Preprints

Kuorikoski, Jaakko and Samuli Reijula. Making it count. An inferentialist account of computer simulation [pdf]
Keywords: inferentialism; scientific representation; computer simulation; similarity
Abstract The dual problems of how an idealized model can represent and provide information about its target have become a central topic of in the philosophy of science. We argue that several current views are misguided in assuming that the epistemology of modeling and simulation must build on a philosophical theory of the representation relation (e.g. isomorphism, similarity). We extend Robert Brandom’s inferentialist account of meaning into scientific representation to argue that representational language is explicatory, not explanatory, in nature. We provide a broader philosophical rationale for inferential accounts of scientific representation, and an epistemologically modest account of the role of models in terms of inferential scorekeeping. We apply these views to the contested case of computer simulations to argue that, although the praxis of simulation modeling resembles that of scientific experimentation, simulations alone cannot lead to genuinely novel discoveries about the world, as they are merely tools for keeping our reasoning straight.

2023

Reijula, Samuli and Ralph Hertwig (2023). Self-nudging and the citizen choice architect. In Sunstein & Reisch (eds.) Research Handbook on Nudges and Society, 263-291. [link] [pdf]
(Originally published 2022 in Behavioral Public Policy)
Keywords: nudge; boost; choice architecture; self-control; agency; overconsumption
Abstract This article argues that nudges can often be turned into self-nudges: empowering interventions that enable people to design and structure their own decision environments – that is, to act as citizen choice architects. Self-nudging applies insights from behavioral science in a way that is practicable and cost-effective, but that sidesteps concerns about paternalism or manipulation. It has the potential to expand the scope of application of behavioral insights from the public to the personal sphere (e.g., homes, offices, families). It is a tool for reducing failures of self-control and enhancing personal autonomy; specifically, self-nudging can mean designing one's proximate choice architecture to alleviate the effects of self-control problems, engaging in education to understand the nature and causes of self-control problems and employing simple educational nudges to improve goal attainment in various domains. It can even mean self-paternalistic interventions such as winnowing down one's choice set by, for instance, removing options. Policy-makers could promote self-nudging by sharing knowledge about nudges and how they work. The ultimate goal of the self-nudging approach is to enable citizen choice architects’ efficient self-governance, where reasonable, and the self-determined arbitration of conflicts between their mutually exclusive goals and preferences.
Hormio, Säde and Samuli Reijula (2023). Universities as anarchic knowledge institutions, Social Epistemology [pdf, open access]
Keywords: higher education; institutional epistemology; knowledge production; knowledge field; frontier research
Abstract Universities are knowledge institutions. Compared to several other knowledge institutions (e.g., schools, government research organisations, think tanks), research universities have unusual, anarchic organisational features. We argue that such anarchic features are not a weakness. Rather, they reflect the special standing of research universities among knowledge institutions. We contend that the distributed, self-organising mode of knowledge production maintains a diversity of approaches, topics and solutions needed in frontier research, which involves generating relevant knowledge under uncertainty. Organisational disunity and inconsistencies should sometimes be protected by institutional structures and procedures in order for research universities to best serve their purpose as knowledge institutions. The quality control for the knowledge produced stems from knowledge fields, clusters of knowledge and research that exist beyond the confines of individual organisations. The diversity of epistemic contributions is therefore kept in check by the order imposed by the internal logic of science as a social practice. Our argument provides a new defence for the autonomy of research conducted at universities.
Rolin, Kristina, Inkeri Koskinen, Jaakko Kuorikoski and Samuli Reijula (2023). Social and cognitive diversity in science: introduction , Synthese 202:36. [pdf, open access]
Keywords: cognitive diversity; social diversity; social epistemology of science
