Explaining the Past and Estimating the Future. The Framework

In this last post before August, I sketch a conceptual framework for estimating the future[1] of science. The framework relies on the close connections between explaining the past and estimating the future. My dissertation and the work surrounding it focused on the question of how to understand the development of science. I have argued that […]

For Whom the Bell Tolls. On the Conception of Foundations of a Science

Are there natural sciences? Surely, there exist what are known as natural sciences, i.e. sciences that study natural phenomena, but my question concerns sciences as phenomena – are some sciences more natural than others? This question may sound weird. Sciences[1] are human creations and therefore they are not natural in the same sense as elephants […]

Ex on the Beach. A Week in the Philosophy of Historiography

I have spent this week writing about philosophy of historiography, a topic I spent time with during my twenties. I wrote a text to the blog of Oulu Centre for Philosophical Studies of History where I discuss the relationship between historiography and science and the connections between philosophy of historiography and philosophy of science. I […]

Duck, You Sucker! Causal Layered Analysis and Philosophy of Science

Sohail Inayatullah (1998) has formulated a method of futures studies called Causal layered analysis (CLA). This method “is concerned less with predicting a particular future and more with opening up the present and past to create alternative futures” (815). It is a “method that reveals deep worldview committments [sic] behind surface phenomena” (815). CLA consist […]

Like Desperados Waiting for a Train. What Have I Learned from the Historians of Science? (1)

1. Things really do change. When I started reading general philosophy of science, I absorbed the idea that the history of science can be used to illustrate and even as evidence in the philosophy of science. I went to a library and started to read a book by Alexandre Koyré. I was very confused when […]

The Hostage. On the Contingency vs. Inevitability Problem and the No Miracles Argument

This post is based on an argument that was left out from my 2018 paper “Could Science Be Interestingly Different?”. I am happy to hear how one could untangle the No Miracles Argument and the contingency-debate, so please let me know. — The discussion about the contingency/inevitability problem has received much attention recently.[1] The debate […]

Counterfactual histories and possible futures

There has been discussion about the relevance of historiographers’ “toolkit of thinking” in futures studies. In order to understand the possible relationships between historiography and futures studies, the claims made about historiographical toolkit must be critically examined. In this post, I begin a series of discussions on the topic and analyze some issues that are […]

Ricky Gervais, the pull of the nature and the inevitability vs. contingency of science

The following caption of Ricky Gervais analyzing the difference between science and religion (taken from here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOi2AgNfQCg) is widely used in memes around the internet. I appreciate that Ricky Gervais speaks for science and does so in an eloquent and intuitively compelling manner. However, I want to make some (critical) comments on the topic: First […]

Scientific Explanation as Historical Explanation (of some cases)

In this post, I discuss the role of scientific explanation in explaining the historical development of science. I argue that we often need scientific knowledge to provide such explanations and therefore the relationship between historical explanations and future estimations is complicated in the case of science. (More detailed analysis of the issues in this post […]

Further Thoughts on the Problem of Future of Science

Recently, I discussed with physicist Santeri Laurila (PhD) about the nature of science, especially experimental science. We brainstormed some issues about science and its history that seem, prima facie, important in understanding how to investigate the estimation of futures of science. In this post, I discuss some of these issues. All the good insights are […]

The Hard Problem of Future of Science

There exist a serious concern of whether possible futures of science can be estimated at all. The main argument against such a possibility stems from the idea that important scientific results involve conceptual innovations that cannot be predicted: if we could predict those conceptual innovations, we would already have the new conceptual apparatus (McIntyre 2007, […]