Uskali Maki

Uskali Maki
University of Helsinki | HY · Department of Political and Economic Studies

About

78
Publications
4,107
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,508
Citations

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Full-text available
Idealization is ubiquitous in human cognition, and so is the inclination to be puzzled by it: what to make of ideal gas, infinitely large populations, homo economicus, perfectly just society, known to violate matters of fact? This is apparent in social science theorizing (from J. H. von Thünen, J. S. Mill, and Max Weber to Milton Friedman and Thoma...
Article
This is a critical discussion and proposed refinement of the inspiring account of the successes and failures of economic modelling sketched in Dani Rodrik’s Economics Rules. The refinements make use of a systematic framework of the structure of scientific modelling. The issues include distinguishing the discipline of economics from the behaviour an...
Article
Compared to the massive literature from other disciplinary perspectives on interdisciplinarity (such as those from sociology, education, management, scientometrics), philosophy of science is only slowly beginning to pay systematic attention to this powerful trend in contemporary science. The paper provides some metaphilosophical reflections on the...
Article
The paper looks at challenges related to the ideas of integration and knowledge systems in extra-academic transdisciplinarity (TD). 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...
Book
Full-text available
This volume showcases the best of recent research in the philosophy of science. A compilation of papers presented at the EPSA 13, it explores a broad distribution of topics such as causation, truthlikeness, scientific representation, gender-specific medicine, laws of nature, science funding and the wisdom of crowds. Papers are organised into headin...
Article
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...
Article
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...
Article
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 assumptio...
Chapter
The new economic sociology claims to have adopted the notion of performativity from J.L Austin, has put it in new uses, and has given it new meanings. This is now spreading and has created another vogue term in the social and human sciences. The term is taken to cover all sorts of aspects in the ways in which the use of social scientific theories h...
Article
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...
Book
Philosophy of Economics investigates the foundational concepts and methods of economics, the social science that analyzes the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. This groundbreaking collection, the most thorough treatment of the philosophy of economics ever published, brings together philosophers, scientists and historia...
Chapter
Contemporary sociology of science usually takes it for granted that science is, all down the line, social in character, and that fatal consequences follow from this in regard to traditional philosophical views of the nature of scientific knowledge and practice. There are a number of different accounts of science being social. All such accounts appe...
Article
No realist project in and about economics is close to completion. There are many open issues that remain to be addressed and resolved. Simon Deichsel (2011) has written a healthy challenge that should offer some useful inspiration to anyone interested in assessing and perhaps contributing to the realist projects. He argues against realism and in su...
Article
If models can be true, where is their truth located? Giere (e.g. 1988) 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-acquis...
Article
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 larg...
Article
Este documento analiza las siguientes cuestiones: 1) La metodología de la economía y su actual institucionalización. 2) La definición de Economía. 3) Las perspectivas de los economistas acerca de la Economía, sus métodos y justificación. 4) Comprobación y progreso: Popper y Lakatos.5) Los modelos y sus supuestos. 6) Persuasión retórica y verdad. 7)...
Article
Full-text available
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) b...
Article
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...
Article
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 re...
Article
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 phi...
Article
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 re...
Article
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...
Article
Even outrageously unrealistic assumptions are just fine insofar as the theory or model involving them performs well in predicting phenomena of interest. Most economists and many non-economists will attribute this principle to Milton Friedman. Many will consider the principle itself outrageous, while others praise Friedman for having formulated it s...
Article
What follows is a selective and somewhat,abstract summary,of my,thinking about economics, outlined from two perspectives: first historical and autobiographical, then systematic and comparative. The first angle helps understand motives,and trajectories of ideas against their backgrounds,in intellectual history. My story turns out to have both unique...
Chapter
This article defines the concept of realism and explores its implications for ontology, defending the idea of ontological realism and its relevance to economics, while rejecting the idea of some special ‘realist ontology’ that informs us about the ways of the real world. The main focus is on what it is for the world (its constituents, structure, an...
Chapter
Uskali Mäki (1951–) is currently an Academy Professor in the Academy of Finland. He holds a Ph.D. from Faculty of the Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki and has published extensively in both economics and philosophy. The author of over one hundred essays and a past editor of The Journal of Economic Methodology, Mäki’s interests span the...
Article
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 o...
Article
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 (socially unc...
Article
