People constitute the main fact, and the individual becomes a totally dependent and consequently ancillary element of the whole.

The space program likely will sharpen awareness of the fundamental unity of nature and of humans as a natural development of the same natural forces responsible for all cosmic activity. Thus, the space program can help focus attention on the uniqueness of each human as an individual and on the individual's relation to society and the rest of nature, thereby reinforcing a current of thought already extant in the life sciences.

In addition, the materialist view of mind and matter probably will be considerably reinforced by the rapid advances in artificial intelligence that inhere in the success of the space program; new machines capable of reproducing intelligence on a vast scale and with far more sophisticated methods will constitute essential components of future space exploration. The development of such machines clearly raises the question of the criteria necessary to justify mind and matter as radically distinct entities.

Not unexpectedly, any development that clarifies the relationship between the process of human evolution (including consciousness and intelligence) and the socalled "blind forces" of nature also will sharpen the issue of the relationship between individual humans and society. To the extent that the space program influences the evolving notion of Man, the program will assume philosophical significance by exerting an impact on the view of the individual's role in society.

The impact of the space program on philosophy would take two basic forms. In the first case, space activities would reinforce a number of classical and modern views which contend that each human's value results from the function served in society. In an extreme form, this view considers humans alone as nothing more than simple animals without intrinsic value (7). Here, the space program would predominantly influence social and political philosophy. In the second case, the space program would raise more sharply than ever the question of the nature and role of values, for example, whether values bespeak some transcendent nature or are reducible to mere ordinary facts. If values are reducible to natural phenomena of the sort described by the physical sciences, then individuals no longer possess intrinsic value, but acquire value in proportion to societal utility, however defined.

In addition, the nature of values (e.g., aesthetic, moral) and the mode of value determination will become central in this context. Therein probably lies the seed of cultural and, consequently, of philosophical revolution. The perceived relationship of Man to the rest of nature will constitute the main determinant of this cultural change.

Relatively little material is published on the issue of the moral foundation of humans, but a course of lectures could be used to define or refine the problem. Such a course would be divided into roughly five segments that address:
(1) the dualist view of humanity, with appropriate readings from Plato, Descartes, Locke, and the more recent dualists;
(2) the monist theory of humans, with readings from Hume and the more recent materialist school writers, both in the Marxist and the Western traditions;
(3) the view of science, with readings on the origin of the universe, the evolution of the cosmos, the origin of life on Earth, and the (theory of) evolution of humans and society;
(4) the so-called "naturalistic fallacy" and the question of the reducibility of values to characteristics of nature, with readings on the foundations of values; and
(5) the open question: are the two major lines of development of Western civilizationči.e., the reductionism of the scientific enterprise and the assertion of the Rights of Manč compatible or antithetical? Readings could be drawn from the Greek period, the eighteenth century, and the twentieth century and could encompass fields such as anthropology, history, political philosophy, the theory of knowledge, and science and freedom.

III. Relation Between Science and Technology and Its Social Implications

Science aims for the total reconstruction of nature in fully intelligible terms, essentially depending on the available means to observe nature under various conditions. Herein lies the source of science's dependence on technology, for technology provides the scientist with the sophisticated means of probing regions and phenomena far removed from the ordinary or natural domain of human experience.

The import of this dependence stems from the reliance of theoretical concepts and functions on observables. Consequently, the meaning or significance of observations rests heavily on theories (both the general theories being tested and theories of observation); in an important sense, "seeing" is "seeing as."

Furthermore, when sophisticated instruments conduct all observations, "seeing" is accomplished without the operation of "natural intuitions" to sort out the probable from the improbable. A corresponding "intellectualization" of experience results (this is apparent whenever the scientist contemplates the reaction of the proverbial man-in-the-street when confronted with the data provided by instruments). The progressive uselessness of common sense experience in evaluating complex datačan inevitable concomitant of the intellectualization of observationčeventually produces a corresponding disregard for intuitions as a guide to action. For example, intuitions may be contradicted by medical advice in cases of personal health, leading more generally to the abandonment of "unreliable" common sense instincts. As a developing social characteristic, this abandonment of intuition opens up a whole range of possibilities for manipulating people in a democratic society, by relying on their credulity and playing on both their ignorance of scientific matters and the unreliability of their common sense intuitions. This development is fraught with dangers and opportunities and raises the question: do humans have a "right to know the truth of the matter," or not?

