The Essays (in alphabetical order):

Diderik Batens and Joke Meheus (Ghent):

Olav Gjelsvik (Oslo):

Leila Haaparanta (Tampere):

Rauno Halttunen (Rovaniemi):

Ghita Holmström-Hintikka (Boston):

Mika Kiikeri (Tampere):

Jyrki Konkka (Helsinki):

Arto Laitinen (Jyväskylä):

Olli Loukola (Helsinki):

Erika Mattila (Helsinki):

Lauri Mehtonen (Tampere):

Reijo Miettinen (Helsinki):

Kaarlo Miller and Raimo Tuomela (Helsinki):

Arto Mutanen (Helsinki):

Ilkka Niiniluoto (Helsinki):

Sami Paavola (Helsinki):

Johannes Persson (Lund):

Sami Pihlström and Heikki J. Koskinen (Helsinki):

Juha Räikkä and Kaija Rossi (Turku):

Arto Siitonen (Helsinki):

Raimo Tuomela (Helsinki):

Tommi Vehkavaara (Tampere):

Georg Henrik von Wright (Helsinki):

Jan Wolenski (Cracow):

Petri Ylikoski (Helsinki):


Note: to view these papers you need Acrobat Reader. You can get it free from here.

The editors (Mika Kiikeri and Petri Ylikoski) would like to thank Tomi Kokkonen and Susanna Snell for their help in the collection of this volume.

Professor Matti Sintonen celebrates his 50th birthday in 20th of September 2001. His friends, colleagues and students want to congratulate him by this collection of essays. The essays deal with the topics that have been close to Matti’s interests during his academic career.



Matti Sintonen is currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tampere, and Docent of Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. He started his career in the 1970’s with contributions to the philosophy of language. Matti’s main interest, however, has been philosophy of science, especially the theory of scientific explanation.

Starting from his 1984 dissertation The Pragmatics of Scientific Explanation, Matti has published several articles in which he develops a pragmatic, question-theoretic approach to explanation. He has also applied the logic of questions to the other important topics in the philosophy of science (such as discovery and learning), and argued that the erotetic approach, combined with a structuralist view of theories, provides a promising meta-theoretical model that enables us to capture the dynamical aspects of the historical development of science.

Besides general philosophy of science, Matti has been interested in the philosophy of special sciences, especially philosophy of biology and social sciences. He has written about Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution, at the same time promoting the interest of both philosophers and biologists to these topics in Finland. In the philosophy of social sciences, Matti’s interests have ranged from the analytical hermeneutics (e.g., von Wright’s action theory, Donald Davidson’s philosophy, hermeneutics of law) to the study of modernity.

Through his long enduring activities inside and outside of academic circles Matti has formed a wide international network of friends, colleagues, and students. They know him as a man who has a positive, encouraging attitude towards other people and their interests and opinions. This attitude could also be seen in Matti’s philosophical work where he always tries to find a positive contact between his own ideas and those of others. We wish that something of this friendly spirit could also be seen in this network of essays.

Warm congratulations Matti!