Uskali Mäki
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Research interests and publications

I have been active in a few areas that are interrelated in many ways. The classes in the following classification therefore partly overlap. 

General on the methodology and philosophy of economics

A sample of papers on general issues.

Mäki, Uskali (2013) "Mark Blaug's unrealistic crusade for realistic economics" Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 6(3), 87-103.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali and Jorma Sappinen (2011) "Homo economicus ja marginalismin perintö" [Homo economicus and the legacy of marginalism] In: Talous ja yhteiskuntateoria [Economy and Social Theory]. R. Heiskala and A. Virtanen (eds), Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 291-321.

Mäki, Uskali (2009) "Realistic realism about unrealistic models" In: The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics, Harold Kincaid and Don Ross (eds), New York: Oxford University Press, 68-98.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2008) “Filosofia y metodologia an la economia” [Philosophy and Methodology of Economics] In: Temas de Teoria Economica y so Metodo [Topics of Economic Theory and Method]. J.J. Urrieta (ed.), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (Colleccion economica), 17-50.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2008) "Method and appraisal in economics: 1976-2006" Journal of Economic Methodology 15(4), 409-423.
[Download PDF]
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (2008) “Economics” In: The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Martin Curd and Stathis Psillos (eds). London: Routledge, 543-554.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2008) "Realism from the ‘lands of Kaleva’: an interview with Uskali Mäki" Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 1(1), 124-146.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2004) “Some truths about truth for economists, their critics and clients” In:
Economic Policy-Making under Uncertainty: The Role of Truth and  Accountability in Policy Advice. Peter Mooslechner, Helene Schuberth, and Martin Schurtz (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 9-39.

Mäki, Uskali (2002) “Scientific progress: Complexities of a contestable concept” In: Is There
Progress in Economics?
Stephan Böhm, Christian Gehrke, Heinz D. Kurz and Richard Sturn (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 123-130.

Mäki, Uskali (2002) “The dismal queen of the social sciences” In: Fact and Fiction in Economics: Realism, Models, and Social Construction. Uskali Mäki (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3-34.

Mäki, Uskali (1999) “Representation repressed: Two kinds of semantic scepticism in economics” In: Incommensurability and Translation: Kuhnian Perspectives on Scientific Communication and Theory Change. Rema Rossini Favretti, Giorgio Sandri and Roberto Scazzieri (eds), Bath: Edward Elgar, 307-321.

Mäki, Uskali (1996) "Two portraits of economics" Journal of Economic Methodology 3(1), 1-38.
[This is a reconstructive and critical commentary of the philosophical accounts of economics offered by Dan Hausman and Alex Rosenberg.]
[Download PDF]
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (1994) "Methodology might matter, but Weintraub's meta-methodology shouldn't" Journal of Economic Methodology 1(2), 215-231.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 3. Edward Elgar, 509-525.]
[Download PDF]
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (1990) "Methodology of economics: Complaints and guidelines", Finnish Economic Papers 3(1), 77-84.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1990) "Realistisuus ja legitiimisyys: näkökulma erään tieteenalan krooniseen kiistakysymykseen" [Realisticness and legitimacy: A perspective on a chronic issue about economics] Kansantaloudellinen aikakauskirja [Economic Journal] 86(4), 452-457.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1988) "Taloustieteen metodologia" [The methodology of economics] In: Tutkimus kehityksen tukena [Development Supported by Research]. Helsinki School of Economics, 60-81.

Mäki, Uskali (1984) "Metodologisen ajattelun juonteita suomalaisessa kansantaloustieteessä" [Streams of methodological thought in the history of Finnish economics] In: Sata vuotta suomalaista kansantaloustiedettä [One Hundred Years of Finnish Economics]. Heikki Koskenkylä, Jukka Pekkarinen, Antti Räikkönen and Pentti Vartia (eds), Vammala: Kansantaloudellinen yhdistys, 109-140.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1982) "Metodologisen kirjallisuuden uusin aalto" [The most recent wave in methodological literature] Kansantaloudellinen aikakauskirja [Economic Journal] 78(4), 393-403.
[Download PDF]

 

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Unrealistic assumptions

The issue of unrealisticness has become a life-long obsession since my undergraduate studies of economics. I have identified a number of ways in which a representation may be unrealistic (and realistic) as this has important consequences for how we should judge them. I have paid special attention to the functions that unrealistic assumptions serve within models and explanations, since this too should have important consequences for our assessments. There is more under “The methodology of positive economics”.