The essential role of technology in the formation of world views and the resultant intellectualization of perception may facilitate the progressive widening of the gulf between the so-called "second" and "third" worlds from the advanced countries. Such a gulf relegates less developed peoples to the cultural backwaters and quicksands, with no obvious means of escape, save for a relatively few individuals. This alienation process is becoming more pronounced as space technologies and related conceptual frameworks stimulate new forms of activity (e.g., communication satellites and teleinformatics). Noticeable effects of this process already appear in a number of international cooperation and aid programs designed to "close the gap." On a more global scale, the rise of fundamentalist sentiments in large sections of the worldčas well as conscious regressions to various forms of irrational thought such as magic, mysticism, mysteries, and reliance on drugsčappear to be spurred by the rapid rise of the new scientific and technological culture. This uneven evolution of the world's human cultures poses a number of troubling philosophical questions with import for social and political thought, as well as for philosophical anthropology. This development may well revolutionize these disciplines (and others as well in an academic "trickledown").

Appendix Two provides a brief bibliography and information on a team-taught course that incorporated space issues into the study of philosophy.


1. S. Sambrusky. "The Physical World of the Greeks." New York: Macmillan Co., 1956.

2. Alistair C. Crombie. "Augustine to Galileo, The History of Science, A.D. 400-1650." Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953.

3. Milic Capek. "The Philosophical Impact of Contemporary Physics." Ney York: D. Van Nostrand Co., 1961.

4. A. Koyre. "From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe." Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins, 1957. Also: P. Duhem. "Le Systeme du Monde." Paris, France: Hermann, 1959, Vol. W.

5. John A. Wheeler. "How Did the World Come Into Being?" Proceedings of the Fifth lnternational Conference of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Ontario, 1977.

6. Thomas S. Kuhn. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." Chicago, lllinois: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

7. "Brave New World" and "1984."

Appendix Two


George Farre
Philosophy Department
Georgetown University

I. Mind (Conception of)

D.M. Armstrong. "A Materialist Theory of the Mind." New York: Humanities Press, 1968.

M. Boden. "Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man." New York: Basic Books, 1977.

C.V. Borst (ed). "The Mind-Brain Identity Theory." New York: Macmillan, 1970.

R. Descartes. "Meditation on First Philosophy." Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc., 1960.

H.L. Dreyfus. "What Computers Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason." New York: Harper and Row, 1972.

S.L. Jaki. "Brain, Mind and Computers." New York: Herder and Herder, 1969.

Pamela McCorduck. "Machines Who Think." San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979.

K.M. Sayre. "Consciousness: A Philosophic Study of Minds and Machines." New York: Random House, 1969.

K.M. Sayre and F.J. Crosson (eds). "The Modeling of Mind, Computers and Intelligence." South Bend, IN: Notre Dame Press, 1963.

J. Weizenman. "Computer Power of Human Reason." San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman, 1976.

II. Mind (Related Issues)

Joseph Chiari. "The Necessity of Being." Staten Island, New York: Gordian, 1973.

Francois Jacob. "The Logic of Life: A History of Heredity." New York: Pantheon, 1974.

Robert Jastrow. "Red Giants and White Dwarfs: The Evolution of Stars, Planets, and Life." New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1979.

Jacques Monod. "Chance and Necessity." New York: Random House, 1972.

D.L. Peters. "The Development of Self-Regulatory Mechanisms; Epilog." In: D.N. Walcher and D.L. Peters (eds). "The Development of Self-Regulatory Mechanisms." New York: Academic Press, 1971.

G.E. Pugh. "The Biological Origin of Human Value." New York: Basic Books, 1977.

E.W. Sinnott. "Matter, Mind and Man" New York: Harper & Row, 1957.