Abstract In this introduction to the Topical Collection on Social and Cognitive Diversity in Science, we map the questions that have guided social epistemological approaches to diversity in science. Both social and cognitive diversity of different types is claimed to be epistemically beneficial. The challenge is to understand how an increase in a group’s diversity can bring about epistemic benefits and whether there are limits beyond which diversity can no longer improve a group’s epistemic performance. The contributions to the Topical Collection discuss various proposals to maintain an appropriate amount of cognitive diversity in science, for instance, by recruiting and retaining practitioners from underrepresented social groups, providing incentives for explorative and risky research, encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations and stakeholder participation in research, requiring industry scientists to share their evidence, and developing strategies to encounter politically motivated attempts to manufacture doubt. To be successful, efforts to promote diversity in science should anticipate risks related to institutional interventions, navigate trade-offs between different types of epistemically good outcomes, and identify hidden costs that such policies may cause for various actors. Such efforts need to be assessed not only from an epistemic perspective but also from the point of view of fairness and the political legitimacy of scientific institutions.
Pesonen, Renne and Samuli Reijula (2023). Älykästä paskapuhetta - tekoälymallit ihmisälyn peilinä (Fluent bullshit - AI models as a mirror to human intelligence), Tieteessä Tapahtuu, 3/2023. [pdf, open access]
Keywords: kielimallit; tekoäly; älykkyys; luovuus; rajoitettu rationaalisuus
Abstract Onko tekoälyllä älykkyyttä? Luultavasti on, sillä sen käymää keskustelua ei enää juuri erota ihmisten käymästä keskustelusta. Ihmistenkään järkeily ei nimittäin useimmiten huikaise älykkyyden tasollaan. Kielimallit haastavat romantisoidut käsitykset ihmisjärjestä ja luovuudesta.
Kokkonen, Tomi & Samuli Reijula (2023). Tieteenfilosofia (in Finnish. ”Philosophy of science”). In. S. Syrjämäki, T. Kannisto, & L. Järvilehto (eds.). Logos Encyclopedia, Eurooppalaisen filosofian seura ry. [link, open access]
Keywords: tieteenfilosofia, tieteellinen päättely, tieteellinen realismi, selittäminen, ymmärtäminen, tiede ja arvot, tieteenfilosofia Suomessa
Abstract Sanalla ”tiede” voidaan viitata useaan eri kohteeseen. Ensinnäkin sillä voidaan tarkoittaa tieteellisen tiedon kokonaisuutta. Toiseksi se voi viitata niihin episteemisiin periaatteisiin, joihin tieteellinen tiedon tuottaminen perustuu, ja näiden episteemisten periaatteiden mukaisiin metodologisiin periaatteisiin. Kolmanneksi se voi tarkoittaa tiedeyhteisöä ja sen instituutioita, jotka ylläpitävät ja kehittävät metodologisia periaatteita ja tuottavat tieteellistä tietoa. Tieteenfilosofia tutkii tiedettä näissä kaikissa kolmessa mielessä. Tieteenfilosofia tarkastelee muun muassa seuraavanlaisia kysymyksiä: Kuinka tiede eroaa pseudotieteestä? Kuvaavatko tieteelliset teoriat todellisuuden rakenteita? Ovatko tieteelliset faktat tutkijayhteisön tuottamia konstruktioita? Kuinka havainnot tukevat teoriaa? Edistyykö tiede tasaisesti vähän kerrallaan vai vallankumousten kautta? Millä tavoin tieteelliset teoriat selittävät ja lisäävät ymmärrystä maailmasta? Kuinka tiedeyhteisön toiminta tulisi järjestää, jotta tiedontuotanto olisi mahdollisimman luotettavaa?
Reijula, Samuli, Jaakko Kuorikoski, Miles MacLeod (2023). The division of cognitive labor and the structure of interdisciplinary problems, Synthese 201:214. [pdf, open access]
Keywords: division of cognitive labor; interdisciplinarity; collective problem-solving; modularity
Abstract Interdisciplinarity is strongly promoted in science policy across the world. It is seen as a necessary condition for providing practical solutions to many pressing complex problems for which no single disciplinary approach is adequate alone. In this article we model multi- and interdisciplinary research as an instance of collective problem solving. Our goal is to provide a basic representation of this type of problem solving and chart the epistemic benefits and costs of researchers engaging in different forms of cognitive coordination. Our findings suggest that typical forms of interdisciplinary collaboration are unlikely to find optimal solutions to complex problems within short time frames and can lead to methodological conservatism. This provides some grounds for both reflecting on current science policy and envisioning more effective scientific practices with respect to interdisciplinary problem solving.

