ABSTRACT Is meaning essentially normative, and what does claiming that amount to? One popular interpretation is that in virtue of their nature meanings are capable of guiding subjects in their applications of concepts, for meaning is constituted by norms. However, the guidance view has been met with criticism to the effect that if semantic norms constitute facts about meaning, then they cannot simultaneously guide subjects in their applications. In response, some normativist authors have proposed that the key sense of ‘normative’ (...) in the claim that meaning is essentially normative is not ‘guidance’ but ‘assessment’. In this paper, I shall argue that switching from guidance to assessment offers no respite from the anti-normativist argument that normativity in the sense of prescriptivity emerges not from meaning as such but from the attitudes of subjects insofar as the normativist is unable to offer a plausible account of what makes assessment appropriate. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe distinction between minimal self and narrative self has gained ground in recent discussions of selfhood. In this article, this distinction is reassessed by analysing Zahavi and Gallagher’s account of selfhood and supplementing it with Husserl’s concept of person. I argue that Zahavi and Gallagher offer two compatible and complementary notions of self. Nevertheless, the relationship between minimal self and narrative self requires further clarification. Especially the embeddedness of self, the interplay between passivity and activity, and the problems of uniqueness (...) and persistence are better understood with Husserl’s analysis of person and its central concepts of position-taking, habitualities, and overall style. The embeddedness of self is elucidated by outlining how person is related to its environment, to other people, and to its past. This relational notion of self is both passively constituted and actively shaped: person mediates between minimal self characterized by perspectival ownership... (shrink)
An evening discussion between professors Jaakko Hintikka and Simo Knuuttila on September 2, 2007, at the Helsinki conference: Knuuttila: Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for inviting us to this event and for this opportunity to discuss the latest volume of the Library of Living Philosophers, which was published last spring. The title of the volume is “The Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka”. Probably most people here know this series, which was founded in 1939 by P. A. Schilpp. The idea (...) of the volumes is to invite some prominent philosophers to describe their lives and ideas and then ask other philosophers to write and comment on topics which the first author has written about. Then the philosopher to whom the book is dedicated answers and discusses these other people’s papers about his or her philosophy. These volumes gradually became a very popular series which most philosophical libraries wanted to have. It was considered such a good idea, giving rise to one of the most prestigious series in philosophy. It is also considered as a kind of philosophical honor for the philosopher to be chosen to be among these living philosophers. The books always have the same structure; first, an intellectual autobiography, pretty extensive, then the papers on the basic author’s philosophy and, last, the papers are answered separately. So there is a kind of discussion going on. The book on Jaakko Hintikka’s philosophy consists of almost 1000 pages. It is also available as a paperback. Now, I have prepared some questions. (shrink)
This book focuses on the game-theoretical semantics and epistemic logic of Jaakko Hintikka. Hintikka was a prodigious and esteemed philosopher and logician, and his death in August 2015 was a huge loss to the philosophical community. This book, whose chapters have been in preparation for several years, is dedicated to the work of Jaako Hintikka, and to his memory. This edited volume consists of 23 contributions from leading logicians and philosophers, who discuss themes that span across the entire range (...) of Hintikka’s career. Semantic Representationalism, Logical Dialogues, Knowledge and Epistemic logic are among some of the topics covered in this book's chapters. The book should appeal to students, scholars and teachers who wish to explore the philosophy of Jaako Hintikka. (shrink)
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 (...) to explanation and the view of understanding as an inferential ability. By combining these perspectives, we show how the explanatory power of an explanation in a given dimension can be assessed by showing the range of answers it provides to what-if-things-had-been-different questions and the theoretical and pragmatic importance of these questions. Our account also explains intuitions linking explanation to unification or to exhibition of a mechanism. (shrink)
We claim that the process of theoretical model refinement in economics is best characterised as robustness analysis: the systematic examination of the robustness of modelling results with respect to particular modelling assumptions. We argue that this practise has epistemic value by extending William Wimsatt's account of robustness analysis as triangulation via independent means of determination. For economists robustness analysis is a crucial methodological strategy because their models are often based on idealisations and abstractions, and it is usually difficult to tell (...) which idealisations are truly harmful. (shrink)
