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Profile: Petri Ylikoski (University of Helsinki)
  1. Petri Ylikoski & Jaakko Kuorikoski (2010). Dissecting Explanatory Power. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):201–219.
    Comparisons of rival explanations or theories often involve vague appeals to explanatory power. In this paper, we dissect this metaphor by distinguishing between different dimensions of the goodness of an explanation: non-sensitivity, cognitive salience, precision, factual accuracy and degree of integration. These dimensions are partially independent and often come into conflict. Our main contribution is to go beyond simple stipulation or description by explicating why these factors are taken to be explanatory virtues. We accomplish this by using the contrastive-counterfactual approach (...)
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  2.  14
    Petri Ylikoski & N. Emrah Aydinonat (2014). Understanding with Theoretical Models. Journal of Economic Methodology 21 (1):19-36.
    This paper discusses the epistemic import of highly abstract and simplified theoretical models using Thomas Schelling’s checkerboard model as an example. We argue that the epistemic contribution of theoretical models can be better understood in the context of a cluster of models relevant to the explanatory task at hand. The central claim of the paper is that theoretical models make better sense in the context of a menu of possible explanations. In order to justify this claim, we introduce a distinction (...)
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  3.  53
    Petri Ylikoski (2013). Causal and Constitutive Explanation Compared. Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-297.
    This article compares causal and constitutive explanation. While scientific inquiry usually addresses both causal and constitutive questions, making the distinction is crucial for a detailed understanding of scientific questions and their interrelations. These explanations have different kinds of explananda and they track different sorts of dependencies. Constitutive explanations do not address events or behaviors, but causal capacities. While there are some interesting relations between building and causal manipulation, causation and constitution are not to be confused. Constitution is a synchronous and (...)
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  4.  97
    Peter Hedström & Petri Ylikoski (2010). Causal Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Annual Review of Sociology 36:49–67.
    During the past decade, social mechanisms and mechanism-based ex- planations have received considerable attention in the social sciences as well as in the philosophy of science. This article critically reviews the most important philosophical and social science contributions to the mechanism approach. The first part discusses the idea of mechanism- based explanation from the point of view of philosophy of science and relates it to causation and to the covering-law account of explanation. The second part focuses on how the idea (...)
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  5.  11
    Petri Ylikoski (2009). The Illusion of Depth of Understanding in Science. In Henk De Regt, Sabina Leonelli & Kai Eigner (eds.), Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press
    In this chapter I will employ a well-known scientific research heuristic that studies how something works by focusing on circumstances in which it does not work. Rather than trying to describe what scientific understanding would ideally look like, I will try to learn something about it by observing mundane cases where understanding is partly illusory. My main thesis is that scientists are prone to the illusion of depth of understanding (IDU), and as a consequence they sometimes overestimate the detail, coherence, (...)
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  6.  11
    Aki Petteri Lehtinen, Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (eds.) (2012). Economics for Real: Uskali Mäki and the Place of Truth in Economics. Routledge.
    This book provides the first comprehensive and critical examination of Mäki's realist philosophy of economics.
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  7. Petri Ylikoski (2009). The Illusion of Depth of Understanding in Science. In H. W. de Regt, S. Leonelli & K. Eigner (eds.), Scientific Understanding : Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press 100--119.
  8.  23
    Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2010). Explanatory Relevance Across Disciplinary Boundaries: The Case of Neuroeconomics. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):219–228.
    Many of the arguments for neuroeconomics rely on mistaken assumptions about criteria of explanatory relevance across disciplinary boundaries and fail to distinguish between evidential and explanatory relevance. Building on recent philosophical work on mechanistic research programmes and the contrastive counterfactual theory of explanation, we argue that explaining an explanatory presupposition or providing a lower-level explanation does not necessarily constitute explanatory improvement. Neuroscientific findings have explanatory relevance only when they inform a causal and explanatory account of the psychology of human decision-making.