Mäki, Uskali (2013) "On a paradox of truth, or how not to obscure the issue of whether explanatory models can be true" Journal of Economic Methodology 20(3), 268-279.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2012) "The truth of false idealizations in modeling” In: Models, Simulations and Representations (series Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science). Paul Humphreys and Cyrille Imbert (eds), Routledge, 216-233.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2009) “Realistic realism about unrealistic models” In: The Handbook of Philosophy of Economics, Harold Kincaid and Don Ross (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 68-98.

Mäki, Uskali (2004) “Some truths about truth for economists, their critics and clients” In: Economic Policy-Making under Uncertainty: The Role of Truth and Accountability in Policy Advice. Peter Mooslechner, Helene Schuberth, and Martin Schurtz (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 9-39.

Mäki, Uskali (2004) "Theoretical isolation and explanatory progress: Transaction cost economics and the dynamics of dispute" Cambridge Journal of Economics 28(3), 319-346.
[Oxford Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (2000) "Kinds of assumptions and their truth: Shaking an untwisted F-twist" Kyklos, 53(3), 303-322.
[Download PDF]
[EBSCOhost]

Mäki, Uskali (1999) “Representation repressed: Two kinds of semantic scepticism in economics” In: Incommensurability and Translation: Kuhnian Perspectives on Scientific Communication and Theory Change. Rema Rossini Favretti, Giorgio Sandri and Roberto Scazzieri (eds). Edward Elgar, 307-321.

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "As if" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 25-27.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

Mäki, Uskali and  Jukka-Pekka Piimies (1998) "Ceteris paribus" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 55-59.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Realisticness" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 409-413.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

Mäki, Uskali (1994) "Reorienting the assumptions issue" In: New Directions in Economic Methodology. Roger Backhouse (ed.), London: Routledge, 236-256.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1994) "Isolation, idealization and truth in economics" Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (special issue Idealization VI: Idealization in Economics, edited by Bert Hamminga and Neil De Marchi) 38, 147-168.

Mäki, Uskali (1992) "On the method of isolation in economics" Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (special issue Idealization IV: Intelligibility in Science, edited by Craig Dilworth) 26, 319-354.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume3. Edward Elgar, 3-37.]
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1991) "Comment on Hands" In: Appraising Economic Theories: Studies in the Methodology of Research Programmes. Neil de Marchi and Mark Blaug (eds), Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 85-90.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1980) "Vaihinger on fictions in science" In: Semi-Ramistic Studies. Ilkka Patoluoto, Matti Sintonen and Leila Taiminen (eds), Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 32-37.
[Download PDF]

 

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Realism and antirealism

My philosophical intuitions are uncompromisingly realist, but I have pursued a middle of the road line of accommodating, in my conception of scientific realism, a number of apparently antirealist ideas (such as those related to social constructivism, relativism, error, and deliberate falsehood in scientific theories). I have also sought to distinguish between numerous different kinds of realism so as to help clarify the issues in the ongoing debates. The project is one of local scientific realism that proceeds in a bottom-up manner and is sensitive to the peculiarities of particular scientific disciplines.

Mäki, Uskali (2012) “Realism and antirealism about economics” In: Philosophy of Economics (series Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Volume 13). Uskali Mäki (ed.), Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard and John Woods (series eds), Elsevier, 3-24.

Mäki, Uskali (2011) "Scientific realism and some Russia" In: Between Utopia and Apocalypse: Essays on Social Theory and Russia (Aleksanteri Series 1/2011). Elina Kahla (ed.), Helsinki: Aleksanteri Institute, 27-37.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2011) "Puzzled by realism: A response to Deichsel" Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 4(1), 42-52.
[EJPE]

Mäki, Uskali (2011) "Scientific realism as a challenge to economics (and vice versa)" Journal of Economic Methodology 18(1), 1–12.
[Download PDF]
[Taylof & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (2008) “Scientific realism and ontology” In: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd ed., Volume 7. Steven Durlauf and Lawrence Blume (eds), Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan, 334-341.
[Download PDF]


Mäki, Uskali (2008) "Putnam's realisms: A view from the social sciences" In: Approaching Truth: Essays in Honour of Ilkka Niiniluoto. Sami Pihlström, Panu Raatikainen and Matti Sintonen (eds), College Publications, 295-306.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2005) “Reglobalising realism by going local, or (how) should our formulations of scientific realism be informed about the sciences” Erkenntnis 63(2), 231-251.
[SpringerLink]

