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Profile: Uskali Mäki (University of Helsinki)
  1.  75
    Uskali Mäki (2009). MISSing the World. Models as Isolations and Credible Surrogate Systems. Erkenntnis 70 (1):29 - 43.
    This article shows how the MISS account of models—as isolations and surrogate systems—accommodates and elaborates Sugden’s account of models as credible worlds and Hausman’s account of models as explorations. Theoretical models typically isolate by means of idealization, and they are representatives of some target system, which prompts issues of resemblance between the two to arise. Models as representations are constrained both ontologically (by their targets) and pragmatically (by the purposes and audiences of the modeller), and these relations are coordinated by (...)
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  2.  33
    Uskali Mäki (2005). Models Are Experiments, Experiments Are Models. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):303-315.
    A model is a representation of something beyond itself in the sense of being used as a representative of that something, and in prompting questions of resemblance between the model and that something. Models are substitute systems that are directly examined in order to indirectly acquire information about their target systems. An experiment is an arrangement seeking to isolate a fragment of the world by controlling for causally relevant things outside that fragment. It is suggested that many theoretical models are (...)
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  3.  1
    Uskali Mäki (2009). MISSing the World: Models as Isolations, Representations, and Credible Worlds. Erkenntnis 70 (1):29-43.
    This article shows how the MISS account of models—as isolations and surrogate systems—accommodates and elaborates Sugden’s account of models as credible worlds and Hausman’s account of models as explorations. Theoretical models typically isolate by means of idealization, and they are representatives of some target system, which prompts issues of resemblance between the two to arise. Models as representations are constrained both ontologically (by their targets) and pragmatically (by the purposes and audiences of the modeller), and these relations are coordinated by (...)
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  4.  90
    Uskali Mäki (2009). Economics Imperialism: Concept and Constraints. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (3):351-380.
    The paper seeks to offer [1] an explication of a concept of economics imperialism, focusing on its epistemic aspects; and [2] criteria for its normative assessment. In regard to [1], the defining notion is that of explanatory unification across disciplinary boundaries. As to [2], three kinds of constraints are proposed. An ontological constraint requires an increased degree of ontological unification in contrast to mere derivational unification. An axiological constraint derives from variation in the perceived relative significance of the facts explained. (...)
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  5.  67
    Uskali Mäki (2011). Models and the Locus of Their Truth. Synthese 180 (1):47 - 63.
    If models can be true, where is their truth located? Giere (Explaining science, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998) has suggested an account of theoretical models on which models themselves are not truth-valued. The paper suggests modifying Giere’s account without going all the way to purely pragmatic conceptions of truth—while giving pragmatics a prominent role in modeling and truth-acquisition. The strategy of the paper is to ask: if I want to relocate truth inside models, how do I get it, what (...)
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  6.  65
    Uskali Mäki (2014). Scientific Imperialism: Difficulties in Definition, Identification, and Assessment. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):325-339.
    This article identifies and analyses issues related to defining and evaluating the so-called scientific imperialism. It discusses John Dupré's account, suggesting that it is overly conservative and does not offer a definition of scientific imperialism in not presenting it as a phenomenon of interdisciplinarity. It then discusses the recent account by Steve Clarke and Adrian Walsh, taking issue with ideas such as illegitimate occupation, counterfactual progress, and culturally significant values. A more comprehensive and refined framework of my own is then (...)
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  7. Uskali Mäki (2009). Realistic Realism About Unrealistic Models. In Harold Kincaid & Don Ross (eds.), The Oxford handbook of philosophy of economics. Oxford University Press
    My philosophical intuitions are those of a scientific realist. In addition to being realist in its philosophical outlook, my philosophy of economics also aspires to be realistic in the sense of being descriptively adequate, or at least normatively non-utopian, about economics as a scientific discipline. The special challenge my philosophy of economics must meet is to provide a scientific realist account that is realistic of a discipline that deals with a complex subject matter and operates with highly unrealistic models. Unrealisticness (...)
