Invariances in History, Science, and Future

In this post, I discuss to what extent the concept of invariance can connect historiography, sciences, and futures studies. I argue that we can find invariances concerning human activities, especially in the case of science. I argue that (a) science, historiography, and futures studies require knowledge of invariances, and (b) knowledge of invariances enable us […]

A Brief Note on Scientific Breakthroughs

Recently, we discussed about scientific breakthroughs in Tiedepiiri[1] (“The Circle of Science”). While this phenomenon is a close relative of scientific discovery, scientific innovation, and scientific revolution, the language of scientific breakthroughs has no established meanings in academic research concerning science. The concepts of discovery, revolution, innovation, and breakthrough all have different connotations. Roughly: Discovery […]

How to Approach History of Science Objectively? Presentism in Historiography

In this post, I discuss some major conceptual and philosophical problems that the historiography of science faces. These problems are important for the estimating of the future of science since they question our ability to connect the past to the present and our ability to make sense of the history of science. Some of the […]

Classics of Historiography of Science. George Sarton

This post begins a series of posts that focus on some canonical figures and texts in the historiography of science. I write about their conceptions of history, science and future. Already in this text, the essential connection between history and future will arise. Beyond that, I find these figures interesting for many reasons. First, the […]

Losing My Religion. The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives

In the previous post, I wondered whether we can conceive a history (or future) of science that does not end up in the current state of science. We noted that the task is at least difficult. We have to use our current scientific knowledge in creating counterfactual historical scenarios of science and therefore our current […]

Forever Trusting Who We Are. Can We Escape the Present Science?

In the excellent and rich paper, “So close no matter how far: counterfactuals in history of science and the inevitability/contingency controversy” (2020), Luca Tambolo discusses counterfactuals in the historiography of science. Tambolo argues that “In the case of general history, it is often possible to imagine a consequent dramatically different from actual history, and yet […]

Will the Future Understand Us?

In historiography, a common idea is that we should describe and explain the past in its own terms. People have had different beliefs, values, and problems to be solved, and the social and cultural dynamics surrounding them have been different – not to mention the material realities of the past. We should not expect that […]

Squeezing Water out of Stones. On Historical Counterfactuals

When I was around 14, my math teacher T. M. always accused me of excessive speculation. I decided that I would learn everything there is to be learned about the art of speculation. I went to the library and starter to read Tetlock and Belkin’s Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics in order to counter […]

But Something Is Happening and You Don’t Know What It Is, Do You, History of Knowledge?

In this post, I discuss the historiography of knowledge. I analyze tensions within the field and attempt to understand why we should to care about the foundations of the field. —– History of Knowledge is here. The authorities are still checking the identity of the settler. Is it someone’s sibling or cousin? Is it someone’s […]

Understanding Explanation and Its Relevance for the Future

In this post, I discuss how philosophy of historiography helps us to understand the estimating of futures. More specifically, by focusing on my forthcoming publication, I discuss why we need a philosophical account of historiographical explanation to understand the use of historiography in scenario-work. Soon, my paper “What Should We Require from an Account of […]

Thinking through Historical Cases

In this post, I discuss problems that are associated with case studies in the philosophy of science and possible solutions to the problems. I also discuss the relevance of the problems to our thinking about science and future. Preliminary note on methodology Before going any further, we need to notice that the notion of “case […]

Meme: ‘An Age-Old Argument’. The Necessity of Explanatory Power

I have come across the following picture many times. The picture involves a historical argument: There have always been explanation-seeking questions that appeared to refute a theory. Yet, the theory turned out to be successful. Conclusion: We can ignore certain explanation-seeking questions that appear to refute current beliefs. Despite the good intentions, the argument is […]