Mäki, Uskali (2004) "Realism and the nature of theory: A lesson from J.H. von Thünen for economists and geographers" Environment and Planning A 36(10), 1719-1736.
[Download PDF]
[EPA]

Mäki, Uskali and Päivi Oinas (2004) "The narrow notion of realism in human geography" Environment and Planning A 36(10), 1755-1776.
[Download PDF]
[EPA]

Mäki, Uskali (2004) “Yavlyaitsa li Kouz realistom?” [Is Coase a realist?] In: ISTOKI. Economika v kontexte istorii i kultury [ORIGINS: Economics in the context of history and culture]. Moscow: Publishing House of the State University Higher School of Economics, 87-121.

Mäki, Uskali (2003) “The archaelogical construction of the past: Some realist moderations” In: Realism in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Matti Sintonen, Petri Ylikoski and Kaarlo Miller (eds), Dordrecht: Reidel, 51-68.

Mäki, Uskali (2002) “Some non-reasons for non-realism about economics” In: Fact and Fiction in Economics: Realism, Models, and Social Construction. Uskali Mäki (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 90-104.

Mäki, Uskali (2002) "On the issue of realism in the economics of institutional organization: Themes from Coase and Richardson" In: Beyond Keynes, Volume 1: Post-Keynesian Econometrics, Microeconomics and the Theory of the Firm. S. Dow and J. Hillard (eds), Edward Elgar, 30-43.

Mäki, Uskali (2001) "Realisms and their opponents" In: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 19. Elsevier, 12815-12821.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2000) “Reclaiming relevant realism” Journal of Economic Methodology 7(1), 109-125.
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Is Coase a realist?" Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28(1), 5-31.

Mäki, Uskali (1998) “Aspects of realism about economics” Theoria 13(2), 301-319.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 1. Edward Elgar, 218-236.]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Instrumentalism" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 253-256.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Realism" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 404-409.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

Mäki, Uskali (1996) "Scientific realism and some peculiarities of economics" In: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 169: Realism and Anti-Realism in the Philosophy of Science. Robert Cohen, Risto Hilpinen and Qiu Renzong (eds), Dordrecht: Kluwer, 425-445.

Mäki, Uskali (1992) "Friedman and realism” Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 10, 171-195.

Mäki, Uskali (1990) "Mengerian economics in realist perspective" History of Political Economy, Annual Supplement to Volume 22, 289-310.

Mäki, Uskali (1989) "On the problem of realism in economics" Ricerche Economiche 43(1-2), 176-198.
[Reprinted in: Caldwell, Bruce (ed.) (1993) The Philosophy and Methodology of Economics. Edward Elgar, 176-198.]

Mäki, Uskali (1988) "On the problem of realism in economics" Fundamenta Scientiae 9, 343-362.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1984) "Wissenschaftliche Realismus: Kontroversen und Konvergenzen" [Scientific realism: Controversies and convergencies] In: Realismus und Dialektik [Realism and Dialectics]. H.-J. Sandkühler and J. Manninen (eds), Cologne: Pahl-Rugenstein, 53-59.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1984) "Tieteellinen realismi ja marxismi" [Scientific realism and Marxism] In: Vuosisatamme filosofia [The Philosophy of Our Century]. Ilkka Niiniluoto and Esa Saarinen (eds), Porvoo: Werner Söderström, 78-116.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1983) "How does scientific realism manage as a metatheory of management research?" In: Methodology of Management and Business Research. Helsinki: Helsinki School of Economics, 257-264.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1980) "Vaihinger on fictions in science" In: Semi-Ramistic Studies. Ilkka Patoluoto, Matti Sintonen and Leila Taiminen (eds), Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 32-37.
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Theories and models, idealization and isolation

I believe the key to acquiring enlightened opinions about the issue of unrealisticness is to take the difficult task of trying to understand what scientific theories and models are, and what roles their various components play in their overall structure. I have entertained the idea of theories and models being isolations (akin to experimental isolations) effected by idealizing assumptions.

