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

Edit. See also Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Part 2 discussing how to assess historiographical counterfactuals. 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 […]

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 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, […]