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  8. Uskali Mäki (2011). Scientific Realism as a Challenge to Economics (and Vice Versa). Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (1):1-12.
    The implications of scientific realism in regard to economics depend on what one takes scientific realism to mean and on whether one lets its contents to depend on the peculiar characteristics of the discipline of economics. Here a revisionist line is adopted and scientific realism is reduced to a minimal version that is able to accommodate as large a portion of science as possible. Among other things, characterizations of minimal realism do not require, as standard formulations of scientific realism do, (...)
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  9. Uskali Mäki (1999). Science as a Free Market: A Reflexivity Test in an Economics of Economics. Perspectives on Science 7 (4):486-509.
    : One prominent aspect of recent developments in science studies has been the increasing employment of economic concepts and models in the depiction of science, including the notion of a free market for scientific ideas. This gives rise to the issue of the adequacy of the conceptual resources of economics for this purpose. This paper suggests an adequacy test by putting a version of free market economics to a self-referential scrutiny. The outcome is that either free market economics is self-defeating, (...)
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  10. Uskali Maki (1999). Science as a Free Market: A Reflexivity Test in an Economics of Economics. Perspectives on Science 7 (4):486-509.
    One prominent aspect of recent developments in science studies has been the increasing employment of economic concepts and models in the depiction of science, including the notion of a free market for scientific ideas. This gives rise to the issue of the adequacy of the conceptual resources of economics for this purpose. This paper suggests an adequacy test by putting a version of free market economics to a self-referential scrutiny. The outcome is that either free market economics is self-defeating, or (...)
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  11.  19
    Uskali Mäki, Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard & John Woods (eds.) (2012). Philosophy of Economics. North Holland.
    This volume serves as a detailed introduction for those new to the field as well as a rich source of new insights and potential research agendas for those already engaged with the philosophy of economics.
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  12. Uskali Mäki (ed.) (2012). Handbook of the Philosophy of Economics.
     
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  13. Uskali Mäki (1994). Isolation, Idealization and Truth in Economics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 38:147-168.
    Challenges the widely held view that good models must necessarily be simplifications and hence cannot be true. This is done by distinguishing between whole truth (complete description) and truth (essential description, attained by the method of isolation).
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  14. Uskali Mäki (1992). On the Method of Isolation in Economics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 26:19-54.
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  15.  3
    Uskali Mäki & Miles MacLeod (forthcoming). Interdisciplinarity in Action: Philosophy of Science Perspectives. European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-4.
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  16.  71
    Michael Weisberg, Samir Okasha & Uskali Mäki (2011). Modeling in Biology and Economics. Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):613-615.
  17.  1
    Uskali Mäki (2009). MISSing the World. Models as Isolations and Credible Surrogate Systems. Erkenntnis 70 (1):29-43.
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  18. Uskali Mäki (2009). Models and Truth: The Functional Decomposition Approach. In Mauricio Suárez, Miklós Rédei & Mauro Dorato (eds.), EPSA Epistemology and Methodology of Science: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer
  19. Uskali Mäki (ed.) (2001). The Economic World View: Studies in the Ontology of Economics. Cambridge University Press.
    The beliefs of economists are not solely determined by empirical evidence in direct relation to the theories and models they hold. Economists hold 'ontological presuppositions', fundamental ideas about the nature of being which direct their thinking about economic behaviour. In this volume, leading philosophers and economists examine these hidden presuppositions, searching for a 'world view' of economics. What properties are attributed to human individuals in economic theories, and which are excluded? Does economic man exist? Do markets have an essence? Do (...)
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  20.  26
    Uskali Mäki (2001). Explanatory Unification: Double and Doubtful. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):488-506.
    the urge to "explain much by little"—serves as an ideal of theorizing not only in natural sciences but also in the social sciences, most notably in economics. The ideal is occasionally challenged by appealing to the complexity and diversity of social systems and processes in space and time. This article proposes to accommodate such doubts by making a distinction between two kinds of unification and suggesting that while such doubts may be justified in regard to mere derivational unification (which serves (...)