Mäki, Uskali (Forthcoming). "Modelling Failure". In Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science ‐ Proceedings of the 15th International Congress (Helsinki). Ilkka Niiniluoto, Päivi Seppälä, Elliott Sober (eds). College Publications, UK. [Download PDF]

Grüne-Yanoff, Till; Mäki, Uskali (2014). "Introduction: Interdisciplinary model exchanges". Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 48 (2014) 52-59.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2013) "Contested modeling: The case of economics" In: Models, Simulations, and the Reduction of Complexity (series Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg 4). Ulrich Gähde, Stephan Hartmann and Jörn Henning Wolf (eds), Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 87-106.

Mäki, Uskali (2012) "The failure of economics as a modelling failure" In: XII International Conference on Economic Development and Society. E.G. Jasin (ed.). Moscow: Higher School of Economics, 359-365.

Mäki, Uskali (2011) "Models and the locus of their truth" Synthese 180(1), 47-63.
[Download PDF]
[SpringerLink]

Mäki, Uskali (2009) "Models and truth: The functional decomposition approach" In: EPSA Epistemology and Methodology of Science: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. M. Suarez, M. Dorato and M. Redei (eds), Dordrecht: Springer, 177-187.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2009) "MISSing the world: Models as isolations and credible surrogate systems" Erkenntnis 70(1), 29-43.
[Download PDF]
[SpringerLink]

Mäki, Uskali (2008) "Modeli i experimenty - eto odno i to ze" [Models are experiments, experiments are models] Voprosy ekonomiki [Economic Questions] 11, 81-89.

Mäki, Uskali (2006) “Remarks on models and their truth” Storia del Pensiero Economico 3(1), 7-19.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2005) “Models are experiments, experiments are models” Journal of Economic Methodology 12(2), 303-315.
[Download PDF]
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (2005) “Some truths about truth for economists, their critics and clients” In: Economic Policy-Making under Uncertainty: The Role of Truth and Accountability in Policy Advice. Peter Mooslechner, Helene Schuberth, and Martin Schurtz (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 9-39.

Mäki, Uskali (2003) "Ceteris paribus: Interpretaciones e implicaciones” [Ceteris paribus: interpretations and implications] Revista Asturiana de Economia [Asturian Journal of Economics] 28, 7-32.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2001) “Models” In: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 15. Elsevier, 9931-9937.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Against Posner against Coase against theory" Cambridge Journal of Economics 22(5), 587-595.
[Oxford Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) “Separateness, inexactness, and economic method” Journal of Economic Methodology 5(1), 147-154.
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "As if" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 25-27.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

Mäki, Uskali and Jukka-Pekka Piimies (1998) "Ceteris paribus" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 55-59.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

Mäki, Uskali (1996) "Two portraits of economics" Journal of Economic Methodology 3(1), 1-38.
[Download PDF]
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (1994) "Isolation, idealization and truth in economics" In: Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (special issue Idealization VI: Idealization in Economics, edited by Bert Hamminga and Neil de Marchi) 38, 147-168.

Mäki, Uskali (1992) "On the method of isolation in economics" In:  Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (special issue Idealization IV: Intelligibility in Science, edited by Craig Dilworth) 26, 319-354.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 3. Elgar, 3-37.]
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Intertheoretic and interdisciplinary relations, explanatory unification, intellectual imperialism and pluralism

A large variety of theories about same phenomena abounds in economics and other social sciences, but it is often unclear how precisely they relate to one another. I have outlined a pluralism that distinguishes between cases where theories are rivals and those where they complement one another. I have examined the pursuit of explanatory unification within economics, and its interdisciplinary extension, so-called economics imperialism. This is now one of my major projects.

MacLeod, Miles; Mäki, Uskali (2016). "Interdisciplinarity in action: philosophy of science perspectives". Special issue on Philosophy of Interdisciplinarity, European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6(3): 323-326.

Mäki, Uskali (2016). "Philosophy of interdisciplinarity. What? Why? How?" Special issue on Philosophy of Interdisciplinarity, European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6(3): 327-342. [Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2013) "Scientific Imperialism: Difficulties in Definition, Identification, and assessment" International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27(3), 325-339.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2012) "On the philosophy of the new kiosk economics of everything" Journal of Economic Methodology 19(3), 219-230.
[Taylor & Francis Online]  

Mäki, Uskali and Caterina Marchionni (2011) "Is geographical economics imperializing economic geography?" Journal of Economic Geography 11( 4),  645-665.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali and Caterina Marchionni (2011) "Economics as usual: Geographical economics shaped by disciplinary constraints" In: The Elgar Companion to Recent Economic Methodology. John Davis and Wade Hands (eds), Elgar.