Jaakko Hintikka was born on January 12th, 1929. He received his doctorate from the University of Helsinki under the supervision of Professor G. H. von Wright at the age of 24 in 1953. Hintikka was appointed Professor of philosophy at the University of Helsinki in 1959. Since the late 50s, he has shared his time between Finland and the U.S.A. He was appointed Professor of philosophy at Stanford University in 1964. As from 1970 Hintikka has been permanent research professor (...) of the Academy of Finland. He has published 13 books and about 200 articles, not to mention the various editorial and organizational activities he has played an active role in. The present collection of essays has been edited to honour Jaakko Hintikka on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday. By dedicating a Festschrift to Jaakko Hintikka, the contributors wish to pay homage to this remarkable man whom they see not only as a scholar of prodigious energy and insight, but as a friend, colleague and former teacher. The contributors hope the essays collected here will bring pleasure to the man they are intended to honour. All of the essays touch upon topics Hintikka has taken an direct or indirect interest in, ranging from technical problems of mathematical logic and applications of formal methods through philosophical logic, philosophy of language, epistemology and history of philosophy to philosophical aesthetics. (shrink)
Robert Sugden argues that robustness analysis cannot play an epistemic role in grounding model-world relationships because the procedure is only a matter of comparing models with each other. We posit that this argument is based on a view of models as being surrogate systems in too literal a sense. In contrast, the epistemic importance of robustness analysis is easy to explicate if modelling is viewed as extended cognition, as inference from assumptions to conclusions. Robustness analysis is about assessing the reliability (...) of our extended inferences, and when our confidence in these inferences changes, so does our confidence in the results. Furthermore, we argue that Sugden’s inductive account relies tacitly on robustness considerations. (shrink)
The article argues for the epistemic rationale of triangulation, namely, the use of multiple and independent sources of evidence. It claims that triangulation is to be understood as causal reasoning from data to phenomenon, and it rationalizes its epistemic value in terms of controlling for likely errors and biases of particular data-generating procedures. This perspective is employed to address objections against triangulation concerning the fallibility and scope of the inference, as well as problems of independence, incomparability, and discordance of evidence. (...) The debate on the existence of social preferences is used as an illustrative case. (shrink)
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, (...) the paper shows how the contrastive counterfactual theory of explanation can provide tools for assessing the explanatory power of models. (shrink)
The following analysis shows how developments in epistemic logic can play a nontrivial role in cognitive neuroscience. We argue that the striking correspondence between two modes of identification, as distinguished in the epistemic context, and two cognitive systems distinguished by neuroscientific investigation of the visual system (the "where" and "what" systems) is not coincidental, and that it can play a clarificatory role at the most fundamental levels of neuroscientific theory.
Odenbaugh and Alexandrova provide a challenging critique of the epistemic benefits of robustness analysis, singling out for particular criticism the account we articulated in Kuorikoski et al.. Odenbaugh and Alexandrova offer two arguments against the confirmatory value of robustness analysis: robust theorems cannot specify causal mechanisms and models are rarely independent in the way required by robustness analysis. We address Odenbaugh and Alexandrova’s criticisms in order to clarify some of our original arguments and to shed further light on the properties (...) of robustness analysis and its epistemic rationale. (shrink)
The basic ideas of game-theoretical semantics are implicit in logicians' and mathematicians' folklore but used only sporadically (e.g., game quantifiers, back-and-forth methods, partly ordered quantifiers). the general suggestions of this approach for natural languages are emphasized: the univocity of "is," the failure of compositionality, a reconstruction of aristotelian categories, limitations of generative grammars, unity of sentence and discourse semantics, a new treatment of tenses and other temporal notions, etc.
Although there has been much recent discussion on mechanisms in philosophy of science and social theory, no shared understanding of the crucial concept itself has emerged. In this paper, a distinction between two core concepts of mechanism is made on the basis that the concepts correspond to two different research strategies: the concept of mechanism as a componential causal system is associated with the heuristic of functional decomposition and spatial localization and the concept of mechanism as an abstract form of (...) interaction is associated with the strategy of abstraction and simple models. The causal facts assumed and the theoretical consequences entailed by an explanation with a given mechanism differ according to which concept of mechanism is in use. Research strategies associated with mechanism concepts also involve characteristic biases that should be taken into account when using them, especially in new areas of application. (shrink)
Human behavior is not always independent of the ways in which humans are scientifically classified. That there are looping effects of human kinds has been used as an argument for the methodological separation of the natural and the human sciences and to justify social constructionist claims. We suggest that these arguments rely on false presuppositions and present a mechanisms-based account of looping that provides a better way to understand the phenomenon and its theoretical and philosophical implications.