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  21.  13
    Uskali Mäki (2003). 'The Methodology of Positive Economics' (1953) Does Not Give Usthemethodology of Positive Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (4):495-505.
    It is argued that rather than a well defined F?Twist, Milton Friedman's ?Methodology of positive economics? offers an F?Mix: a pool of ambiguous and inconsistent ingredients that can be used for putting together a number of different methodological positions. This concerns issues such as the very concept of being unrealistic, the goal of predictive tests, the as?if formulation of theories, explanatory unification, social construction, and more. Both friends and foes of Friedman's essay have ignored its open?ended unclarities. Their removal may (...)
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  22.  29
    Uskali Mäki (2004). Economic Epistemology: Hopes and Horrors. Episteme 1 (3):211-222.
    The cultural and epistemic status of science is under attack. Social and cultural studies of science are widely perceived to offer evidence and arguments in support of an anti-science campaign. They portray science as a mundane social endeavour, akin to religion and politics, with no privileged access to truthful information about the real world. Science is under threat and needs defence. Old philosophical legitimations have lost their bite. Alarm bells ring, new troops have to be mobilised. Call economics, the good (...)
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  23.  7
    Inkeri Koskinen & Uskali Mäki (forthcoming). Extra-Academic Transdisciplinarity and Scientific Pluralism: What Might They Learn From One Another? European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-26.
    The paper looks at challenges related to the ideas of integration and knowledge systems in extra-academic transdisciplinarity. Philosophers of science are only starting to pay attention to the increasingly common practice of introducing extra-academic perspectives or engaging extra-academic parties in academic knowledge production. So far the rather scant philosophical discussion on the subject has mainly concentrated on the question whether such engagement is beneficial in science or not. Meanwhile, there is quite a large and growing literature on extra-academic TD, mostly (...)
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  24. Uskali Mäki (ed.) (2002). Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction. Cambridge University Press.
    Bringing together some of the leading figures in the field of economic methodology and philosophy, this collection provides a thoughtful and balanced overview of the current state of debate about the status of economic knowledge. Representing the most current thinking on a topic of enduring interest to economists and philosophers and other social scientists, the book is notable for the extent to which authors from opposing schools of thought engage seriously with their opponents.
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  25.  13
    Uskali Mäki (1996). Two Portraits of Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 3 (1):1-38.
    This is an assessment of two recent philosophical accounts of the nature of economics, those given in Alexander Rosenberg's Economics - Mathematical Politics or the Science of Diminishing Returns? (1992) and in Daniel Hausman's The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics (1992). The focus is on how they portray the predictive capabilities of economics and the links between economic theory and empirical evidence. Some major suggestions of the two books are found wanting in interesting ways. Examples are Rosenberg's explanation of (...)
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  26.  1
    Uskali Mäki (2013). Contested Modelling: The Case of Economics. In Ulrich Gähde, Stephan Hartmann & Jörn Henning Wolf (eds.), Models, Simulations, and the Reduction of Complexity. Walter de Gruyter 87-106.
    Economics is a culturally and politically powerful and contested discipline, and it has been that way as long as it has existed. For some commentators, economics is the "queen of the social sciences", while others view it as a "dismal science" (and both of these epithets allow for diverse interpretations; see Mäki 2002). Economics is also a discipline that deals with a dynamically complex subject matter and has a tradition of reducing this complexity by using systematic procedures of simplification. Nowadays, (...)
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  27.  10
    Uskali Mäki (2013). On a Paradox of Truth, or How Not to Obscure the Issue of Whether Explanatory Models Can Be True. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):268 - 279.