Mäki, Uskali (2010) “When economics meets neuroscience: hype and hope” Journal of Economic Methodology 17(2), 107-117.
[Download PDF]
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali and Caterina Marchionni (2009) “On the structure of explanatory unification: The case of geographical economics” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40(2), 185-195.
[Download PDF]
[ScienceDirect]

Mäki, Uskali (2009) “Economics imperialism: Concept and constraints” Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39(3), 351-380.
[Download PDF]
[SAGE Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (2004) "Theoretical isolation and explanatory progress: Transaction cost economics and the dynamics of dispute" Cambridge Journal of Economics 28(3), 319-346.
[Oxford Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (2002) “Explanatory ecumenism and economics imperialism” Economics and Philosophy 18, 237-259.
[Download PDF]


Mäki, Uskali (2001) “Explanatory unification: Double and doubtful” Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31(4), 488-506.
[SAGE Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (2000) “Imperialismo da Economia: conceitos e restrições” [Economic Imperialism: concepts and constraints] Economica 2(3), 5-36.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1997) "The one world and the many theories" In: Pluralism in Economics. Andrea Salanti and Ernesto Screpanti (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 37-47.
[Reprinted in: Hodgson, Geoffrey (ed.) A Modern Reader in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics: Key Concepts. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 124-135.]
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Methodology of positive economics, Milton Friedman's 1953

For more than twenty years, I have argued that the very notions of “the methodology of positive economics” and “Milton Friedman’s methodological position” are ill-defined. No coherent and unambiguous formulations are available. Friedman’s 1953 essay had better be interpreted as a realist statement (in contrast to the received instrumentalist interpretation).

Mäki, Uskali (ed.) (2009) The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mäki, Uskali (2009) "Reading the methodological essay in twentieth century economics: Map of multiple perspectives" In: The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy. Uskali Mäki (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 47-67.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2009) "Unrealistic assumptions and unnecessary confusions: Rereading and rewriting F53 as a realist statement" In: The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy. Uskali Mäki (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 90-116.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (2003) “’The Methodology of Positive Economics’ (1953) does not give us the methodology of positive economics” Journal of Economic Methodology 10(4), 495-505.
[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (1992) "Friedman and realism" Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 10, 171-195.

Mäki, Uskali (1986) "Rhetoric at the expense of coherence: a reinterpretation of Milton Friedman's methodology" Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 4, 127-143.

Mäki, Uskali (1983) "Keskustelu Milton Friedmanin metodologiasta: opetuksia ja ongelmia" [Discussion on Milton Friedman's methodology: lessons and problems] In: Taloustieteellisen seuran vuosikirja 1983/84 [Yearbook of the Finnish Society for Economic Research 1983/84]. Helsinki: Taloustieteellinen seura, 237-251.

Mäki, Uskali (1981) "Positiivisen taloustieteen metodologia modernin tieteenfilosofian valossa" [The methodology of positive economics in the light of modern philosophy of science] In: Taloustieteellisen seuran vuosikirja 1981/82 [Yearbook of the Finnish Society for Economic Research 1981/82]. Helsinki: Taloustieteellinen seura, 157-182.

 

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Rhetoric of inquiry

Since the mid-1980s or so, I have played the role of a sympathetic critic of the rhetoric of economics project by Deirdre McCloskey and Arjo Klamer. This has given rise to a series of friendly confrontations and attempted clarifications. The focus of my interventions thus far has been on the philosophical presuppositions and implications of the acknowledgement that science is rhetorical. I have developed the view that rhetoric is compatible with realism: realist rhetoric and rhetorical realism are sensible options.

Mäki, Uskali (2005) “Some truths about truth for economists, their critics and clients” In: Economic Policy-Making under Uncertainty: The Role of Truth and Accountability in Policy Advice. Peter Mooslechner, Helene Schuberth, and Martin Schurtz (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 9-39.

Mäki, Uskali (2003) “The archaelogical construction of the past: Some realist moderations” In: Realism in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Matti Sintonen, Petri Ylikoski and Kaarlo Miller (eds), Dordrecht: Reidel, 51-68.