Most current work in epistemology deals with the evaluation and justification of information already acquired. In this book, Jaakko Hintikka instead discusses the more important problem of how knowledge is acquired in the first place. His model of information-seeking is the old Socratic method of questioning, which has been generalized and brought up-to-date through the logical theory of questions and answers that he has developed. Hintikka also argues that philosophers' quest for a definition of knowledge is ill-conceived and that (...) the entire notion of knowledge should be replaced by the concept of information. He offers an analysis of the different meanings of the concept of information and of their interrelations. The result is a new and illuminating approach to the field of epistemology. (shrink)
This book, written by one of philosophy's pre-eminent logicians, argues that many of the basic assumptions common to logic, philosophy of mathematics and metaphysics are in need of change. It is therefore a book of critical importance to logical theory. Jaakko Hintikka proposes a new basic first-order logic and uses it to explore the foundations of mathematics. This new logic enables logicians to express on the first-order level such concepts as equicardinality, infinity, and truth in the same language. The (...) famous impossibility results by Gödel and Tarski that have dominated the field for the last sixty years turn out to be much less significant than has been thought. All of ordinary mathematics can in principle be done on this first-order level, thus dispensing with the existence of sets and other higher-order entities. (shrink)
The tradable refugee quota scheme constitutes one proposal for institutionalising the general right to asylum. The scheme allows states to purchase and sell quotas of refugees that are initially assigned to them through a collectivised status-determination process. In this paper I focus on examining the ethical dimensions of one particular component of the tradable refugee quota scheme: the market. I consider three objections against the quota trading practices: ‘the preference objection’, ‘the dignity objection’, and ‘the exploitation objection’. The first objection (...) suggests that the tradable quota scheme is problematic due to the fact that it fails to consider refugees’ desires regarding the final country in which asylum is provided. The second objection claims that the scheme demeans refugees and violates their dignity. The final objection claims that the scheme leads to the exploitation of weak countries. I argue that the objections fail to show that the tradable quota scheme is inherently problematic. I conclude that either the examined objections can be rejected or it is possible to address the concerns through specific institutional arrangements. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWe investigate the applicability of Rodrik’s accounts of model selection and horizontal progress to macroeconomic DSGE modelling in both academic and policy-oriented modelling contexts. We argue that the key step of identifying critical assumptions is complicated by the interconnectedness of the common structural core of DSGE models and by the ad hoc modifications introduced to model various rigidities and other market imperfections. We then outline alternative ways in which macroeconomic modelling could become more horizontally progressive.
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.
Whether simulation models provide the right kind of understanding comparable to that of analytic models has been and remains a contentious issue. The assessment of understanding provided by simulations is often hampered by a conflation between the sense of understanding and understanding proper. This paper presents a deflationist conception of understanding and argues for the need to replace appeals to the sense of understanding with explicit criteria of explanatory relevance and for rethinking the proper way of conceptualizing the role of (...) a single human mind in the collective scientific understanding. (shrink)
We review the most prominent modeling approaches in social epistemology aimed at understand- ing the functioning of epistemic communities and provide a philosophy of science perspective on the use and interpretation of such simple toy models, thereby suggesting how they could be integrated with conceptual and empirical work. We highlight the need for better integration of such models with relevant findings from disciplines such as social psychology and organization studies.
