Conference of the International Network for Economic Methodology
Hosted by TINT, University of Helsinki
September 1-3, 2011

For more information see the INEM website


Models, Mechanisms and Algorithms:
Symposium on Philosophical Perspectives on Synthetic Biology

University of Helsinki

Tentative programme

Monday 2.5.2011:
Fabianinkatu 33, auditorium XII
Open day

10.00 – 10.15Welcome and Introduction: Gabriele Gramelsberger (Berlin), Erika Mansnerus (London)
10.15 – 11.00Werner Kogge (Berlin):
On the Idea of Engineering Biological Machines
11.00 – 11.45Axel Gelfert (Singapore):
Synthetic biology as thing knowledge
11.45 – 12.15Coffee break
12.15 – 13.00Tarja Knuuttila (Helsinki) & Andrea Loettgers (Caltech):
The Combinatorial Modeling Strategy of Synthetic Biology
13.00 – 14.00Lunch
14.00 – 14.45Georg Trogeman (Cologne): Programmable Material?
14.45 – 15.30Jane Calvert (Edinburgh):
New forms of collaboration: Synthetic biology, social science, art and design
15.30 – 16.00Coffee break
16.00 – 16.45Ursula Dam (Weimar):
Are engineers inventing the culture of tomorrow?
17.15 – 18.00Adrian Mackenzie (Lancaster):
Re-thinking energy through synthetic biology
(venue: lecture room K132, Alexandria)
18.00 – 18.30Discussion

Tuesday 3.5.2011
Unioninkatu 40, lecture room 10

Closed workshop day for Helsinki and Berlin projects with their guests
More informal presentations on work in progress

10.00 – 10.45Gabriele Gramelsberger (Berlin):
The simulation approach in biology
10.45 – 11.15Coffee break
11.15 – 12.00Gry Oftedal:
PSBio – A Nordic Project on the Philosophical Foundations
12.00 – 12.45Veli-Pekka Parkkinen:
Gene knockouts and mechanistic understanding
12.45 – 14.00Lunch
14.00 – 14.45Jaakko Kuorikoski (Helsinki) & Petri Ylikoski (Helsinki):
Why Would a Couple of Philosophers of Social Science Find Systems Biology Interesting?
14.45 – 15.15Nina Samuel (Berlin):
Images as tools
15.15 – 15.45Kathrin Friedrich (Cologne):
‘Do Not Ever Leave the Pathways’- Graphical Notation in Biology
15.30 – 16.00Coffee break
16.45 – 17.30Peter Bexte (Cologne):
The turn of the screw. Standardizations in biology
17.30 – 18.00Discussion


G. H. von Wrightin Explanation and Understanding 40 vuotta myöhemmin

(Explanation and Understanding after 40 years -symposium. Please note: papers&discussion in Finnish)

Tieteiden talo 29.4.2011, sali 505 (yläsali)
Helsinki, Finland

G. H. von Wrightin Explanation and Understanding -teoksen ilmestymisestä on kulunut 40 vuotta. Teoksella oli suuri merkitys suomalaisen tieteenfilosofian kehitykseen ja sen käsittelemät aiheet ovat edelleen ajankohtaisia. Paljon on kuitenkin tapahtunut neljän vuosikymmenen aikana ja monet tieteenfilosofiset näkemykset ovat muuttuneet. Nyt järjestettävässä seminaarissa tarkastellaankin von Wrightin teosta nykyisen tieteenfilosofian näkökulmasta ja arvioidaan sen ajankohtaisuutta. Seminaarin puhujina ovat suomalaiset nuoren polven tieteenfilosofit.

10.15 Kansleri Ilkka Niiniluoto: Avaussanat
10.35 FT Jaakko Kuorikoski: Manipulaatio ja kausaalinen selittäminen
11.45 VTM Tomi Kokkonen: Mielenteoria ja ymmärtäminen

12.45 lounastauko

13.45 dos. Panu Raatikainen: Teon teoria ja historiallinen selittäminen
14.55 dos. Petri Ylikoski: Sosiaaliset normit ja yhteiskuntatieteellinen selittäminen

Interdisciplinary Exchanges as the Object of Philosophical Inquiry
[Symposium website]

Helsinki, Finland
March 3-4, 2011

Organisers: Till Grüne-Yanoff & Uskali Mäki
Funded by TINT & HCAS

The idea of the workshop is to bring together philosophers and other students of science who have an interest in examining episodes of exchange and transfer (of concepts, theories, methods etc) across the boundaries between scientific disciplines or research fields. The goal is to compare disciplinary practices and styles of theorizing and to analyze various interactions, collaborations and confrontations between them.