Mäki, Uskali (2000) "Performance against dialogue, or answering and really answering: A participant observer’s reflections on the McCloskey conversation" Journal of Economic Issues 34(1), 43-59.
[Download PDF]
[ProQuest]

Mäki, Uskali (1999) “Representation repressed: Two kinds of semantic scepticism in economics” In: Incommensurability and Translation: Kuhnian Perspectives on Scientific Communication and Theory Change. Rema Rossini Favretti, Giorgio Sandri and Roberto Scazzieri (eds), Edward Elgar, 307-321.

Mäki, Uskali (1998) “Aspects of realism about economics” Theoria 13, 301-319.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 1. Elgar, 218-236.]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) “Science, pseudoscience and antiscience” In: Die zerrissene Gesellschaft: Europäisches Forum Alpbach [Torn society: European forum Alpbach] Heinrich Pfusterschmid-Hardtenstein, Wien: Ibera Verlag, 50-53.

Mäki, Uskali (1995) "Diagnosing McCloskey" Journal of Economic Literature 33(3), 1300-1318. [Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 1. Elgar, 146-164.]
[JSTOR]

Mäki, Uskali (1993) "Two philosophies of the rhetoric of economics" In: Economics and Language. Willie Henderson, Tony Dudley-Evans and Roger Backhouse (eds), London: Routledge, 23-50.

Mäki, Uskali (1993) "Social theories of science and the fate of institutionalism in economics" In: Rationality, Institutions and Economic Methodology. Uskali Mäki, Bo Gustafsson and Christian Knudsen (eds), London: Routledge, 76-109.

Mäki, Uskali and Juhana Vartiainen (1989) "Talouspolitiikan retoriikka" [The rhetoric of economic policy] In: On se niin väärin. Tutkijaliitto, 78-94.

Mäki, Uskali (1988) "How to combine rhetoric and realism in the methodology of economics" Economics and Philosophy 1(4), 89-109.
 [Reprinted in: Caldwell, Bruce (ed.) (1993) The Philosophy and Methodology of Economics. Edward Elgar, 89-109.]

Mäki, Uskali (1988) "Rhetoric, economics, and realism: A rejoinder to McCloskey" Economics and Philosophy 4(1), 167-169.

Mäki, Uskali (1986) "Rhetoric at the expense of coherence: a reinterpretation of Milton Friedman's methodology" Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 4, 127-143.

 

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Social studies of science, SSK and economics of economics

Here I am inclined to think of myself as a bridge between Bob Coats and Wade Hands, as it were. Coats was a pioneer who was active in employing sociological perspectives to economics before I wrote my early papers. The 1992 paper was written in 1989 and presented and circulated before publication. Hands then followed up, expanded considerably, made valuable further progress and was joined by others. My own contributions have focused on classifying ways in which aspects of science may be social; on accommodating SSK insights in a basically realist outlook; on economics as a resource in science studies; and on reflexivity issues in what I started calling the economics of economics.

Mäki, Uskali (2013) "Performativity: Saving Austin from Mackenzie" In: EPSA11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Vassilios Karakostas and Dennis Dieks (eds), Dordrecht: Springer, 443-453.
[Download PDF]
[Springer Free Preview]

Mäki, Uskali (2005) “Economic epistemology: Hopes and horrors” Episteme, A Journal of Social Epistemology 1(3), 211-220.
[Download PDF]
[Cambridge Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (2003) “The archaelogical construction of the past: Some realist moderations” In: Realism in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Matti Sintonen, Petri Ylikoski and Kaarlo Miller (eds), Dordrecht: Reidel, 51-68.

Mäki, Uskali (2002) “Scientific progress: Complexities of a contestable concept” In: Is There Progress in Economics? Stephan Böhm, Christian Gehrke, Heinz D. Kurz and Richard Sturn (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 123-130.

Mäki, Uskali (1999) "Science as a free market: A reflexivity test in an economics of economics" Perspectives on Science 7(4), 486-509.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 1. Elgar, 527-550.]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "The problem of social Coase: Between regulation and free market in economic methodology" In: Coasean Economics. Steven Medema (ed.), Boston: Kluwer, 249-269.

Mäki, Uskali (1996) "Economic thought on the outskirts: Toward a historiographical framework for studying intellectual peripheries" Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 14, 307-323.

Mäki, Uskali (1993) "Social theories of science and the fate of institutionalism in economics" In: Rationality, Institutions and Economic Methodology. Uskali Mäki, Bo Gustafsson and Christian Knudsen (eds), London: Routledge, 76-109.

