Synopsis

Twentieth century analytic philosophy of science has both benefited and suffered from its close alliance and cooperation with logic. This cooperation reached its highest peak during the heyday of logical empiricism, but has been in decline ever since. There has been a growing feeling that the science of logic has been and is unable to reach the truly interesting problems in the logic of science. Along with this skeptical current there is also another important development, viz. the growing dissatisfaction with general philosophy of science, or logic of science at the most general level of concept and theory development. Together these developments have led to the rise of historical, and also is part, sociological studies of science on one hand, and to the rise of “special” philosophies of science. As a result of this, the science of logic and the logic of science were sundered apart.

One prominent dissident on this philosophical scene has been Jaakko Hintikka. Hintikka has written on almost all areas of philosophy, from logic to philosophy of science, and from Wittgenstein to the history of philosophy. But despite this variety of topics the underlying conviction in his philosophy is that the resources of modern logic have not been exhausted, quite the contrary. Where skeptics have yielded to the temptations of purely historical case studies, or turned to epistemology at large, Hintikka has consistently favored a different strategy: although the emergence of historical and related studies is a welcome development, it does not make the logic of science obsolete. And although the rise of special philosophies of science, from philosophy of quantum physics to philosophy of economics is a welcome turn, it does not make general philosophy of science outdated. Rather, what we must do is develop new logical tools which meet these demands.

If there is a single theme that characterizes Hintikka’s approach to, and impact on, epistemology and philosophy of science it surely is the deep commitment to developing new logical tools for epistemologists and philosophers of science. This started with Hintikka’s work on distributive normal form which provided important insights for inductive logic. One of the most recent breakthroughs on this front is the coming of age of the interrogative model of inquiry. Although its roots are in the early logic of questions and epistemic logic it is now rapidly growing into a full-blown philosophy of science and knowledge acquisition.

This collection of essays dedicated to the various historical and systematic aspects of Hintikka’s epistemology and philosophy of science by his friends and colleagues all around the world demonstrates the scope and depth of his contributions. But they also vindicate his conviction that the rendering apart of the science of logic and the logic of science is not final and has been detrimental to the development of the latter. In fact, as can be seen from this collection of essays, Hintikka’s new logical tools throw light on important topics which were thought to be beyond “logical reconstruction,” such as explanation and discovery.