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  9.  7
    Petri Ylikoski (2014). Agent-Based Simulation and Sociological Understanding. Perspectives on Science 22 (3):318-335.
    This article discusses agent-based simulation (ABS) as a tool of sociological understanding. I argue that agent-based simulations can play an important role in the expansion of explanatory understanding in the social sciences. The argument is based on an inferential account of understanding (Ylikoski 2009, Ylikoski & Kuorikoski 2010), according to which computer simulations increase our explanatory understanding by expanding our ability to make what-if inferences about social processes and by making these inferences more reliable. The inferential account also suggests a (...)
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  10.  24
    Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.) (2007). Rethinking Explanation. Springer.
    This book highlights some of the conceptual problems that still need to be solved and points out a number of fresh philosophical ideas to explore.
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  11.  25
    Petri Ylikoski (2001). Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation. Dissertation, University of Helsinki
  12.  22
    Petri Ylikoski (2011). Social Mechanisms and Explanatory Relevance. In Pierre Demeulenaere (ed.), Analytical Sociology and Social Mechanisms. Cambridge University Press 154.
  13.  22
    Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2013). How Organization Explains. In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer 69--80.
    Constitutivemechanisticexplanationsexplainapropertyofawholewith the properties of its parts and their organization. Carl Craver’s mutual manipulability criterion for constitutive relevance only captures the explanatory relevance of causal properties of parts and leaves the organization side of mechanistic explanation unaccounted for. We use the contrastive counterfactual theory of explanation and an account of the dimensions of organization to build a typology of organizational dependence. We analyse organizational explanations in terms of such dependencies and emphasize the importance of modular organizational motifs. We apply this framework (...)
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  14. Petri Ylikoski (1999). Dispositions: A Debate D. M. Armstrong, C. B. Martin, and U. T. Place Tim Crane, Editor London: Routledge, 1996, Viii + 197 Pp. [REVIEW] Dialogue 38 (01):175-.
  15. Petri Ylikoski (2005). The Third Dogma Revisited. Foundations of Science 10 (4):395–419.
    This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is independent of (...)
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  16.  34
    Petri Ylikoski (1995). The Invisible Hand and Science. Science Studies 8 (2):32-43.
    In this paper I will discuss the idea of the invisible hand in the connection of its recent use in the philosophy of science. It has been invoked by some philosophers of science with a naturalistic bent as a part of their account of science. Some have made explicit references to the idea (Hull, 1988a) and others have only presupposed it (Giere, 1988; Goldman, 1991; Kitcher, 1993). I will argue that there are some problematic features in the way the idea (...)
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  17.  11
    Petri Ylikoski (2007). The Idea of Contrastive Explanandum. In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Springer 27--42.
  18.  30
    Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2015). External Representations and Scientific Understanding. Synthese 192 (12):3817-3837.
    This paper provides an inferentialist account of model-based understanding by combining a counterfactual account of explanation and an inferentialist account of representation with a view of modeling as extended cognition. This account makes it understandable how the manipulation of surrogate systems like models can provide genuinely new empirical understanding about the world. Similarly, the account provides an answer to the question how models, that always incorporate assumptions that are literally untrue of the model target, can still provide factive explanations. Finally, (...)
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  19.  4
    Petri Ylikoski & Pekka Mäkelä (2002). We-Attitudes and Social Institutions. In Georg Meggle (ed.), Social Facts and Collective Intentionality. Dr. Hänsel-Hohenhausen AG
  20.  7
    Petri Ylikoski (2003). Bringing Critique Back to the Philosophy of Science. Social Epistemology 17 (2-3):321-324.
    Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times aims to contextualise Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions and its influence. I will leave the historical evaluation of this contextualisation to others and concentrate on what I take to be the main point Steve Fuller wants to make with his philosophical history. He basically argues that The Structure of Scientific Revolutions contributed to the oblivion of a general public academic space where the ends and means of science could be debated. The main (...)