Mäki, Uskali (1993) "Economics with institutions: Agenda for methodological inquiry" In: Rationality, Institutions and Economic Methodology. Uskali Mäki, Bo Gustafsson and Christian Knudsen (eds), London: Routledge, 3-42.
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Mäki, Uskali (1992) "Social conditioning of economics" In: Post-Popperian Methodology of Economics. Neil de Marchi (ed.), Kluwer Publishers, 65-104.
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Ontology of social institutions, economic ontology, causal process and mechanism

Over the years, I have taught courses on social ontology and on causal explanation. Among the issues that have concerned me and on which I have published are the objectivity of social reality (given that it is mind-dependent); the dependence of social sciences on a commonsense ontology (dealing with what I have called “commonsensibles”); the ontology of money as a social institution; the role of causal powers in economic ontology; the nature and role of causal mechanisms and processes in economic explanation and theory assessment.

Mäki, Uskali (2013) "Maailma markkinoina. Universaalin talousontologian ytimessä ja rajoilla" [The world as markets. At the core and boundaries of a universal economic ontology] In: Talous ja filosofia [Economy and Philosophy]. Ilkka Niiniluoto, Risto Vilkko and Jaakko Kuorikoski (eds), Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 101-123.

Mäki, Uskali (2008) “Scientific realism and ontology” In: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd ed., Volume 7. Steven Durlauf and Lawrence Blume (eds), Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan, 334 - 341.
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Mäki, Uskali (2008) "Putnam's realisms: A view from the social sciences" In: Approaching Truth: Essays in Honour of Ilkka Niiniluoto. Sami Pihlström, Panu Raatikainen and Matti Sintonen (eds), College Publications, 295-306.
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Mäki, Uskali (2005) “Reglobalising realism by going local, or (how) should our formulations of scientific realism be informed about the sciences?” Erkenntnis 63(2), 231-251.
[SpringerLink]

Mäki, Uskali (2001) “Economic ontology: What? Why? How?” In: The Economic World View: Studies in the Ontology of Economics. Uskali Mäki (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3-14.

Mäki, Uskali (2001) “The way the world works (www): Towards an ontology of theory choice” In: The Economic World View: Studies in the Ontology of Economics. Uskali Mäki (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 369-389.

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Mechanisms, models, and free riders" In: Economics and Methodology: Crossing the Boundaries. Roger Backhouse, Daniel Hausman, Uskali Mäki, and Andrea Salanti (eds), Palgrave Macmillan, 98-112.

Mäki, Uskali (1998) “Aspects of realism about economics” Theoria 13, 301-319.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 1. Elgar, 218-236.]

Mäki, Uskali (1996) "Scientific realism and some peculiarities of economics" In: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 169: Realism and Anti-Realism in the Philosophy of Science. Robert Cohen, Risto Hilpinen and Qiu Renzong (eds), Dordrecht: Kluwer, 425-445.

Mäki, Uskali (1996) "Two portraits of economics" Journal of Economic Methodology 3(1), 1-38.
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[Taylor & Francis Online]

Mäki, Uskali (1993) "Economics with institutions: Agenda for methodological inquiry” In: Rationality, Institutions and Economic Methodology. Uskali Mäki, Bo Gustafsson and Christian Knudsen (eds), London: Routledge, 3-42.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1992) "The market as an isolated causal process: A metaphysical ground for realism" In: Austrian Economics: Tensions and New Developments. Bruce Caldwell and Stephan Böhm (eds), Kluwer Publishers, 35-59.
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Mäki, Uskali (1992) "On the method of isolation in economics" Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (special issue Idealization IV: Intelligibility in Science, edited by Craig Dilworth) 26, 319-354.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume3. Edward Elgar, 3-37]
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Mäki, Uskali (1991) "Practical syllogism, entrepreneurship, and the invisible hand: A critique of the analytic hermeneutics of G.H. von Wright" In: Economics and Hermeneutics. Don Lavoie (ed.), Routledge, 149-176.
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Mäki, Uskali (1987) "Explanation as redescription" In: Vom Werden des Wissens [Becoming Knowledge]. H. Holz  and J. Manninen (eds), Pahl-Rugenstein, Cologne, 109-115.
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Mäki, Uskali (1985) "Issues in redescribing business firms" In: Problems in the Redescription of Business Enterprises. Helsinki School of Economics, 121-129.
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Foundations of new institutional economics

The new institutional economics has been active in methodological reflection. I have examined the theoretical and metatheoretical moves by Coase and Williamson as they have a lot to contribute to our understanding of how economics is being done in general. The issues include those of the relaxation of assumptions and thereby opening up of black boxes, criticism of “blackboard economics”, use of case studies, explanatory unification, and the use of economics beyond its traditional boundaries.

