Theory of EverythingADDPMP688
In physics, the theory of everything (ToE) refers to a hypothetical, singular, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully ex- plains and links together all aspects of the universe; for now, finding a theory of everything is one of the major unsolved problems of the discipline.
Adopting the term from physics, in philosophy, a theory of everything is an ultimate, all-encompassing explanation or description of nature or reality. Philosophers have discussed the viability of the concept and analysed its properties and implications since ancient Greece (12th–9th centuries BC); the philosophies of Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle could be said to be early examples of comprehensive systems with the attempt to answer all the important questions in a coherent way, providing a complete picture of the world. Among the questions to be addressed by a philosophical theory of everything are:
“Why is reality understandable?
Why are the laws of nature as they are? Why is there anything at all?”
In the early modern period (17th and 18th centuries), the system-building scope of philosophy is often linked to the rationalist method of philosophy, that is the technique of deducing the nature of the world by pure a priori reason. Examples from the early modern period include German polymath and philosopher Leibniz’s monadology, French philosopher and scientist Descartes’s dualism and Dutch philosopher Spinoza’s monism. German philo- sopher Hegel’s absolute idealism and English mathematician and philosopher Whitehead’s process philosophy were systems developed later.
At present, work is underway on the structural-systematic philosophy (SSP) by researchers including Brazilian philosopher based in Germany Lorenz B Puntel and American philosopher Alan White. The SSP makes no claims to finality; it aims to be the best systematic philosophy currently available. However, other philosophers do not believe philosophy should aim so high. In parallel, some scientists claim a more mathematical than philosophical approach is needed for a ToE, such as English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking who wrote in his book A Brief History of Time (1988) that even if we had a ToE it would be a set of equations.