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 […]

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 […]

How I Left the World behind and Fell in Love with Counterfactuals. A Counterfactual Account of Testing Philosophical Theories of Science

At least since Kuhn, the changing nature of science has become evident. The idea that “all of the concepts we use to discuss science are in constant flux” (Pitt 2001, 381) can be called Heraclitianism (following Bolinska & Martin 2019). The lesson (from historians of science) is that science has taken (sometimes radically) different forms […]

Rational Reconstructions from History to Future

Imre Lakatos (1922-1974) famously argued that we should make the history of science understandable by rationally reconstructing it. We have to formulate normative “methodologies” of science, i.e. accounts that tell how science should proceed in gathering and organizing its knowledge (e.g. inductivism, conventionalism, falsicationism, methodology of research programs), and produce historiographies of science that explain […]

Theoretical-Structural Taxonomies in History and Future

In this post, I discuss the similarities and differences between historiography and futures studies on the basis of David J. Staley’s book History and Future. I also sketch a structural-taxonomical approach to the possible futures. It is one thing to say that our knowledge of the past is necessary for our knowledge of future, but […]

Wender Bell, Futures Studies, and 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]