Browsing by Subject "philosophy of science"

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  • Niiniluoto, Ilkka (de Gruyter, 2020)
    Epistemic Studies: Philosophy of Science, Gognition and Mind
  • Usvapelto, Ilona Maaria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In discussion on natural kinds one of the central debates is held between monistic and pluralistic view. While monists argue that things are what they are due to their microstructure, pluralists suggest there are several equally legitimate ways to define the nature of a subject. As compounds, proteins raise questions such as "How we should define natural kinds?" and "What makes an object a member of certain kind?" This thesis examines the problems that microstructural monism faces in defining macromolecules and whether it is able to answer the counter arguments. Recently studies on microbiology have shown that some proteins are able to perform secondary tasks. This ability is called moonlighting and it has raised a need for refining the theories defining proteins. To do so, in this thesis the central problems associated with the functions of proteins are introduced. After this, the solutions offered by the contemporary discussion are considered in order to decide whether microstructural essentialism can survive from challenges set by moonlighting. This thesis is divided into three sections. The first section (the chapters one, two and three) will introduce the basic terminology, the key concepts, and will provide the frames of the discussion. In the second section (the chapters four and five) the relevant structure and properties of proteins will be examined more closely. In addition to this, the current discussion is introduced in more detail. The section three (the chapters six, seven and eight) weighs various challenges set by functionality and proposes a view according to which microstructuralism may indeed be able to answer these challenges. However, this requires remodeling of the microstructural argument and reviewing its basic assumptions. This is done by reflecting and analyzing writings of Jordan Bartol, William Goodwin and Emma Tobin, with works of Sandra Mitchell, Paul Needham, Jaap van Brakel, Raphael van Riel and Robert Van Gulick. This thesis concludes that both, microstructuralism and pluralism, have trouble in explaining the structure and dynamic nature of proteins. While pluralism offers a promising ground of explaining the complexity of proteins, it does not emphasize enough the significance of chemical structure. Compared with traditional microstructuralism and pluralism, the views of Jordan Bartol and William Goodwin are in better harmony with current scientific research and, moreover, offer a more appealing answer from the metaphysical point of view. Bartol's view requires adapting dualism of kinds, where macromolecules are classified to chemical and biological kinds. Goodwin is able to hold on to monism by allowing additional levels of explanation. This thesis concludes that Goodwin's theory therefore offers the most promising ground to build a coherent theory of macromolecules. Additionally, Goodwin's levelled microstructuralism is able to retain monism.
  • Niiniluoto, Ilkka (2020)
    From its inception in 1987 social epistemology has been divided into analytic (ASE) and critical (CSE) approaches, represented by Alvin I. Goldman and Steve Fuller, respectively. In this paper, the agendas and some basic ideas of ASE and CSE are compared and assessed by bringing into the discussion also other participants of the debates on the social aspects of scientific knowledge-among them Raimo Tuomela, Philip Kitcher and Helen Longino. The six topics to be analyzed include individual and collective epistemic agents; the notion of scientific community; realism and constructivism; truth-seeking communities; epistemic and social values; science, experts, and democracy.
  • Malecka, Magdalena (2020)
    This article analyses how normative decision theory is understood by economists. The paradigmatic example of normative decision theory, discussed in the article, is the expected utility theory. It has been suggested that the status of the expected utility theory has been ambiguous since early in its history. The theory has been treated as descriptive, normative, or both. This observation is the starting point for the analysis presented here. The text discusses various ways in which economists and philosophers of economics have conceptualized the normative status of the expected utility theory, and it shows that none is satisfactory from the point of view of philosophy of science.
  • Blanco Sequeiros, Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This thesis explores the problem of extrapolating causal claims in the social sciences, particularly economics. The problem of extrapolation is the problem of inferring something about a phenomenon of interest in one context, based on what is known about it in another. For example, we may want to infer that a medicine works in population $Y$, based on the fact that we know it works in population $X$. Extrapolation is the inferential process of generalizing or transporting claims about a phenomenon of interest to new populations or settings. The answers to the problem of extrapolation in philosophy of science aim to explain how successful extrapolation is possible, as there will always be relevant differences between the two systems. I study extrapolation from the viewpoint of philosophy of science, which aims to both analyze and complement science and scientific knowledge. I also use a case study with two examples to further illustrate the relationship between the theoretical approaches to extrapolation in philosophy of economics and actual studies in experimental economics. I focus on comparative process tracing, a general account of extrapolation developed by philosopher of science Daniel Steel, and its success in extrapolating causal claims from field experiments in economics. The first chapter introduces central concepts and key questions. The second chapter discusses external validity, a concept typically used in economics to describe the potential of causal claims to be extrapolated. The third chapter introduces comparative process tracing, which explains how and why extrapolation can be based on knowledge about causal mechanisms. Next, I discuss field experiments in economics and methodological issues of extrapolation particular to them. The fourth chapter consists of a case study, which shows the limitations of approaching extrapolation in economics with comparative process tracing. The last chapter concludes. The central conclusion of this thesis is that even though comparative process tracing is meant as an account of extrapolation that can explain and apply to extrapolation across disciplines, applying it to economics faces methodological challenges. Nevertheless, the issues it faces with regard to field experiments in economics do not refute it as an account of mechanistic extrapolation. I propose that comparative process tracing is a theoretically comprehensive epistemological account of extrapolation in the social sciences, but it must be complemented with a systematic methodological account of problems of extrapolation in practice. This methodological account complements and enhances epistemological analysis of extrapolation.
  • Pöyhönen, Samuli (2017)
    When should a scientific community be cognitively diverse? This article presents a model for studying how the heterogeneity of learning heuristics used by scientist agents affects the epistemic efficiency of a scientific community. By extending the epistemic landscapes modeling approach introduced by Weisberg and Muldoon, the article casts light on the micro-mechanisms mediating cognitive diversity, coordination, and problem-solving efficiency. The results suggest that social learning and cognitive diversity produce epistemic benefits only when the epistemic community is faced with problems of sufficient difficulty.
  • Nagatsu, Michiru; Lisciandra, Chiara (Springer, 2021)
    The interdisciplinary exchange between economists and psychologists has so far been more active and fruitful in the modifications of Expected Utility Theory than in those of Game Theory. We argue that this asymmetry may be explained by economists' specific way of doing equilibrium analysis of aggregate-level outcomes in their practice, and by psychologists' reluctance to fully engage with such practice. We focus on the notion of belief that is embedded in economists' practice of equilibrium analysis, more specifically Nash equilibrium, and argue that its difference from the psychological counterpart is one of the factors that makes interdisciplinary exchange in behavioral game theory more difficult.