  • Marion Vorms (ENS)
  • Susan Sterrett (CMU)
  • Stephen H. Hellert (Hamline)
  • Tarja Knuuttila
  • Aki Lehtinen
  • Jaakko Kuorikoski
  • Uskali Mäki
  • Caterina Marchionni
  • Diego Rios
  • Petri Ylikoski
  • Till Grüne-Yanoff

For paper abstracts and more information, please visit the symposium web page


Modelling in the Social Sciences: Interdisciplinary Comparison

Venue: Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies, seminar room, Fabianinkatu 24, 00014 Helsinki

Time: 17th -18th June 2010

Organised by Mary Morgan (LSE) and Till Grüne-Yanoff (Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies). Kindly funded by TINT and the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies

The symposium brings together social scientists and philosophers of science to discuss different modelling practices, and analyse the differences, similarities and arguments in these practices. The idea is to hear active researchers report on their use, construction and understanding of models and modelling, and then facilitate a dialogue between them and philosophers on the methodology of modelling. We thereby seek to address the rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie modelling practice in the different social science disciplines, rather than the technical details of certain modelling procedures.

For the schedule and online papers, see the symposium’s website:

The seminar is open for all but pre-registration is required. Please book your place by contacting Mr Taavi Sundell (taavi.sundell@helsinki.fi).

POS/TINT Summer workshop

Place: Suomenlinna, Piirtamo
Time: June 15th

9.20KL Ferry from Kauppatori (Market Square) to Suomenlinna (do not miss it!)
10-11Till Grüne-Yanoff: Coherent welfarism from inconsistent preferences
11-12Clemens Hirsch: Organisations or Rules?: Elaborations on the Ontology of Institutions
12-13.30Lunch at Café Chapman
13.30-14.30Diego Rios: Multiple Realizability
14.30-15.30V-P Parkkinen: Genetic causation, counterfactuals and causal sensitivity
16-17Ekaterina Svetlova: Financial models as non-epistemic tools
17-18Caterina Marchionni & Uskali Mäki: When Economics and Geography meet
18 –Wine and snacks on the rocks of Suomenlinna (weather permitting)

Please inform Päivi Seppälä about your participation by Wednesday, June 9th.

Suomenlinna map: http://www.suomenlinna.fi/files/1158/SL-map2008.jpg
(The conference room and Cafe Chapman are marked with number 9)


Evolution and the Human Sciences

12-13 November, 2009
University of Helsinki

Day 1: Cognition

Thursday 12th, Main Building, lecture room 5

TimeSpeakerPresentation title
Matti SintonenOpening
10.10- 11.10Richard Samuels,
Ohio State University
On the evolution of cognitive flexibility
11.20- 12.20Ron Mallon,
University of Utah
Evolutionary cognitive and social constructionist accounts of racial cognition: towards an integrated account
13.40- 14.40Katja Valli,
University of Turku
Does dreaming serve a function? Evolutionary approach to dream consciousness
14.50- 15.50Tomi Kokkonen,
University of Helsinki
Psychological innateness and evolutionary explanations of human behavior
16.00- 17.00Panel Discussion
Chair: Anna-Mari Rusanen
Drinks at Kaisla 
19.00Dinner at Pääkonttori(registration during the day)

Day 2: Social Sciences

Friday 13th, Main Building, lecture room 13

TimeSpeakerPresentation title
10.00 – 10.10Uskali MäkiOpening
10.10 – 11.10Herbert Gintis,
Santa Fe Institute, Central European University
Five principles for the unification of the behavioral sciences
11.20 – 12.20Markus Jokela,
University of Helsinki
The importance of variation in evolutionary social sciences
13.40 – 14.40Till Grüne-Yanoff,
University of Helsinki
Evolutionary game theory between interpersonal comparisons and natural selection: A dilemma
14.50 – 15.50Jack Vromen,
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Is reciprocity-based cooperation “ultimately” altruistic or selfish? A red herring
16.00 – 17.00Petri Ylikoski,
University of Tampere
Evolution and explanatory integration in the social sciences


Modeling the World – Perspectives from Biology and Economics

[Conference Web Page]