III. Science, Technology, and Society

B. Barnes. "Scientific Knowledge and Sociological Theory." London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974.

P. Duhem. "To Save the Phenomenon." Evanston, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1969.

M. Eigen and R. Winkler. "The Laws of the Game: How the Principles of Nature Govern Chance." New York: Knopf, 1981.

N.R. Hanson. "Patterns of Discovery." Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1958.

A. Koyre. "From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe." New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1957.

T. Kuhn. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." (Second edition.) Evanston, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

J. Rawls. "Theory of Justice" Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971 .

G.S. Stent. "Morality as a Biological Phenomenon: The Presupposition of Sociobiological Research." Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1980.

Teaching Experience, Course Content, and Bibliography

Gonzalo Munevar and John C. Kasher Philosophy and Physics Departments University of Nebraska, Omaha

I. Teaching Experience

The National Science Foundation provided a grant to develop and teach an interdisciplinary course in the philosophy of space exploration. This course was team-taught in the spring of 1980 to a group of college students and pre-college science teachers in the Omaha area. The physics and philosophy departments granted three units of upper division credit.

Although the course addressed several interesting issues, the most important topic assessed the justification for space exploration in the face of strong demands for a reallocation of scarce resources (to hunger and poverty programs, for example). This crucial issue deserves a thoughtful and systematic treatment, because of both the magnitude of the resources and effort involved and the scientific and societal significance of the outcome.

Early in the development of the course, it became clear that an intelligent examination of relevant data required a careful discussion of prevailing assumptions about the nature and methodology of scientific knowledge. Such often questionable assumptions affect the weight assigned to the expansion of scientific knowledge through space exploration. For example, in this particular controversy, both sides assume that scientific understanding is cumulative or encyclopedic, without considering recent developments in the philosophy of science that counter that view. To steer the course away from a dry exercise in abstractions, the philosophy of science is illustrated extensively with examples from physics, astronomy, exobiology, and space science in general. This approach to the philosophy of science also facilitates student understanding of the significance of many prominent developments in space science. In this case, each discipline profits from the synergistic interactions.

This dual philosophical and scientific approach also examined the space program for illustrative purposes. In this context, the course focused particularly on the history of space exploration, prospects in the near future (with heavy emphasis on the Shuttle), and some interesting speculations about long-term possibilities.

The method of presentation for justification and other relevant issues might be called dialectical, encompassing the underlying reasons for a particular point of view, objections to that view, responses, and so ončuntil a final resolution, if possible. Of course, the success of this method depended on the students digesting sufficient materials on the nature and future of space exploration in general and space science in particular. This prerequisite material was introduced through readings, lectures, discussions, films, and other audio-visual aids. Most of the films are readily available from NASA, and slides are not difficult to obtain either (there is some overlap with astronomy and geography courses, and pictures of recent events in planetary exploration and of the Space Shuttle are abundant in many publications). However, the reading materials are a different matter altogether. No single source even begins to do justice to the aim of the course, although some sources adequately address specific issues (e.g., Gerard O'Neill's "The High Frontier" and R.M. Power's "Shuttle"). For the most part, lectures were compiled from a wide variety of sources.

The sixty-five students, including ten teachers and ten auditors, came with diverse backgrounds and interests. The course did not assume student knowledge of physics or philosophy and, consequently, aimed at the general student. Mathematical accounts of relativity and other topics were incorporated into the course, but in cases requiring a technical discussion, a parallel conceptual account was provided as well. The class met one evening a week, primarily to encourage school teacher attendance. In this three-hour meeting format, movies and slides produced a brisk pace; two instructors also minimized boredom. Team-teaching seems to work very well in a course of this type, a sentiment also expressed by the students in their final evaluation. In general, the course received very high marks in the evaluation conducted by the University's Center for Improvement of Instruction. Making the course easily available to school teachers added to the quality of the class and also encouraged a transfer of materials into elementary and secondary classrooms. One teacher's final project developed a teaching unit later adopted by the gifted elementary student program in her school district. A high school physics teacher constructed a teaching unit that allowed students to work out calculations relevant to building a space colony.

