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Café Philo DC: “Does It Make Any Difference If There Are Multiverses?”
Café Philo DC is a moderated, philosophical roundtable discussion for the general public founded by Ken Feldman in 1999. Modeled on the Parisian prototype, the event welcomes all philosophically curious people to discuss the big questions in life.

Cost: Free
No Registration Required

Cosmology now ponders whether multiple universes exist and whether we humans, especially scientists, but also philosophers, theologians and others, are genetically equipped to fathom the nature and import of this question. Assuming that philosophical reflection -- fueled by human imagination -- stands some scant chance of grappling intelligibly with this formidable mystery, does our topic make sense, and if so, does it matter to us? Why? What marginal benefit to our existence here on planet Earth could we garner by glimpsing some insight into the vastness of what is out there in a realm that those of us now alive will likely never know or experience? How does the multiverse theory relate to the old metaphysical quandary, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”? Or the variation offered by writer Jim Holt’s new book, “Why Does the World Exist?”? Is our question elucidated by advancements in quantum physics? Does the notion of multiverses ultimately threaten to blur the distinction between physics and metaphysics, or even science and religion (e.g., is the multiverse concept, which is not yet amenable to empirical verification, largely a matter of faith?)? (Finally – and incidentally -- do you find the use of question marks placed within question marks a somewhat suggestive microcosm of the idea of universes containing universes?)

Perhaps most importantly, from an ethical philosophical perspective, is there a this-worldly, pragmatic heuristic value in contemplating the possibility of multiple universes as a means of opening ourselves more broadly to the reality of coexisting with other people and cultures that otherwise seem unimaginable and incomprehensible to us from our limited purview?

Event Contact
Ken Feldman AB '74

Staff Liaison
Mari Meyer

Event Information
Saturday, Jan 26 2013 at 1:00pm - 3:00pm [ iCal ]
Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (Medium conference room)
4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016 US