2022

Reijula, Samuli and Jaakko Kuorikoski (2022). Modeling cognitive diversity in group problem solving, in J. Culbertson, A. Perfors, H. Rabagliati & V. Ramenzoni (Eds.), Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
Keywords: cognitive diversity; binary string model; distributed cognition; diversity-beats-ability theorem; simulation modeling
Abstract According to the diversity-beats-ability theorem, groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers (Hong and Page 2004). This striking claim about the power of cognitive diversity is highly influential within and outside academia, from democratic theory to management of teams in professional organizations. Our replication and analysis of the models used by Hong and Page suggests, however, that both the binary string model and its one-dimensional variant are inadequate for exploring the trade-off between cognitive diversity and ability. Diversity may sometimes beat ability, but the models fail to provide reliable evidence of if and when it does so. We suggest ways in which these important model templates can be improved.
Reijula, Samuli (2022) Terapeuttinen puhe on kaikkialla (Therapeutic discourse is everywhere; book review) , Tieteessä Tapahtuu 1/2022. [link, OA]
Keywords: kirja-arvio; terapeuttinen valta; psykologinen lukutaito
Abstract Akatemiatutkija ja teoreettisen filosofian yliopistonlehtori Samuli Reijula luki Terapeuttinen valta -teoksen, joka tarkastelee eri näkökulmista terapeuttisen kulttuurin vaikutuksia yhteiskunnassa.
Reijula, Samuli and Ralph Hertwig (2022). Self-nudging and the citizen choice architect. Behavioral Public Policy, 6(1), 119-149. [link] [pdf]
Keywords: nudge; boost; choice architecture; self-control; agency; overconsumption
Abstract This article argues that nudges can often be turned into self-nudges: empowering interventions that enable people to design and structure their own decision environments – that is, to act as citizen choice architects. Self-nudging applies insights from behavioral science in a way that is practicable and cost-effective, but that sidesteps concerns about paternalism or manipulation. It has the potential to expand the scope of application of behavioral insights from the public to the personal sphere (e.g., homes, offices, families). It is a tool for reducing failures of self-control and enhancing personal autonomy; specifically, self-nudging can mean designing one's proximate choice architecture to alleviate the effects of self-control problems, engaging in education to understand the nature and causes of self-control problems and employing simple educational nudges to improve goal attainment in various domains. It can even mean self-paternalistic interventions such as winnowing down one's choice set by, for instance, removing options. Policy-makers could promote self-nudging by sharing knowledge about nudges and how they work. The ultimate goal of the self-nudging approach is to enable citizen choice architects’ efficient self-governance, where reasonable, and the self-determined arbitration of conflicts between their mutually exclusive goals and preferences.

2021

Reijula, Samuli and Jaakko Kuorikoski (2021). The diversity-ability trade-off in scientific problem solving. Philosophy of Science , 88, 894-905. [link] [pdf]
Abstract According to the diversity-beats-ability theorem, groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers. We argue that the model introduced by Lu Hong and Scott Page is inadequate for exploring the trade-off between diversity and ability. This is because the model employs an impoverished implementation of the problem-solving task. We present a new version of the model that captures the role of ‘ability’ in a meaningful way, and we use it to explore the trade-offs between diversity and ability in scientific problem solving.
Reijula, Samuli (2021) Social categories in the making: construction or recruitment? , Synthese, 199, 12315–12330. [pdf, open access]
Abstract Real kinds, both natural and social categories, are characterized by rich inductive potential. They have relatively stable sets of conceptually independent projectable properties. Somewhat surprisingly, even some purely social categories (e.g., ethnicity, gender, political orientation) show such multiple projectability. The article explores the origin of the inductive richness of social categories and concepts. I argue that existing philosophical accounts provide only a partial explanation, and mechanisms of boundary formation and stabilization must be brought into view for a more comprehensive account of inductively rich social categories.
Reijula, Samuli (2021) Hacking, Ian (1936-), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [link] [pdf]
Abstract Ian Hacking (born in 1936, Vancouver, British Columbia) is most well-known for his work in the philosophy of the natural and social sciences, but his contributions to philosophy are broad, spanning many areas and traditions. In his detailed case studies of the development of probabilistic and statistical reasoning, Hacking pioneered the naturalistic approach in the philosophy of science. Hacking’s research on social constructionism, transient mental illnesses, and the looping effect of the human kinds make use of historical materials to shed light on how developments in the social, medical, and behavioural sciences have shaped our contemporary conceptions of identity and agency. Hacking’s other contributions to philosophy include his work on the philosophy of mathematics (Hacking, 2014), philosophy of statistics, philosophy of logic, inductive logic (Hacking, 1965, 1979, 2001) and natural kinds (Hacking, 1991, 2007a).
Aydinonat, Emrah, Samuli Reijula and Petri Ylikoski (2021). Argumentative landscapes: the functions of models in social epistemology. Synthese, 199, 369-395. [link] [pdf]
Abstract We argue that the appraisal of models in social epistemology requires conceiving of them as argumentative devices, taking into account the argumentative context and adopting a family-of-models perspective. We draw up such an account and show how it makes it easier to see the value and limits of the use of models in social epistemology. To illustrate our points, we document and explicate the argumentative role of epistemic landscape models in social epistemology and highlight their limitations. We also claim that our account could be fruitfully used in appraising other models in philosophy and science.