28-30 May, 2009
University of Helsinki

Organized by Michael Weisberg (University of Pennsylvania) and Uskali Mäki (Academy of Finland) with TINT [Trends and Tensions in Intellectual Integration], sponsored by the Academy of Finland

Much of biological and economic theorizing takes place by modeling, the indirect study of real-world structures by the construction and examination of models. Indeed books about biological and economic theory are really books about models, many of which are highly idealized and chosen for their explanatory power and analytical convenience, rather than fit with known data sets. Philosophers of science have recognized these facts and have developed literatures about the nature of models, modeling, idealization, and model testing for both of these disciplines. Remarkably, however, there is almost no overlap between the “modeling in biology” and “modeling in economics” literatures. The purpose of this conference is to change this. TINT is proud to host the first ever conference on modeling in biology and economics.

The goal of this conference is to cross-polinate and help unify the literatures on biological and economic modeling. Discussions will be focused on how theorists use idealized models to describe and explain real-world target systems. This covers issues of model/world relations, model/use relations, and the functions and manipulations of idealizations in modelling.

The conference will consist of a number of invited target papers to be given by Peter Godfrey-Smith, Kevin Hoover, Ilkka Hanski, Uskali Mäki, Robert Sugden, Michael Weisberg, and William Wimsatt. A number of contributed papers on the conference topic will also be accepted. If you are interested in contributing a paper, please send a detailed abstract to Uskali Mäki <uskali.maki@helsinki.fi> by 15 December, 2008.


Maximizing, Satisficing, and Entrenchment
William Wimsatt (University of Chicago)

Evolutionary Models and Cultural Change
Peter Godfrey-Smith (Harvard University)

Three-Sex Mating (and other models without targets)
Michael Weisberg (University of Pennsylvania)

Explanations in search of observations
Robert Sugden (University of East Anglia)

Identity, Structure, and Causation in Economic Models
Kevin Hoover (Duke University)

Simple and complex models in population ecology – an ecologist’s perspective
Ilkka Hanski (University of Helsinki)

Truth and falsity in modeling
Uskali Mäki (Academy of Finland)

Natural Selection and the Moniac: the diverse relations between models and mechanisms
Brett Calcott and John Matthewson Australian National University

Templates vs. Mechanisms? The Lotka-Volterra model reconsidered
Tarja Knuuttila (University of Helsinki) and Andrea Loettgers (California Institute of Technology)

The Virtue of Simplicity or the Vice of Complexity? – Theoretical and Statistical Modeling in Ecology
Jan Sprenger (Tilburg University)

When idealization goes too far … A realist perspective on the role of assumptions in economic models
Bart Engelen (University of Leuven)

Trading off explanatory virtues in economics
Rogier De Langhe (Ghent University)

Modelling and the Epistemic Import of How-Possibly Explanations
Emrah Aydinonat (University of Helsinki) and Petri Ylikoski (University of Tampere)

Models as a Product of Interdisciplinary Exchange: The Case of Evolutionary Game Theory
Till Grüne-Yanoff (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Study)

Models and Fiction


Workshop, Wednesday, May 27th.
Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies, Fabiankatu 24, Seminar Room 136
For further questions, please contact till.grune@helsinki.fi

TimeSpeakerPresentation title
9.30 – 10.30Roman Frigg,
London School of Economics
“Fiction and Scientific Representation”
10.30 – 11.30Tarja Knuuttila,
Academy of Finland
“How does fiction help us understanding scientific models? The case of economic modeling”
11.30 – 12.00Coffee 
12.00 – 13.00Michael Weisberg,
University of Pennsylvania
“Models, Maths, and Fictions”
13.00 – 14.00Lunch 
14.00 – 15.00Till Gruene-Yanoff,
Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies
“Messy Model Metaphysics”
15.00 – 16.00Uskali Mäki,
Academy of Finland
“Are Theoretical Models Vaihingerian Fictions?”
16.00 – 16.30Coffee 
16.30 – 17.30Peter Godfrey-Smith,
Harvard University
“Models, Mongrels, and Third Things”
18.00 – 19.30Drinks, Oluthuone Kaisla 
19.30Dinner, Ravintola Kosmos 


The Purpose of Social Theory

The aim of this small conference is to make sense of social theory. It addresses questions like: What is the current state of social theory? What social theory should be like? What is the relation between empirical research, substantial theory and social theory? What is the relation between social theory and philosophy?