Mäki, Uskali (2004) "Theoretical isolation and explanatory progress: Transaction cost economics and the dynamics of dispute" Cambridge Journal of Economics 28(3), 319-346.
[Oxford Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (1999) "Science as a free market: A reflexivity test in an economics of economics" Perspectives on Science 7(4), 486-509.
[Reprinted in: Davis, John (ed.) (2006) Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Volume 1. Elgar, 527-550.]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Is Coase a realist?" Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28, 5-31.

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "Against Posner against Coase against theory" Cambridge Journal of Economics 22, 587-595.
[Oxford Journals]

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "The problem of social Coase: Between regulation and free market in economic methodology" In: Coasean Economics. Steven Medema (ed.), Boston: Kluwer, 249-269.

Mäki, Uskali (1998) "R.H. Coase" In: The Handbook of Economic Methodology. John Davis, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds), Edward Elgar, 64-67.
[Fulltext (UH network only)]

 

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Foundations of Austrian economics

Austrian economics is one of the most self-reflective traditions in economics. Most of its leading members have made major contributions to methodological and philosophical inquiry within and about economics. Among other things, I have looked at Menger’s views in connection to the Methodenstreit, and at the theories of money, market process and entrepreneurship. I have offered exegetical interpretations as well as introduced ideas and tools from contemporary philosophy of science so as to update the philosophical accounts of Austrian economics.

Mäki, Uskali (1997) "Universals and the Methodenstreit: A reexamination of Carl Menger's conception of economics as an exact science" Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 28, 475-495.

Mäki, Uskali (1992) "The market as an isolated causal process: A metaphysical ground for realism" In: Austrian Economics: Tensions and New Developments. Bruce Caldwell and Stephan Böhm (eds), Kluwer Publishers, 35-59.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1991) "Practical syllogism, entrepreneurship, and the invisible hand: A critique of the analytic hermeneutics of G.H. von Wright" In: Economics and Hermeneutics. Don Lavoie (ed.), Routledge, 149-176.
[Download PDF]

Mäki, Uskali (1990) "Scientific realism and Austrian explanation" Review of Political Economy 2, 310-344.
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Mäki, Uskali (1990) "Mengerian economics in realist perspective" History of Political Economy, Annual Supplement to Volume 22, 289-310.

 

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Edited works

I have done my share of editorial work (next to organising conferences and workshops). Together with Roger Backhouse, Kevin Hoover and Mark Blaug, I was an editor of the Journal of Economic Methodology (1996-2005), and I have edited or co-edited a few volumes on economic methodology and the philosophy of economics.

Mäki, Uskali; Votsis, Ioannis; Ruphy, Stéphanie; Schurz, Gerhard (Eds.). (2015). Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki. Springer.

Mäki, Uskali (Ed.). (2012). Philosophy of Economics (series Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Volume 13). Elsevier.

Weisberg, Michael, Samir Okasha and Uskali Mäki (eds) (2011) Biology and Philosophy (special issue Modeling in Biology and Economics) 26(5), 613-791.
[SpringerLink]

Mäki, Uskali (ed.) (2009) The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mäki, Uskali (ed.) (2002) Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[Chinese edition 2006]

Mäki, Uskali (ed.) (2001) The Economic World View: Studies in the Ontology of Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Davis, John, Wade Hands and Uskali Mäki (eds) (1998) The Handbook of Economic Methodology. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Backhouse, Roger, Daniel Hausman, Uskali Mäki and Andrea Salanti (eds) (1998) Economics and Methodology: Crossing Boundaries. Houndmills: Macmillan.

Mäki, Uskali (advisory ed.) (1995) The Monist (special issue The Review of Metaphysics) 78(3), 235-385.
[Philosophy Documentation Center]

Mäki, Uskali, Bo Gustafsson and Christian Knudsen (eds) (1993) Rationality, Institutions and Economic Methodology. London: Routledge.

Mäki, Uskali (ed.) (1990) Studies in Realism and Explanation in Economics. Helsinki: The Finnish Academy of Science Letters.

 

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