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Juha Saatsi [51]Juha T. Saatsi [2]
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Juha Saatsi
University of Leeds
  1. On the ‘Indispensable Explanatory Role’ of Mathematics.Juha Saatsi - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1045-1070.
    The literature on the indispensability argument for mathematical realism often refers to the ‘indispensable explanatory role’ of mathematics. I argue that we should examine the notion of explanatory indispensability from the point of view of specific conceptions of scientific explanation. The reason is that explanatory indispensability in and of itself turns out to be insufficient for justifying the ontological conclusions at stake. To show this I introduce a distinction between different kinds of explanatory roles—some ‘thick’ and ontologically committing, others ‘thin’ (...)
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  2. The Enhanced Indispensability Argument: Representational Versus Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Science.Juha Saatsi - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):143-154.
    The Enhanced Indispensability Argument (Baker [ 2009 ]) exemplifies the new wave of the indispensability argument for mathematical Platonism. The new wave capitalizes on mathematics' role in scientific explanations. I will criticize some analyses of mathematics' explanatory function. In turn, I will emphasize the representational role of mathematics, and argue that the debate would significantly benefit from acknowledging this alternative viewpoint to mathematics' contribution to scientific explanations and knowledge.
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  3. Realism and the Limits of Explanatory Reasoning.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - In The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London: Routledge. pp. 200-211.
    This chapter examines issues surrounding inference to the best explanation, its justification, and its role in different arguments for scientific realism, as well as more general issues concerning explanations’ ontological commitments. Defending the reliability of inference to the best explanation has been a central plank in various realist arguments, and realists have drawn various ontological conclusions from the premise that a given scientific explanation best explains some phenomenon. This chapter stresses the importance of thinking carefully about the nature of explanation (...)
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  4.  78
    Scientific Realism Meets Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Philosophers Think About Quantum Theory.
    I examine the epistemological debate on scientific realism in the context of quantum physics, focusing on the empirical underdetermin- ation of different formulations and interpretations of QM. I will argue that much of the interpretational, metaphysical work on QM tran- scends the kinds of realist commitments that are well-motivated in the light of the history of science. I sketch a way of demarcating empirically well-confirmed aspects of QM from speculative quantum metaphysics in a way that coheres with anti-realist evidence from (...)
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  5. On Explanations From 'Geometry of Motion'.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):253–273.
    This paper examines explanations that turn on non-local geometrical facts about the space of possible configurations a system can occupy. I argue that it makes sense to contrast such explanations from "geometry of motion" with causal explanations. I also explore how my analysis of these explanations cuts across the distinction between kinematics and dynamics.
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  6.  92
    Reassessing Woodward’s Account of Explanation: Regularities, Counterfactuals, and Noncausal Explanations.Juha Saatsi & Mark Pexton - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):613-624.
    We reassess Woodward’s counterfactual account of explanation in relation to regularity explananda. Woodward presents an account of causal explanation. We argue, by using an explanation of Kleiber’s law to illustrate, that the account can also cover some noncausal explanations. This leads to a tension between the two key aspects of Woodward’s account: the counterfactual aspect and the causal aspect. We explore this tension and make a case for jettisoning the causal aspect as constitutive of explanatory power in connection with regularity (...)
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  7.  34
    Grasping at Realist Straws. [REVIEW]Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther & Kyle Stanford - 2009 - Metascience 18 (3):355-390.
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  8. Taking Reductionism to the Limit: How to Rebut the Antireductionist Argument From Infinite Limits.Juha Saatsi & Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Philosophy of Science (3):455-482.
    This paper analyses the anti-reductionist argument from renormalisation group explanations of universality, and shows how it can be rebutted if one assumes that the explanation in question is captured by the counterfactual dependence account of explanation.
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  9.  9
    On Explanations From 'Geometry of Motion'.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):253–273.
    This paper examines explanations that turn on non-local geometrical facts about the space of possible configurations a system can occupy. I argue that it makes sense to contrast such explanations from ‘geometry of motion’ with causal explanations. I also explore how my analysis of these explanations cuts across the distinction between kinematics and dynamics.