In view of the impact of the course, it has become a permanent feature of the University catalogue.

II. Course Content The presentation of course material roughly corresponded with the following outline. The headings do not indicate equal distribution of time and/or attention.

(1) Introduction
(A) Preliminary overview of the course; the philosophical and scientific issues.
(B) Brief history of the space programs.
(1) Rocket development
(a) Pioneers of spaceflight
(b) German space program
(c) Short history of American and Russian programs (much of the topic is handled elsewhere)
Main Source: William S. Bainbridge. "The Space Flight Revolution."
Movie: "The Eagle Has Landed"
(C) Planetary research to present (emphasis on missions); near-future plans.
Main Sources: Historical and current accounts can be found in many readily available sources. For future plans, consult NASA's current five-year plan (for revisions and updates we favor publications in astronautics and the more general "Science").
(D) Brief introduction to the Space Shuttle. Main Source: Robert M. Powers. "Shuttle."
(E) Informal class discussion of the motivations and reasons for space exploration.

(2) Initial Objections to Space Exploration
(A) In the face of the many pressing problems we have on Earth (e.g., poverty, starvation, disease, pollution) the expenditure of billions of dollars on space exploration cannot be justified.
Development of the objection.
(B) The environmentalist objection (for lack of a better and fairer name).
Space exploration gives false hope:
(1) Space exploration is a continuation of the attempt to control the worldrather than live in harmony with it.
(2) We should face up to the fact that Earth is all we will ever have.
Main Sources: It is difficult to find well-developed statements of the objections. Sometimes they appear in journals like "Science." The environmentalist objection really questions whether scientific knowledge is a positive value. Such arguments are presented in many forums, but perhaps the most accessible is: "Comments on O'Neill's Space Colonies." In: "Space Colonies."

(3) First Response to the Objections
The NASA case for the economic, technological, and scientific benefits of past and current space programs (e.g., weather and communication satellites) and for the similar prospects of likely missions in the immediate future, with emphasis on the Space Shuttle. Special attention should be given to the following:
(A) Satellite systems (such as Landsat and Comsat).
(B) Spinoffs.
(C) Economic benefits of the space program.
(D) Space science.
(E) Possibilities for space industrialization.
Main Sources: A very good book at this introductory stage is: "Shuttle." The sections on satellite systems and space science should be supplemented with the appropriate chapters from: "The Impact of Space Science on Mankind." See also: Jesco von Puttkamer. "The Industrialization of Space." In: "Space Humanization Series." Volume I, 1979. See also: NASA. "Spinoffs."

(4) Further Objections
(A) The benefits derived from weather and communication satellites and the like constitute at best a case for a limited space program, but not a warrant for planetary exploration, manned missions to the Moon, and so on. This is not to deny that there are some scientific, adventure-oriented, and other values in such activity, but rather to pit the need for spending billions on finding a few facts about the backside of the Moon against improving the welfare of millions of human beings. That is to say, a space program limited in certain ways may lead to an improvement of the general welfare, but much of suggested space exploration would not necessarily or clearly accomplish that goal.
(B) Could secondary benefits of the space program (e.g., advances in medical technology) be achieved outright without investing in the enormous expense of the space program?
(C) Even in cases apparently helped by space technology (e.g., monitoring pollution), it is a mistake to employ more growth and technology to clean up the mess caused by growth and technology. A change of outlook against growth and technology altogether should be considered (which, of course, would not favor space exploration).
Main Source: There is no specific source for this second round of objections.