Time: Friday April 24th
Place: University of Tampere, Pinni B 1096

10.15 Opening: Uskali Mäki

10.30 Lars Udéhn (Stockholm): The types and uses of social theory

11.30 Risto Heiskala (Tampere): What and how do we know about society?

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30 José Noguera (Barcelona): The normative uses of social theory

14.30 Petri Ylikoski (Tampere): The role of philosophy in social theory

15.30-16.00 Coffee

16-18 Parallel sessions (student presentations)

18- Dinner

The event is organized by

* Institute for Social Research (YTI), University of Tampere,
* Department of History and Philosophy, University of Tampere,
* Trends and Tensions of Intellectual Integration -project, University of Helsinki,
* Finnish National Doctoral School in Social Sciences (SOVAKO),
* Social Theory Finland Research Network,

For further information about the event, please contact Petri Ylikoski (petri.ylikoski@uta.fi).


Models, Mechanisms, and Interdisciplinarity
Workshop 31.10.-1.11.2008
University of Helsinki

Guest speaker: Robert C. Richardson (University of Cincinnati)
Registration: Registration required for Saturday (email: paivi.a.seppala@helsinki.fi)

Friday. October 31, 2008
University Main Building, auditorium XI

10.15 – 11.15Matti Sintonen
Genes and the New Mechanical Philosophy
11.15 – 12.15Tarja Knuuttila
Indirect representation, multidisciplinary templates and underlying mechanisms
12.15 – 13.30Lunch
13.30 – 14.30Robert C. Richardson
On modeling in systems biology
14.30 – 15.30Erika Mansnerus
Explanatory and predictive functions of simulation models in infectious disease epidemiology
15.30 – 16.00Refreshments
16.00 – 17.00Caterina Marchionni
The virtues of generality in economic modelling
17.00 – 18.00Till Grüne-Yanoff
Are economic models tools for theoretical isolation?

Saturday. November 1, 2008
Hotel Arthur (Vuorikatu 19)

10.15 – 11.15Uskali Mäki
How to illuminate the black box? Challenges of unification and interdisciplinarity
11.15 – 12.15Tomi Kokkonen
Innateness in biology and psychology: Explanatory black boxes and conceptual confusions in interdisciplinary approach to developmental mechanisms
12.15 – 13.30Lunch
13.30 – 14.30Emrah Aydinonat
Evolution of Money: Perspectives from Neurobiology and Economics
14.30 – 15.30Jaakko Kuorikoski
Explanatory (ir)relevance of mechanistic detail: The case of neuroeconomics (w. Petri Ylikoski)
15.30 – 16.00Refreshments
16.00 – 17.00Aki Lehtinen
Robustness analysis and the Duhem-Quine thesis
17.00 – 18.00Petri Ylikoski
Explanatory presuppositions and disciplinary boundaries


Mechanisms and Everyday Reasoning

Workshop Friday, 13.06.2008, 10.30 – 17
Culture and Congress Centre Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna

10.30-11.30Petri Ylikoski ja Jaakko Kuorikoski: “Intentional fundamentalism”
11.30-12-30Samuli Pöyhönen: “Essentialist reasoning and social
14.00-15.00Annika Wallin: “Decision making in natural environments”
15.00-16.00Johannes Persson: “Decisions and the importance of knowing how”
16.00-17.00Uskali Mäki: “How economics claims to correct the common sense”


Models as Isolating Tools or as Credible Worlds?

(Workshop Monday, 10.03.2008, University of Helsinki)
(workshop web site)


  • Till Grüne-Yanoff
  • Tarja Knuuttila
  • Jaakko Kuorikoski
  • Aki Lehtinen
  • Uskali Mäki
  • Robert Sugden
  • Jesus Zamora Bonilla


Modeling, Simulation and Computational Science:
Perspectives from different sciences

(Workshop 29–30 November 2007, Helsinki)
(workshop web site)