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  10.  48
    Realism and Explanatory Perspectivism.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Michela Massimi & C. D. McCoy (eds.), Understanding Perspectivism: Scientific Challenges and Methodological Prospects. New York: Routledge.
    This chapter defends a (minimal) realist conception of progress in scientific understanding in the face of the ubiquitous plurality of perspectives in science. The argument turns on the counterfactual-dependence framework of explanation and understanding, which is illustrated and evidenced with reference to different explanations of the rainbow.
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  11. Historical Inductions, Old and New.Juha Saatsi - 2015 - Synthese:1-15.
    I review prominent historical arguments against scientific realism to indicate how they display a systematic overshooting in the conclusions drawn from the historical evidence. The root of the overshooting can be located in some critical, undue presuppositions regarding realism. I will highlight these presuppositions in connection with both Laudan’s ‘Old induction’ and Stanford’s New induction, and then delineate a minimal realist view that does without the problematic presuppositions.
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  12.  29
    A Pluralist Account of Non-Causal Explanation in Science and Mathematics.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - Metascience 27 (1):3-9.
    Contribution to a review symposium on Marc Lange's Because without cause: Non-causal explanation in science and mathematics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
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  13.  79
    Reconsidering the Fresnel–Maxwell Theory Shift: How the Realist Can Have Her Cake and EAT It Too.Juha Saatsi - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (3):509-538.
    This paper takes another look at a case study which has featured prominently in a variety of arguments for rival realist positions. After critically reviewing the previous commentaries of the theory shift that took place in the transition from Fresnel’s ether to Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory of optics, it will defend a slightly different reading of this historical case study. Central to this task is the notion of explanatory approximate truth, a concept which must be carefully analysed to begin with. With (...)
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  14. On Explanations From Geometry of Motion.Juha Saatsi - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw007.
    This paper examines explanations that turn on non-local geometrical facts about the space of possible configurations a system can occupy. I argue that it makes sense to contrast such explanations from “geometry of motion” with causal explanations. I also explore how my analysis of these explanations cuts across the distinction between kinematics and dynamics.
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  15.  91
    Ramseyfication and Theoretical Content.Joseph Melia & Juha Saatsi - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):561-585.
    Model theoretic considerations purportedly show that a certain version of structural realism, one which articulates the nvtion of structure via Ramsey sentences, is in fact trivially true. In this paper we argue that the structural realist is by no means forced to Ramseyfy in the manner assumed in the formal proof. However, the structural realist's reprise is short-lived. For, as we show, there are related versions of the model theoretic argument which cannot be so easily blocked by the structural realist. (...)
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  16.  72
    Miraculous Success? Inconsistency and Untruth in Kirchhoff’s Diffraction Theory.Juha Saatsi & Peter Vickers - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):29-46.
    Kirchhoff’s diffraction theory is introduced as a new case study in the realism debate. The theory is extremely successful despite being both inconsistent and not even approximately true. Some habitual realist proclamations simply cannot be maintained in the face of Kirchhoff’s theory, as the realist is forced to acknowledge that theoretical success can in some circumstances be explained in terms other than truth. The idiosyncrasy (or otherwise) of Kirchhoff’s case is considered.
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  17. Explanatory Abstractions.Lina Jansson & Juha Saatsi - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx016.
    A number of philosophers have recently suggested that some abstract, plausibly non-causal and/or mathematical, explanations explain in a way that is radically dif- ferent from the way causal explanation explain. Namely, while causal explanations explain by providing information about causal dependence, allegedly some abstract explanations explain in a way tied to the independence of the explanandum from the microdetails, or causal laws, for example. We oppose this recent trend to regard abstractions as explanatory in some sui generis way, and argue (...)
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  18. Mathematics and Program Explanations.Juha Saatsi - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):579-584.
    Aidan Lyon has recently argued that some mathematical explanations of empirical facts can be understood as program explanations. I present three objections to his argument.
