Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Part 3. Historiography as Progressive Science

In the previous posts, I have discussed Lakatosian and counterfactual considerations about the use of frameworks in historiography. I have argued that frameworks generate possible futures and therefore historiography is committed to sets of possible futures, whether historians like it or not. In this post, I argue that choices of explanatory frameworks reflect values and […]

All Along the Watchtower. On the Relationship between Philosophy and Futures Studies

In this post, I analyze the relationship between philosophy and futures studies. I do not intend to capture the whole picture. Rather, I reflect on the commitments that my own study of the estimating of possible futures of science makes to the nature of philosophy. In my view, the main distinction is to be made […]

Die with Your Boots on. Theories, Corroboration, and Rational Prediction

”It may be possible to excise all inductive ingredients from science, but if the operation were successful, the patient (science), deprived of all predictive import, would die” (Salmon 1981, 125). In previous posts, I have suggested that we should approach the estimating of possible futures (of science) in a theory-driven way: We need to use […]

Theoretical Structures in the Estimating the Futures of Science

I suggest that theoretical knowledge is in the essence of understanding the possible structures of future within which more specific events take place. It is a nice coincidence that Kuhn named his famous book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” as this sense of structure is what I have mind in here. Let’s use Kuhn as […]

Deep Historiography, Valid Futures?

In this post, I argue that the criteria of external validity in the futures research and the criteria for explanatory depth in historiography share important conceptual similarities. The similarities suggest many interesting connections between historiographical insights and futures research. — According to Kuusi, Cuhls and Steinmüller (2015), we can explicate the notion of external validity […]

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 […]

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 […]