Veli
Virmajoki
Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC)
PhD
Estimating Possible Futures of Science

Contact

Areas of expertise

Development of Science
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Historiography
Explanation
Contingency

Teaching

Science and History 2019
Philosophy of Science (II)  2016 and 2018Argumentation Theory 2017
Philosophy of History (seminar) 2016
History of Science (seminar) 2014

Research

I am a philosopher of science and historiography. In 2019, I finishd my PhD with a dissertation on causal and counterfactual thinking in historiography of science. I want to understand science as human practice that is embedded in a wider order of things – societies, cultures and nature.  My aim is to develop conceptual tools that enable us to answer science-related questions from different perspectives. Rather than solving philosophical problems, I attempt to understand how those problems can be approached – even from different starting points. The tools I develop are meant to be useful independently of substantial views on the nature of science.

The current focus of my research is on the question How to estimate possible futures of science? Science has changed over time and will most likely continue to change in the future. With the change, many aspects of human lives and societies will also change. Even though possible futures of science are constantly discussed and studied in many contexts, for example when technological solutions to the climate change are explored, the nature, prospects, limitations and problems of such estimations do not receive the systematic attention they deserve. This is a serious problem since the complications in the estimating of possible futures of science are opaque and profound. Even though history and the philosophy of science have deepened our understanding of science, explicit conceptual tools to estimate possible futures of science are missing from its repertoire.

I believe that philosophy of science, historiography of science and science studies can be used to understand how possible futures of science can be estimated and what unique problems such estimations face. I challenge everyone to reflect on whether the future of science can be estimated and, if so, how the estimations should proceed.

Publications

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