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  19. Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Matthew Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the status of inference to the best explanation in naturalistic metaphysics. The methodology of inference to the best explanation in metaphysics is studied from the perspective of contemporary views on scientific explanation and explanatory inferences in the history and philosophy of science. This reveals serious shortcomings in prevalent attempts to vindicate metaphysical "explanationism" by reference to similarities between science and naturalistic metaphysics. This critique is brought out by considering a common gambit of methodological unity: (1) Both metaphysics (...)
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  20. On the Pessimistic Induction and Two Fallacies.Juha Saatsi - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1088-1098.
    The Pessimistic Induction from falsity of past theories forms a perennial argument against scientific realism. This paper considers and rebuts two recent arguments—due to Lewis (2001) and Lange (2002)—to the conclusion that the Pessimistic Induction (in its best known form) is fallacious. It re-establishes the dignity of the Pessimistic Induction by calling to mind the basic objective of the argument, and hence restores the propriety of the realist program of responding to PMI by undermining one or another of its premises.
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  21.  32
    What is Theoretical Progress of Science?Juha Saatsi - 2016 - Synthese:1-21.
    The epistemic conception of scientific progress equates progress with accumulation of scientific knowledge. I argue that the epistemic conception fails to fully capture scientific progress: theoretical progress, in particular, can transcend scientific knowledge in important ways. Sometimes theoretical progress can be a matter of new theories ‘latching better onto unobservable reality’ in a way that need not be a matter of new knowledge. Recognising this further dimension of theoretical progress is particularly significant for understanding scientific realism, since realism is naturally (...)
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  22.  74
    The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity.Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
  23.  99
    Introduction: Scientific Explanation Beyond Causation.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is an introduction to the volume "Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations", edited by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (OUP, forthcoming in 2017). -/- Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the (...)
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  24.  88
    Replacing Recipe Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3233-3244.
    Many realist writings exemplify the spirit of ‘recipe realism’. Here I characterise recipe realism, challenge it, and propose replacing it with ‘exemplar realism’. This alternative understanding of realism is more piecemeal, robust, and better in tune with scientists’ own attitude towards their best theories, and thus to be preferred.
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  25.  61
    Inconsistency and Scientific Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2014 - Synthese 191 (13):2941-2955.
    I erect a framework within the semantic view of theories for explaining the empirical success of internally inconsistent models and theories, with scientific realism in mind. The framework is an instance of the ‘content-driven’ approach to inconsistency, advocated by both Norton (Philos Sci 54:327–350, 1987) and Smith (Stud Hist Philos Sci 19:429–445, 1988a, In: Fine A, Leplin J (eds) PSA1988, 1988b), whose ideas my analysis aims to clarify and substantiate.
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  26.  71
    Living in Harmony: Nominalism and the Explanationist Argument for Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):19 – 33.
    According to the indispensability argument, scientific realists ought to believe in the existence of mathematical entities, due to their indispensable role in theorising. Arguably the crucial sense of indispensability can be understood in terms of the contribution that mathematics sometimes makes to the super-empirical virtues of a theory. Moreover, the way in which the scientific realist values such virtues, in general, and draws on explanatory virtues, in particular, ought to make the realist ontologically committed to abstracta. This paper shows that (...)
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  27. Whence Ontological Structural Realism?Juha Saatsi - 2008 - In M. Dorato M. Suàrez (ed.), Epsa Epistemology and Methodology of Science. Springer. pp. 255--265.
    'Structural realism' is a buzzword in the scientific realism debate. Various positions with diverse motivations fall under this label. A much advertised distinction is between epistemic and ontological forms of structuralism. This paper scrutinizes the alleged dichotomy between these two 'alternatives', and criticises the considerations that have been taken to motivate the ontic variety over the epistemic. I will argue that ontological structural realism is not called for within the traditional realism debate.
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  28.  78
    Dynamical Systems Theory and Explanatory Indispensability.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):892-904.