    It is argued that Reiss (2012) fails to refute attempts to resolve the paradox of false explanatory models. His article fails to provide an articulate conception of what exactly the presumed paradox is, it suffers from uncontrolled ambiguities and inconsistencies, and it fails to adequately address accounts of economic models that might contribute to reconciling their apparent falsehood and explanatoriness. Some details in my account of how apparently false models may explain are clarified.
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  28.  9
    Uskali Mäki (2010). When Economics Meets Neuroscience: Hype and Hope. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):107-117.
    This is a paper on interdisciplinarity and rhetoric. Neuroeconomics is hype, but this does not rule out entertaining hopes about its capacity to produce some desirable consequences. Its "disciplinary conventions" are characterized as those of a young interdisciplinary field. Its rhetorical advantages are identified, and its rhetorical excesses are put in perspective and conditionally excused. Its evidential roles are emphasized, and they are shown to be limited in alleviating the under-constraint issue due to the difficulty of using fMRI properly.
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  29.  25
    Uskali Mäki & Caterina Marchionni (2009). On the Structure of Explanatory Unification: The Case of Geographical Economics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):185-195.
    A newly emerged field within economics, known as geographical economics claims to have provided a unified approach to the study of spatial agglomerations at different spatial scales by showing how these can be traced back to the same basic economic mechanisms. We analyze this contemporary episode of explanatory unification in relation to major philosophical accounts of unification. In particular, we examine the role of argument patterns in unifying derivations, the role of ontological convictions and mathematical structures in shaping unification, the (...)
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  30.  28
    Uskali Mäki & Caterina Marchionni (2009). On the Structure of Explanatory Unification: The Case of Geographical Economics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):185-195.
    A newly emerged field within economics, known as geographical economics, claims to have provided a unified approach to the study of spatial agglomerations at different spatial scales by showing how these can be traced back to the same basic economic mechanisms. We analyse this contemporary episode of explanatory unification in relation to major philosophical accounts of unification. In particular, we examine the role of argument patterns in unifying derivations, the role of ontological convictions and mathematical structures in shaping unification, the (...)
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  31.  24
    Uskali Mäki (1998). Aspects of Realism About Economics. Theoria 13 (2):301-319.
    A few aspects of the issue of realism are addressed in the context of a social science. The paper looks for adjustments needed in our conceptions of scientiflc realism to accommodate some peculiarities of economics. Ontologically speaking, economics appears to be closely linked to commonsense conceptions of the world, thus the problem of theoretical concepts does not emerge in the same form it is often taken to exist in physics. Theory formation is largely a matter of idealization and isolation among (...)
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  32.  12
    Uskali Mäki (2012). On the Philosophy of the New Kiosk Economics of Everything. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (3):219-230.
    The article suggests a list of principles that guide this new genre of popular writing in and on economics: the new kiosk economics of everything. These well-selling books seek to show how the simple ideas of economics are able to reveal hidden mechanisms that unify a surprising variety of everyday phenomena and by doing so entertain their readers and improve the public image of economics. It is also argued that there is a special limited sense in which this qualifies as (...)
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  33.  20
    Uskali Mäki (1998). Is Coase a Realist? Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28 (1):5-31.
    Ronald Coase has been a vigorous critic of mainstream economic theory, arguing that it is unrealistic and that a good theory is realistic. The attributes "realistic" and "unrealistic" appear in three senses at least in Coase: one related to narrow ness and breadth; another related to abstracting from particularities (and the issue of "blackboard economics"); and the third related to correspondence with the legal. This does not yet make Coase an advocate of realism. It is therefore separately argued that each (...)
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  34. Uskali Mäki (2005). Reglobalizing Realism by Going Local, or (How) Should Our Formulations of Scientific Realism Be Informed About the Sciences? Erkenntnis 63 (2):231 - 251.
    In order to examine the fit between realism and science, one needs to address two issues: the unit of science question (realism about which parts of science?) and the contents of realism question (which realism about science?). Answering these questions is a matter of conceptual and empirical inquiry by way local case studies. Instead of the more ordinary abstract and global scientific realism, what we get is a doubly local scientific realism based on a bottom-up strategy. Representative formulations of the (...)