(5) A Preliminary Case for Space Exploration
Part I: Scientific Knowledge
(A) Contemporary philosophy of science and a noncumulative view of scientific knowledge (Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos). Tentatively: what is important for science is not just the collection of a few new facts, but the testing of advanced theories (which space exploration makes possible) and the opportunities for developing new ways of thinking about the world. If we fail to seize those opportunities, we will deprive ourselves of world views that might alert us to serious problems as well as identify solutions (not only to some of those problems, but also to other vexing issues).
(B) The relationship between theoretical advances and technological opportunities. The connection between the applied science resulting from a very complex enterprise (such as the space program) and beneficial technological spinoffs. Many such spinoffs would not have been possible through programs to develop them directly: they require the prior development of a certain point of view (examples from the history of physics, medicine, and the space program itself).
Main Sources: Hempel's "Philosophy of Natural Science" (for a standard approach to the subject) and Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (for the new approach). Much of the data about the nature of scientific knowledge came from Dr. Munevar's "Radical Knowledge." These works presented difficulties for some students, so we made available several chapters from a manuscript by Dr. Munevar, "A Theory of Wonder: A Guide to the New Philosophy of Science." This section served as a general introduction; the discussion then shifted to specific illustrations of issues, manifested in several aspects of space exploration.
Movies: "HEAO: The New Universe"
"Moonflights and Medicine"

(6) A Preliminary Case for Space Exploration
Part II: Aspects of Space Exploration
(A) Planetary exploration and comparative planetology.Understanding the Earth as a member of a system. Learning more about the terrestrial environment by going into space: the role of the magnetosphere; weather systems ( comparisons with Mars, Jupiter, and Venus); plate tectonics (the frozen record of Ganymede); and so on. The short-term and long-term payoffs of planetary exploration.
Main Sources: Most standard textbooks in astronomy and geophysics will be helpful. Useful reports on recent planetary missions, particularly the Voyager missions, are included in "Scientific American" and "Science" (although quite technical). Also: "Voyager Views Jupiter's Dazzling Realm." National Geographic. January 1980.
Movies: "Voyager Jupiter Encounters 1979"
"Voyager 2: Jupiter Encounter"
"19 Minutes to Earth"
(B) Exobiology and its consequences for the philosophy of biology.
(1) Evolution of planets
(2) Theory of Evolution of life
(3) Conditions necessary for life to begin
(4) Likelihood of favorable planets throughout the galaxy
Main Sources: For an optimistic view: Carl Sagan (ed).
"Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence." For a different view: Thomas Heppenheimer. 'Toward Distant Suns."
(C) The search for intelligent life in the universe.
(1) Theory of Evolution of Intelligence
(2) Evolution of technical civilizations
(3) Wisdom of communications
Main Sources: "Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence." Also: criticism of the work drawn from several sources, including: "Radical Knowledge"; and S. Toulmin and J. Goodfield. "The Fabric of the Heavens."
Movies: (in conjunction with previous section)
"Who's Out There?"
"Earth-Sun Relationship"
"Earthspace: Our Environment"
(D) Solar power satellites and other possible uses of space in the near future.
Main Sources: "Shuttle"; and "The High Frontier." See also: "Toward Distant Suns."
All these materials must be updated with the NASA-DOE studies on the feasibility and environmental risks of SPS. Also: "Space Colonies"čfour filmstrips.
(E) Space colonies.
(1) A springboard to human civilization away from Earth. The utilization of resources throughout the solar system. A way to avoid the "limits to growth?"
Main Sources: "The High Frontier." Also: "Toward Distant Suns"; and Peter Vajk. "Doomsday Has Been Cancelled."
(2) The parallels between past and future utopias:
(a) The Myth of the Metals and the status of women (from Plato's "Republic") and the constitution of a space colony
(b) The proposal for homogeneous space societies in light of J.S. Mill's "On Liberty"
(F) The long-term future.
(1) Exploration of the galaxy
(a) The technologies involved; future propulsion systems
(b) The science involved; special and general relativity
(c) Associated problems in space-time physics and the philosophy of time and space. Time on ship. Tachyons. The problem of increases in mass.
(2) Possible new avenues of investigation in many areas of physics and astrophysics, including Einstein's general theory of relativity and its several alternatives. Quasars, black holes, and other strange things. Astronomy from space.
Main Sources: L.D. Jaffe, et. al.: "Science Aspects of a Mission Beyond the Planets"; "An Interstellar Precursor Mission"; and "Feasibility of Interstellar Travel." See also: P.C.W. Davis. "Space and Time in the Modern Universe." See also a new book by: Saul and Benjamin Adelman. "Bound for the Stars."
For the novice in the field, a good source on relativity would be: William J. Kaufmann III. "The Cosmic Frontiers of General Relativity."
Movies: "Universe"