    I examine explanations’ realist commitments in relation to dynamical systems theory. First I rebut an ‘explanatory indispensability argument’ for mathematical realism from the explanatory power of phase spaces (Lyon and Colyvan 2007). Then I critically consider a possible way of strengthening the indispensability argument by reference to attractors in dynamical systems theory. The take-home message is that understanding of the modal character of explanations (in dynamical systems theory) can undermine platonist arguments from explanatory indispensability.
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  29. Models, Idealisations, and Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2016 - In F. Sterpetti, E. Ippoloti & T. Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer.
    I explore a challenge that idealisations pose to scientific realism and argue that the realist can best accommodate idealisations by capitalising on certain modal features of idealised models that are underwritten by laws of nature.
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  30.  49
    Eclectic Realism—the Proof of the Pudding: A Reply to Busch.Juha Saatsi - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):273-276.
    Eclectic realism is defended against the criticism in Busch by clarifying its terminological and conceptual basis, and by comparing it with structural and semirealism.Keywords: Realism; Pessimistic induction; Augustin Jean Fresnel; Eclectic realism; Semi-realism.
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  31. Scientific Realism and Historical Evidence: Shortcomings of the Current State of Debate.Juha Saatsi - 2010 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 329--340.
    This paper discusses three shortcomings of the current state of the debate regarding historical evidence against scientific realism. Attending to these issues will direct the debate away from over-generalising wholesale arguments.
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  32.  72
    Form-Driven Vs. Content-Driven Arguments for Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2010 - In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    I offer a meta-level analysis of realist arguments for the reliability of ampliative reasoning about the unobservable. We can distinguish form-driven and content-driven arguments for realism: form-driven arguments appeal to the form of inductive inferences, whilst content-driven arguments appeal to their specific content. After regimenting the realism debate in these terms, I will argue that the content-driven arguments are preferable. Along the way I will discuss how my analysis relates to John Norton’s recent, more general thesis that the grounds for (...)
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  33. Form Vs. Content-Driven Arguments for Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2009 - In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    I offer a meta-level analysis of realist arguments for the reliability of ampliative reasoning about the unobservable. We can distinguish form-driven and content-driven arguments for realism: form-driven arguments appeal to the form of inductive inferences, whilst content-driven arguments appeal to their specific content. After regimenting the realism debate in these terms, I will argue that the content-driven arguments are preferable. Along the way I will discuss how my analysis relates to John Norton’s recent, more general thesis that the grounds for (...)
     
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  34. 1. Preface Preface (Pp. I-Ii).Laura Ruetsche, Chris Smeenk, Branden Fitelson, Patrick Maher, Martin Thomson‐Jones, Bas C. van Fraassen, Steven French, Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos & Katherine Brading - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5).
     
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  35.  56
    Structuralism with and Without Causation.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2255-2271.
    This paper explores the status of causation in structuralist metaphysics of physics. What role (if any) does causation play in understanding ‘structure’ in ontological structural realism? I address this question by examining, in a structuralist setting, arguments for and against the idea that fundamental physics deals, perhaps exclusively, with causal properties. I will argue (against Esfeld, Dorato and others) that a structuralist interpretation of fundamental physics should diverge from ‘causal structuralism’. Nevertheless, causation outside fundamental physics, and the basic motivation for (...)
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  36. Symmetries and Explanatory Dependencies in Physics.Steven French & Juha Saatsi - 2018 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 185-205.
    Many important explanations in physics are based on ideas and assumptions about symmetries, but little has been said about the nature of such explanations. This chapter aims to fill this lacuna, arguing that various symmetry explanations can be naturally captured in the spirit of the counterfactual-dependence account of Woodward, liberalized from its causal trappings. From the perspective of this account symmetries explain by providing modal information about an explanatory dependence, by showing how the explanandum would have been different, had the (...)
     
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  37.  34
    Recalling a Habermas-Inspired Experimental Realism. [REVIEW]Juha Saatsi - 2014 - Metascience 23 (2):339-341.