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  35.  59
    Uskali Mäki (2006). Remarks on Models and Their Truth. Storia Del Pensiero Economico. Nuova Serie 3 (1):7-19.
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  36. Uskali Mäki (ed.) (2009). The Methodology of Positive Economics : Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy. Cambridge University Press.
    Milton Friedman's 1953 essay 'The methodology of positive economics' remains the most cited, influential, and controversial piece of methodological writing in twentieth-century economics. Since its appearance, the essay has shaped the image of economics as a scientific discipline, both within and outside of the academy. At the same time, there has been an ongoing controversy over the proper interpretation and normative evaluation of the essay. Perceptions have been sharply divided, with some viewing economics as a scientific success thanks to its (...)
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  37.  1
    Uskali Mäki (2008). Economics. In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge companion to philosophy of science. Routledge
  38.  31
    Uskali Mäki (2009). Unrealistic Assumptions and Unnecessary Confusions : Rereading and Rewriting F53 as a Realist Statement. In The methodology of positive economics : Reflections on the Milton Friedman legacy. Cambridge University Press
    It is argued that rather than a well defined F-Twist, Milton Friedman’s “Methodology of positive economics” offers an F-Mix: a pool of ambiguous and inconsistent ingredients that can be used for putting together a number of different methodological positions. This concerns issues such as the very concept of being unrealistic, the goal of predictive tests, the as-if formulation of theories, explanatory unification, social construction, and more. Both friends and foes of Friedman’s essay have ignored its open-ended unclarities. Their removal may (...)
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  39.  1
    Uskali Mäki (2011). The Truth of False Idealizations in Modeling. In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge
    Modeling involves the use of false idealizations, yet there is typically a belief or hope that modeling somehow manages to deliver true information about the world. The paper discusses one possible way of reconciling truth and falsehood in modeling. The key trick is to relocate truth claims by reinterpreting an apparently false idealizing assumption in order to make clear what possibly true assertion is intended when using it. These include interpretations in terms of negligibility, applicability, tractability, early-step, and more. Elaborations (...)
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  40.  29
    Uskali Mäki (2002). Symposium on Explanations and Social Ontology 2: Explanatory Ecumenism and Economics Imperialism. Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):235-257.
    In a series of insightful publications, Philip Pettit and Frank Jackson have argued for an explanatory ecumenism that is designed to justify a variety of types of social scientific explanation of different , including structural and rational choice explanations. Their arguments are put in terms of different kinds of explanatory information; the distinction between causal efficacy, causal relevance and explanatory relevance within their program model of explanation; and virtual reality and resilience explanation. The arguments are here assessed from the point (...)
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  41. Uskali Mäki & Caterina Marchionni (2011). Is Geographical Economics Imperializing Economic Geography? Journal of Economic Geography 11 (4):645-665.
    Geographical economics (also known as the ‘new economic geography’) is an approach developed within economics dealing with space and geography, issues previously neglected by the mainstream of the discipline. Some practitioners in neighbouring fields traditionally concerned with spatial issues (descriptively) characterized it as—and (normatively) blamed it for—intellectual imperialism. We provide a nuanced analysis of the alleged imperialism of geographical economics and investigate whether the form of imperialism it allegedly instantiates is to be resisted and on what grounds. From both descriptive (...)
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  42.  27
    Uskali Mäki (1988). How to Combine Rhetoric and Realism in the Methodology of Economics. Economics and Philosophy 4 (1):89.
    The tone of this paper is largely critical. Therefore, I would like to begin by praising Donald McCloskey and Arjo Klamer for their exciting and provocative initiative in the metatheory of economics. They have done us a great favor by opening our eyes to some hidden aspects in the intellectual practices of economists. They have shown that economics is rhetoric; it is persuasion, discourse, conversation, and negotiation, to use their favorite phrases. They have provided plausible arguments and illuminating examples to (...)