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  21.  23
    Petri Ylikoski (2003). Thought Experiments in Science Studies. Philosophica 72:1-25.
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  22.  2
    Petri Ylikoski (2002). Kymmenen haastetta kausaalisen selittämisen teorialle. Ajatus 59:155-177.
    Väitöskirjassani Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation (2001) hahmottelin teoriaa yksittäisten tapahtumien kausaalisesta selittämisestä. Tässä kirjoituksessa tarkastelen niitä haasteita tai vaatimuksia, joihin teoriani yritti vastata. Alustavien huomioiden jälkeen esittelen ensiksi erityisesti selittämisen teoriaan liittyviä haasteita ja sen jälkeen yleisempiä filosofisia vaatimuksia hyväksyttävälle selittämisen teorialle.
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  23.  6
    Petri Ylikoski (2012). Micro, Macro, and Mechanisms. In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press 21.
    is chapter takes a fresh look at micro-macro relations in the social sciences from the point of view of the mechanistic account of explanation. Traditionally, micro- macro issues have been assimilated to the problem of methodological individualism. It is not my intention to resurrect this notoriously unfruitful controversy. On the contrary, the main thrust of this chapter is to show that the cul-de-sac of that debate can be avoided if we give up some of its presuppositions. The debate about methodological (...)
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  24.  16
    Petri Ylikoski (2004). Interests, Folk Psychology and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):265 – 279.
    This paper provides a conceptual analysis of the notion of interests as it is used in the social studies of science. After describing the theoretical background behind the Strong Program's adoption of the concept of interest, the paper outlines a reconstruction of the everyday notion of interest and argues that this same notion is used also by the sociologists of scientific knowledge. However, there are a couple of important differences between the everyday use of this notion and the way in (...)
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  25.  11
    Erik Weber & Petri Ylikoski (2005). Preface. Foundations of Science 10 (4):349-351.
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  26.  2
    Petri Ylikoski (2013). Individuals and Identity in Economics, Davis. Cambridge University Press, 2011, X + 260 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):142-147.
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  27. Peter Hedström & Petri Ylikoski (2011). Analytical Sociology. In Ian C. Jarvie & Jesus Zamoro Bonilla (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences. SAGE
  28.  45
    Matti Sintonen, Petri Ylikoski & Kaarlo Miller (eds.) (2003). Realism in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Realism in Action is a selection of essays written by leading representatives in the fields of action theory and philosophy of mind, philosophy of the social sciences and especially the nature of social action, and of epistemology and philosophy of science. Practical reason, reasons and causes in action theory, intending and trying, and folk-psychological explanation are some of the topics discussed by these leading participants. A particular emphasis is laid on trust, commitments and social institutions, on the possibility of grounding (...)
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  29. Petri Ylikoski & Samuli Pöyhönen (forthcoming). Addiction-as-a-Kind Hypothesis. International Journal of Addiction and Drug Research.
    The psychiatric category of addiction has recently been broadened to include new behaviors. This has prompted critical discussion about the value of a concept that covers so many different substances and activities. Many of the debates surrounding the notion of addiction stem from different views concerning what kind of a thing addiction fundamentally is. In this essay, we put forward an account that conceptualizes different addictions as sharing a cluster of relevant properties (the syndrome) that is supported by a matrix (...)
     
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  30. Petri Ylikoski (2003). Explaining Practices. Protosociology 18:317-333.
    This paper discusses Stephen Turner’s recent critique of theories of social practices. It shows that his arguments are valid against common explanatory uses of these concepts, but not against practices in general. There are plenty of legitimate non-explanatory uses for practice concepts. The paper also suggests that Turner’s main arguments derive from two principles that have much wider application than practice theories. Consequently, they should be considered as general constraints on every social theory.
     
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  31. Petri Ylikoski (2013). No Title Available: Reviews. Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):142-147.
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