    This is a revised edition of Hans Radder’s Habermas-inspired study of scientific experimentation and realism. The previous English edition (1988) has been out of print since 2004 (The book first appeared in Dutch in 1984). The author (together with the editors of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science) has deemed it worthy of resuscitation. Perhaps it is. There are certainly a number of lasting elements of continuing interest, some of which indeed strike to the heart of the contemporary (...)
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  38. Idealized Models as Inferentially Veridical Representations : A Conceptual Framework.Juha Saatsi - 2011 - In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge.
    This paper erects a framework for analyzing some idealized models as (what I call) inferentially veridical representations. It adopts a version of the semantic view of theories that focuses on properties, and mobilizes conceptual resources associated with properties and the way that properties are related in various ways. The outcome is an elaboration of some aspects of the analysis of Jones (2005).
     
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  39.  8
    What is Theoretical Progress of Science?Juha Saatsi - unknown
    The epistemic conception of scientific progress equates progress with accumulation of scientific knowledge. I argue that the epistemic conception fails to fully capture scientific progress: theoretical progress, in particular, can transcend scientific knowledge in important ways. Sometimes theoretical progress can be a matter of new theories ‘latching better onto unobservable reality’ in a way that need not be a matter of new knowledge. Recognising this further dimension of theoretical progress is particularly significant for understanding scientific realism, since realism is naturally (...)
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  40.  6
    Critical Commentaries on Critical Rationalism. [REVIEW]Juha Saatsi - 2007 - Metascience 16 (2):271-275.
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  41.  7
    Travelling in New Directions.Steven French & Juha Saatsi - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum. pp. 337.
    This chapter discusses some emerging trends, new directions, and outstanding issues in philosophy of science. The first section places contemporary philosophy of science in context by considering its relationship to analytic philosophy at large, to the history of science, and to science itself. The subsequent sections will then take a look at a selection of interesting trends emerging from current research, and some important issues calling for further work. The presentation is inevitably coloured by our personal perspectives, and we cannot (...)
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  42.  3
    Historical Inductions, Old and New.Juha Saatsi - unknown
    I review prominent historical arguments against scientific realism to indicate how they display a systematic overshooting in the conclusions drawn from the historical evidence. The root of the overshooting can be located in some critical, undue presuppositions regarding realism. I will highlight these presuppositions in connection with both Laudan’s ‘Old induction’ and Stanford’s New Induction, and then delineate a minimal realist view that does without the problematic presuppositions.
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  43.  47
    Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science.Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.) - 2011 - Continuum.
    A one volume reference guide To The latest research in Philosophy of Science, written by an international team of leading scholars in the field.
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  44. Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations.Reutlinger Alexander & Juha Saatsi (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    Explanations are important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is a long-standing, in uential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the phenomenon to be explained. Such causal accounts have been the received view of the nature of explanation, particularly in philosophy of science, since the 1980s. However, (...)
     
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  45. Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the phenomenon to be explained. Such causal accounts have been the received view of the nature of explanation, particularly in philosophy of science, since the 1980s. However, philosophers (...)
     
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  46. The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity.Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    What is spacetime? General relativity and quantum field theory answer this question in very different ways. This collection of essays by physicists and philosophers looks at the problem of uniting these two most fundamental theories of our world, focusing on the nature of space and time within this new quantum framework, and the kind of metaphysical picture suggested by recent developments in physics and mathematics. This is a book that will inspire further philosophical reflection on recent advances in modern physics.
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  47. 10. Can Philosophy Offer Help in Resolving Contemporary Biological Controversies?Laura Ruetsche, Chris Smeenk, Branden Fitelson, Patrick Maher, Martin Thomson‐Jones, Bas C. van Fraassen, Steven French, Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos & Katherine Brading - 2006 - In Borchert (ed.), Philosophy of Science. Macmillan.
  48. Mathematics and Reality. [REVIEW]Juha Saatsi - 2011 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 17 (2):267-268.
     
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  49. M. Leng, Mathematics and Reality.Juha Saatsi - 2011 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 17 (2):267.
     
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  50. Philosophers Think About Quantum Theory.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming
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