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  43.  16
    Uskali Maki (2000). Reclaiming Relevant Realism. Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (1):109-125.
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  44.  9
    Uskali Mäki (2008). Method and Appraisal in Economics, 1976–2006. Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (4):409-423.
    No abstractThe Lakatosian stage in the progress of the philosophy and methodology of economics has served a useful role in helping launch a systematic and collective field of inquiry. In the course of the thirty years between 1976 and 2006, the field has advanced beyond that stage, but much of the spirit of the original ambitions had better be retained. As much as ever, if not more than ever, we need economic methodologies for normatively appraising assumptions, models, theories, explanations, research (...)
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  45.  3
    Uskali Maki (2001). The Way the World Works (Www): Towards an Ontology of Theory Choice. In Uskali Mäki (ed.), The Economic World View: Studies in the Ontology of Economics. Cambridge University Press 369.
    Introducing the ontology of theory choice -/- Economists choose theories and they choose ways of pursuing theories, and they leave others unchosen. Why do economists choose the way they do? How should economists choose? What are the objectives and what are the constraints? What should they be? The questions are both descriptive and prescriptive. -/- There are two broad classes of “criteria of choice” that have been somewhat systematically considered in the recent literature on economic methodology: (1) Empirical criteria. There (...)
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  46.  16
    Uskali Mäki (2012). Realism and Antirealism About Economics. In Handbook of the Philosophy of Economics. 3--24.
    Economics is a controversial scientific discipline. One of the traditional issues that has kept economists and their critics busy is about whether economic theories and models are about anything real at all. The critics have argued that economic models are based on assumptions that are so utterly unrealistic that those models become purely fictional and have nothing informative to say about the real world. Many also claim that an antirealist instrumentalism (allegedly outlined by Milton Friedman in 1953) justifying such unrealistic (...)
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  47. Uskali Mäki (2001). Realisms and Their Opponents. In N. J. Smelser & B. Baltes (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 19--12815.
    In everyday usage, ‘realism’ is often used as a name for a practically or epistemically low-ambition attitude, while ‘idealism’ is often taken to denote a highambition—if not utopian—attitude. In philosophcal usage, mostly, it is the other way around: those who are called realists tend to claim more than their opponents—they are the philosophical optimists. Within philosophy itself, ‘realism’ adopts a variety of interrelated and contested meanings. It is used as the name for doctrines about issues such as perceptual access to (...)
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  48.  16
    Uskali Mäki (2010). Models and Truth. In M. Dorato M. Suàrez (ed.), Epsa Epistemology and Methodology of Science. Springer 177--187.
    In what follows, I will give examples of the sorts of step that can be taken towards spelling out the intuition that, after all, good models might be true. Along the way, I provide an outline of my account of models as ontologically and pragmatically constrained representations. And I emphasize the importance of examining models as functionally composed systems in which different components play different roles and only some components serve as relevant truth bearers. This disputes the standard approach that (...)
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  49.  49
    Uskali Mäki (2008). Putnam's Realisms: A View From the Social Sciences. In Sami Pihlström, Panu Raatikainen & Matti Sintonen (eds.), Approaching Truth: Essays in Honour of Ilkka Niiniluoto. College Publications
    For the last three decades, the discussion on Hilary Putnam’s provocative suggestions around the issue of realism has raged widely. Putnam’s various formulations of, and arguments for, what he called internal realism in contrast to what he called metaphysical realism have been scrutinised from a variety of perspectives. One angle of attack has been missing, though: the view from the social sciences and the ontology of society. This perspective, I believe, will provide further confirmation to the observation that Putnam’s two (...)
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  50. Uskali Mäki (2008). Realism. In Daniel M. Hausman (ed.), The Philosophy of Economics. Cambridge University Press
     
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