Political science and economic science . . . make use of the same language, the same mode of abstraction, the same instruments of thought and the same method of reasoning. (Black 1998, 354) Proponents as well as opponents of economics imperialism agree that imperialism is a matter of unification; providing a unified framework for social scientific analysis. Uskali Mäki distinguishes between derivational and ontological unification and argues that the latter should serve as a constraint for the former. We explore whether, (...) in the case of rational-choice political science, self-interested behavior can be seen as a common causal element and solution concepts as the common derivational element, and whether the former constraints the use of the latter. We find that this is not the case. Instead, what is common to economics and rational-choice political science is a set of research heuristics and a focus on institutions with similar structures and forms of organization. (shrink)
According to the safety condition, a subject knows that p only if she would believe that p only if p was true. The safety condition has been a very popular necessary condition for knowledge of late. However, it is well documented that the safety condition is trivially satisfied in cases where the subject believes in a necessary truth. This is for the simple reason that a necessary truth is true in all possible worlds, and therefore it is true in all (...) possible worlds where it is believed. But clearly, all beliefs concerning necessary truths do not amount to knowledge. The safety theorists have attempted to deal with the problem caused by necessary truths by restricting the safety condition to purely contingent truths and by globalizing the safety condition to a set of propositions. Both of these solutions are problematic. The principal aim of this paper is to develop a version of the safety condition that is able to deal with cases featuring necessary truths. (shrink)
One of the characteristic features of contemporary logic is that it incorporates the Frege-Russell thesis according to which verbs for being are multiply ambiguous. This thesis was not accepted before the nineteenth century. In Aristotle existence could not serve alone as a predicate term. However, it could be a part of the force of the predicate term, depending on the context. For Kant existence could not even be a part of the force of the predicate term. Hence, after Kant, existence (...) was left homeless. It found a home in the algebra of logic in which the operators corresponding to universal and particular judgments were treated as duals, and universal Judgments were taken to be relative to some universe of discourse. Because of the duality, existential quantifier expressions came to express existence. The orphaned notion of existence thus found a new home in the existential quantifier. (shrink)
All economic models involve abstractions and idealisations. Economic theory itself does not tell which idealizations are truly fatal or harmful for the result and which are not. This is why much of what is seen as theoretical contribution in economics is constituted by deriving familiar results from different modelling assumptions. If a modelling result is robust with respect to particular modelling assumptions, the empirical falsity of these particular assumptions does not provide grounds for criticizing the result. In this paper we (...) demonstrate how derivational robustness analysis does carry epistemic weight and answer criticism concerning its non-empirical nature and the problematic form of the required independence of the ways of derivation. The epistemic rationale and importance of robustness analysis also challenge some common conceptions of the role of theory in economics. (shrink)
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 (...) to two cases from social science and systems biology, both fields in which organization plays a crucial explanatory role: agent-based simulations of residential segregation and the recent work on network motifs in transcription regulation networks. (shrink)
The papers collected in this volume were written over a period of some eight or nine years, with some still earlier material incorporated in one of them. Publishing them under the same cover does not make a con tinuous book of them. The papers are thematically connected with each other, however, in a way which has led me to think that they can naturally be grouped together. In any list of philosophically important concepts, those falling within the range of application (...) of modal logic will rank high in interest. They include necessity, possibility, obligation, permission, knowledge, belief, perception, memory, hoping, and striving, to mention just a few of the more obvious ones. When a satisfactory semantics (in the sense of Tarski and Carnap) was first developed for modal logic, a fascinating new set of methods and ideas was thus made available for philosophical studies. The pioneers of this model theory of modality include prominently Stig Kanger and Saul Kripke. Several others were working in the same area independently and more or less concurrently. Some of the older papers in this collection, especially 'Quantification and Modality' and 'Modes of Modality', serve to clarify some of the main possibilities in the semantics of modal logics in general. (shrink)
This article maintains that a new wave in the development of the productive forces of society triggered by the revolution in information and communication technologies is taking place. Production carried out by single organizations is increasingly replaced by forms of production that are based on close long-term collaboration between specialized firms. This transition reflects the increasing importance of research and development as well as collective learning in business competition. New information and communication technologies enable new forms of distributed and collaborative (...) knowledge creation and learning. The article explores an emerging new form of innovation-oriented inter-firm collaboration called co-configuration and the new kind of dualistic agency it seems to be calling for. In this form of collaboration the traditional boundary between producer and provider as well as the boundaries between product development, sales and maintenance within the provider organization become blurred. The article presents a case of the development of co-configuration work in the provision of optimization software for pulp production. The case shows some of the contradictions involved in this new form of collaboration and the development of a new kind of object-oriented collaborative agency mediated through a real-time information and communication technological platform and uniting two processes of continuous development. (shrink)
Mechanisms are often characterized as causal structures and the interventionist account of causation is then used to characterize what it is to be a causal structure. The associated modularity constraint on causal structures has evoked criticism against using the theory as an account of mechanisms, since many mechanisms seem to violate modularity. This paper answers to this criticism by making a distinction between a causal system and a causal structure. It makes sense to ask what the modularity properties of a (...) given causal structure are, but not whether a causal system is modular tout court. The counter-examples to the interventionist account are systems in which a particular structure is modular in variables, but not in parameters. A failure of parameter-modularity does not by itself threaten the interventionist interpretation of the structure and the possibility of causally explaining with that structure, but it does mean that knowledge of the structure is not sufficient to constitutively explain system-level properties of the embedding system. (shrink)