  • Tapio Ala-Nissilä (Laboratory of Physics, Helsinki University of Technology )
  • Till Grüne-Yanoff (Department of Social and Moral Philosophy, University of Helsinki)
  • Timo Honkela (Laboratory of Computer and Information Science, Helsinki University of Technology)
  • Paul Humphreys (Department of Philosophy, University of Virginia)
  • Aapo Hyvärinen (Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, University of Helsinki)
  • Tarja Knuuttila (Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki)
  • Ismo Koponen (Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki)
  • Arkady Krashenninikov (Accelerator Laboratory, University of Helsinki)
  • Jaakko Kuorikoski (Department of Social and Moral Philosophy, University of Helsinki)
  • Otto Lappi (Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki)
  • Andrea (Loettgers California Institute of Technology)
  • Erika Mattila (Economic History Department, London School of Economics)
  • Gualtiero (Piccinini Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri)
  • Anna-Mari (Rusanen Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki)
  • Oron Shagrir (Department of Philosophy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Petri Ylikoski (Academy of Finland)

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact:
Anna-Mari Rusanen ( anna-mari.rusanen@helsinki.fi )


Friday 21.09.2007, 13-16
Mini workshop, organized jointly by TINT and
Helsinki School of Economics

Prof. Richard Whitley (University of Manchester):
“The Development and Technological Use of Formal Knowledge in Business and Management Studies”

Discussants: Prof Uskali Mäki, Dr Kristina Rolin and Prof Marja-Liisa Kakkuri-Knuuttila, possibly others.

Helsinki School of Economics, Main Building, Room C-350
Runeberginkatu 14-16, 00100 Helsinki


Mechanisms in the Sciences: Concepts, Discovery, Explanation

(workshop web site)

Workshop on 30-31 August, Helsinki

Speakers include

  • Carl Craver (Washington University)
  • Peter Hedström (Nuffield College, University of Oxford)
  • Daniel Steel (Michigan State University)
  • Mika Kiikeri (University of Tampere)
  • Tomi Kokkonen (University of Helsinki)
  • Jaakko Kuorikoski (University of Helsinki)
  • Uskali Mäki (Academy of Finland)
  • Johannes Persson (Lund University)
  • Anna-Mari Rusanen (University of Helsinki)
  • Matti Sintonen (University of Helsinki)
  • Petri Ylikoski (Academy of Finland)


Interdisciplinary Relations in the Social and Cognitive Sciences

(see conference web site for themes and paper abstracts)

Helsinki, 15-16 June 2007
Inaugural Conference of TINT, sponsored by the Academy of Finland

Speakers and papers include

  • James Johnson (University of Rochester)
    Theories of Mind and Models of Strategic Interaction: Game Theory among the Political Scientists.
  • Dan Sperber (CNRS, Jean Nicod Institute, Paris)
    How to articulate the cognitive and the social sciences
  • Stephen Turner (University of South Florida)
    Cognitive Science and ‘the Social’: Is there a Revolution in the Offing?
  • Erik Angner (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
    Behavioral Economics as Cognitive Science?
  • Caterina Marchionni (Erasmus university of Rotterdam)
    Is Geographic Economics a Form of Economics Imperialism?
  • Kyu Sang Lee (Ajou University)
    Early Development of Experimental Economics at the Interdisciplinary Crossroads
  • Janne Hukkinen (Helsinki University of Technology and the University of California at Santa Barbara)
    Cognitive turn in sustainability: Social-ecological system as a conceptual blend of practical and scientific knowledge
  • Jaakko Kuorikoski (University of Helsinki) and Petri Ylikoski (Academy of Finland)
    Dissecting Explanatory Power – A Fieldguide to Assessing Competing Explanations
  • Aki Lehtinen (Academy of Finland) and Jaakko Kuorikoksi (University of Helsinki)
    Economics imperialism and solution concepts in political science
  • Tarja Knuuttila (University of Helsinki)
    Neural networks as computational templates: The dissemination of self-organising maps across disciplinary boundaries
  • Uskali Mäki (Academy of Finland)
    Varieties of Interdisciplinary Encounters and of Scientific Progress


Interdisciplinary Encounters

Seminar led by Uskali Mäki, four sessions on Thursdays, April/Mat 2007

Time:13 – 16
Place:S20A ls 334d
First session:12 April
Last session:3 May
Format:Critical dscussion of readings


POS Workshop: Overconfidence and  understanding

[ Saturday 2.12.2006, 14-17; S20A, sr244 ]


  • Johannes Persson (Lund University): Overconfidence and epistemic risk I
  • Annika Wallin (Lund University): Overconfidence and epistemic risk II
  • Petri Ylikoski (Academy of Finland): Illusions in understanding
  • Jaakko Kuorikoski (Academy of Finland): Two kinds of mechanisms