(7) The Nature of Scientific Knowledge and the Justification Question
(A) Do we really have to confront the fact that Earth is the only resource and home we will ever have? Response to an environmentalist objection.
(B) The requirement of empirical growth, the evolutionary character of scientific knowledge, and the wisdom of science. A possible response to another environmentalist objection.
(C) The possible revolutionary windfall for physics, chemistry, and biology (and the concomitant windfall for technology). Final appraisal of the issue of justification.
Main Sources: This section is mainly a review, particularly of sections (5) and (6), and thus draws from the same sources. A useful addition might be: W. Brown and H. Kahn. "Long-Term Prospects for Development in Space (A Scenario Approach)."


(1) Required Books:
Carl Sagan (ed). "Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence." Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1973.
Gerard O'Neill. "The High Frontier." New York: Bantam Books, 1978.
(2) Strongly Recommended Books:
Tim Greve, Finn Lied, and Eric Tandbergg (eds). "The Impact of Space Science on Mankind." New York: Plenum Press, 1976.
Robert M. Powers. "Planetary Encounters." Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1978.
Gonzalo Munevar. "Radical Knowledge." Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1981.
Robert M. Powers. "Shuttle." Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1977.
Stewart Brand (ed). "Space Colonies." New York: Penguin, 1977.
William S. Bainbridge. "The Space Flight Revolution." New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1976.
Thomas S. Kuhn. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." (Second edition.) Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1970.
Thomas Heppenheimer. "Toward Distant Suns." Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1979.
(3) Recommended Books
Thomas Heppenheimer. "Colonies In Space." Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1977.
William J. Kaufmann III. "The Cosmic Frontiers of General Relativity." Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1977.
Peter Vajk. "Doomsday Has Been Cancelled." Culver City, CA: Peace Press, 1978.
Carl C. Hempel. "Philosophy of Natural Science." Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1966.
Jerry Glenn and George Robinson. "Space Trek." Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1978.
Nigel Calder. "Spaceships of the Mind." New York: Viking Press, 1978.
A.H. Teich (ed). "Technology and Man's Future." New York: St. Martin's Press, 1977.

(4) Other Books
Saul J. Adelman and Benjamin Adelman. "Bound for the Stars." Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1981.
Carl Sagan. "Cosmos." New York: Random House, 1980.
W. Brown and H. Kahn. "Long-Term Prospects for Development in Space (A Scenario Approach)." Washington, D.C.: NASA, 1977.

( 5 ) Required Articles
NASA Five-Year Planning, 1980-1984.
"Voyager Views Jupiter's Dazzling Realm." National Geographic. Jan. 1980, pp. 2-29.

(6) Recommended Articles:
Jesco von Puttkamer (NASA). "On Man's Role in Space."
Jesco von Puttkamer. "The Industrialization of Space." Futurist. June 1979.
Leonard D. Jaffe and Charles V. Ivie. "Science Aspects of a Mission Beyond the Planets." Icarus 39. 1979, pp. 486-494.
D.F. Spencer and L.D. Jaffe. "Feasibility of Interstellar Travel." Astronautica Acta. Vol. IX, 1963, pp. 49-58.
D.F. Spencer and L.D. Jaffe. "Advanced Propulsion Concepts: Proceedings of the Third Symposium." Astronautica Acta. Vol. IX, 1963.
L.D. Jaffe, et. al. "An Interstellar Precursor Mission." JPL Publication, pp. 70-77.

(7) Movies
"The Eagle Has Landed"
"Weather Watchers"
"Pollution Solution"
"4 Rms. Earth View"
"If One Today Two Tomorrow"
"HEAO: The New Universe"
"Moonflights and Medicine"
"Voyager Jupiter Encounters:1979"
"Voyager 2: Jupiter Encounter"
"Voyager 2: Jupiter Zoom Film"
"Who's Out There?"