2020

Reijula, Samuli and Petri Ylikoski (2020). Tutkijan vapaus institutionaalisen tietoteorian näkökulmasta, in ed. K. Ekholm, E. Väliverronen: Tieteen vapaus & tutkijan sananvapaus. Vastapaino, Finland. [pdf]

Kuorikoski, Jaakko, Samuli Reijula and Susanne Uusitalo (2020). Neuroscience of autonomy and paternalistic policies. In Harbecke, J. & Herrmann-Pillath, C. (eds.). Social Neuroeconomics : Mechanistic Integration of the Neurosciences and the Social Sciences. London: Routledge, p. 221-235. [pdf]

2019

Marchionni, Caterina & Samuli Reijula (2019) What is mechanistic evidence, and why do we need it for evidence-based policy? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A, 73, 54–63. [link] [pdf]

Reijula, Samuli & Jaakko Kuorikoski (2019). Modeling epistemic communities, in M. Fricker, P.J. Graham, D. Henderson, N. Pedersen, J. Wyatt (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology, 240-249. [link] [pdf]

2018

Kyanoush Seyed Yahosseini, Samuli Reijula, Lucas Molleman & Mehdi Moussaıd (2018) Social information can undermine individual performance in exploration-exploitation tasks. COGSCI 2018: 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2470-2475. [pdf]

Reijula, Samuli; Timo Ehrig; Konstantinos Katsikopoulos; Jaakko Kuorikoski; Shyam Sunder (2018). Nudge, Boost or Design? Limitations of behavioral policy under social interaction. The Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, 2(1), 99-105. [pdf] [link]

Kuorikoski, Jaakko & Samuli Reijula. (2018). Kokeellinen yhteiskuntatiede (Experimental social science), in Kaidesoja, T; Kankainen, T; & Ylikoski, P (eds.) Syistä Selityksiin – Kausaliteetti ja selittäminen yhteiskuntatieteissä., Gaudeamus, 279-307.

2017

Reijula, Samuli (2017). How could a rational analysis model explain? COGSCI 2017: 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2975-2980. [link]

Pöyhönen, Samuli (2017). Value of cognitive diversity in science. Synthese, 194: 4519-4540. [pdf] [link] [online materials]

2016

Pöyhönen, Samuli (2016). Memory as a cognitive kind. Brains, remembering dyads and exograms, in C. Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. London: Pickering & Chatto, 145–156. [link] [pdf]

Pöyhönen, Samuli (2016). Psykologia tieteenalana ja asiakastyönä (Vesa Talvitie, Arkipsykologiasta aivotutkimukseen – kysymyksiä psykologian filosofiasta). Niin & Näin 3/16,132-134. [link] [pdf]

2015

Ylikoski, Petri & Samuli Pöyhönen (2015). Addiction-as-kind hypothesis. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 4(1): 21–25. [link] [pdf]

2014

Pöyhönen, Samuli. (2014). Explanatory power of extended cognition, Philosophical Psychology, 27/5, 735-759. [link] [pdf]

Pöyhönen Samuli (2014). Natural kinds and concept eliminativism, in V. Karakostas and D. Dieks (eds.), EPSA11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science, The European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings 2, 167-179. [pdf]

Pöyhönen, Samuli. (2014). Intentional concepts in cognitive neuroscience, Philosophical Explorations, 17: 93–109 [link] [pdf]

2013

Pöyhönen, Samuli (2013). Chasing Phenomena. Studies on classification and conceptual change in the social and behavioral sciences. Doctoral Dissertation. Philosophical Studies from the University of Helsinki. [link:summary]

Kuorikoski, Jaakko & Samuli Pöyhönen (2013). Understanding non-modular functionality. Lessons from genetic algorithms, Philosophy of Science, 80/5, 637-649. [link] [pdf]

Kuorikoski, Jaakko & Pöyhönen, Samuli (2013). Evolution and Modularity: The limits of mechanistic explanation, COGSCI 2013, Proceedings of the annual meeting of the cognitive science society, 840–845. [pdf]

2012

Kuorikoski, Jaakko & Samuli Pöyhönen (2012). Looping kinds and social mechanisms, Sociological Theory, 30:3, 187–205. [link] [pdf]

Rusanen, Anna-Mari & Samuli Pöyhönen (2012). Concepts in change, Science & Education, 22, 6, 1389-1403. [link] [pdf]

Pöyhönen, Samuli. (2012) Carving the mind by its joints – Natural kinds and social construction in psychiatry, in Milkowski, Martin, and Konrad Talmont-Kaminsky (eds.) Regarding Mind, Naturally. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, [pdf]

Kokkonen, Tomi & Samuli Pöyhönen. (2012). Olemukset piilopremisseinä argumentaatiossa, in Ritola, Juho (ed). Tutkimuksia Argumentaatiosta, 191-206.

Pöyhönen, Samuli (2010). Luonnollinen luokka, Logos-ensyklopedia. Syrjämäki, Sami, Kannisto, Toni & Järvilehto, Lauri (ed.). Eurooppalaisen filosofian seura ry.

Kuorikoski, Jaakko & Samuli Pöyhönen (2009). Ihmistieteelliset luokitukset ja sosiaaliset takaisinkytkentämekanismit, Tiede & Edistys, 4/09, 271-289. [pdf]

Pöyhönen, Samuli (2007). Luonnollisuuden rajoilla, Master’s thesis (pro gradu). Full text (in Finnish). Abstract (in English).