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 a...
Article
It is argued that J H von Thuënen was a realist who deliberately used unrealistic assumptions to pursue a true account of a major aspect of the determination of agricultural land-use patterns. The assumptions of the simplest model of concentric rings are examined to show that this highly unrealistic model deserves a realist interpretation: the idea...
Article
The paper provides an analysis of the reception of realism in human geography. Gaps are identified between geographers' realism and realism as conceived by philosophers of science. The paper first outlines philosophers' abstract or thin 'CoreRealism' in simple ontological, semantic, and epistemological terms. It then shows how human geographers' 'G...
Conference Paper
Two related goals are pursued. First, the development of, and debates around Oliver Williamson's version of transaction cost economics are organised in terms of an emerging metatheoretical framework. It proposes looking at economic theorising and its changes in terms of rival theoretical isolations which are often responses to challenging explanato...
Article
Two related goals are pursued. First, the development of, and debates around Oliver Williamson's version of transaction cost economics are organised in terms of an emerging metatheoretical framework. It proposes looking at economic theorising and its changes in terms of rival theoretical isolations which are often responses to challenging explanato...
Article
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...
Article
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...
Chapter
It used to be believed — and many still do — that archaeology is about the distant past of human societies, basing its reasonings on presently available material sources of evidence. While history draws from written sources, archaeology endeavours to get access to the prehistoric past by studying the archaeological record, by inferring from the mat...
Conference Paper
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 "grains", including structural and rational choice explanations. Their arguments are put in terms of different kinds of explanatory information;...
Article
Explanatory unification—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 accommoda...
Article
In an insightful article published in this journal, Alan Musgrave (1981) has argued that once we distinguish between three types of assumptions, Milton Friedman’s F-twist – according to which the truth of the assumptions of an economic theory is irrelevant to its acceptability – can be untwisted. It is shown that once we bring in more clarity on th...
Article
The primary aim of the paper is to place current methodological discussions in macroeconometric modeling contrasting the ‘theory first’ versus the ‘data first’ perspectives in the context of a broader methodological framework with a view to constructively appraise them. In particular, the paper focuses on Colander’s argument in his paper “Economist...
Article
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 adeq...
Article
In two articles published in 1993, Richard Posner characterized and vigorously attached Ronald Coase's methodological orientation. Coase resisted Posner's diagnosis, but did not provide a response. This paper offers a response which Coase might have given. One of Posner's major claims was that Coase is 'antitheoretical' or 'hostile to theory.' Here...
Article
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 ec...
Chapter
R.H. Coase is an economist who has been relatively prolific in his published reflections on the methodological foundations of the discipline. His methodological thought is beginning to be explored (see Medema 1994, Mäki 1994a, 1994b, 1994c, and Foss 1994), but much more needs to be done. The present paper attempts to contribute to this literature b...
Article
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 econ...
Chapter
I suggest that the issue of realism about science should be contextualized in terms of the peculiarities of particular disciplines and kinds of theories. Instead of any absolute and universal assertions for or against scientific realism we end up with a sort of relativization of realism. This amounts to a defence of concrete and local as against ab...
Article
The diagnosis focuses on McCloskey's concept of rhetoric (persuasion of one's audience in a morally purified conversation), his theory of truth (constrained coherence), and his conception of the social organization of economics (morally self-regulated marketplace of ideas). His theory of truth appears as an "elite theory" (beliefs of the elite of t...
Article
The paper questions Weintraub's thesis that ‘Methodology doesn't matter’. It is argued that the thesis is unclear, and when clarified on the basis of textual evidence from Weintraub himself, it is false (or else trivially true). It is also pointed out that Weintraub's argument for the thesis is based on what he denounces, namely ‘Methodology’ (of a...
Article
The battlefield of rival economic theories and approaches is colored by obscure assessments of whether this or that theory is “realistic” or “unrealistic” and whether it is legitimately so. It seems that, for the most part, economists espousing so-called Austrian theories think of those theories as being realistic, or at least more realistic than t...
Article
In the recent writing on the methodology of economics there has been a shortage of systematic analyses of realism and explanation and an absence of analysis of their inter-relationships. This article attempts to provide a detailed account of the structure of economic explanation built upon realist and essentialist premises. Invisible-hand explanati...
Chapter
Science is often said to aim at truth. And much of science is heavily dependent on the construction and use of theoretical models. But the notion of model has an uneasy relationship with that of truth. Not so long ago, many philosophers held the view that theoretical models are different from theories in that they are not accompanied by any ontolog...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
Philosophers of Economics discuss Rodrik's Economics Rules