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  • 1.
    Ahlgren, Per
    et al.
    School of Education and Communication in Engineering Sciences (ECE), KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Pagin, Peter
    Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Persson, Olle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Svedberg, Maria
    Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Bibliometric analysis of two subdomains in philosophy: free will and sorites2015In: Scientometrics, ISSN 0890-3670, E-ISSN 1588-2861, Vol. 103, no 1, 47-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we tested the fruitfulness of advanced bibliometric methods for mapping subdomains in philosophy. The development of the number of publications on free will and sorites, the two subdomains treated in the study, over time was studied. We applied the cocitation approach to map the most cited publications, authors and journals, and we mapped frequently occurring terms, using a term co-occurrence approach. Both subdomains show a strong increase of publications in Web of Science. When we decomposed the publications by faculty, we could see an increase of free will publications also in social sciences, medicine and natural sciences. The multidisciplinary character of free will research was reflected in the cocitation analysis and in the term co-occurrence analysis: we found clusters/groups of cocited publications, authors and journals, and of co-occurring terms, representing philosophy as well as non-philosophical fields, such as neuroscience and physics. The corresponding analyses of sorites publications displayed a structure consisting of research themes rather than fields. All in all, both philosophers involved in this study acknowledge the validity of the various networks presented. Bibliometric mapping appears to provide an interesting tool for describing the cognitive orientation of a research field, not only in the natural and life sciences but also in philosophy, which this study shows.

  • 2.
    Almquist, Viktor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Att klassificera miljöetiska teorier: En analys av den centristiska terminologin och Lars Samuelssons kritik av den2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 3.
    Amnell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Integration: Elizabeth Andersons imperativ2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 4.
    Anderalm, Ida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Animalism, foster och döda människor2015Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 5.
    Anderalm, Ida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Human Being or Human Brain?: Animalism and the Problem of Thinking Brains2016Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Animalismens huvudargument säger att du är det tänkande objektet som sitter i din stol, och enligt animalisterna själva innebär detta att du är identisk med ett mänskligt djur. Argumentet är dock problematiskt då det inte tycks utesluta eventuella tänkande delar hos det mänskliga djuret, som till exempel dess hjärna. Detta beror på att hjärnor också kan beskrivas som tänkande, samt att även de befinner sig inom det spatiella område som upptas av det mänskliga djuret. I den här uppsatsen argumenterar jag för att tänkande hjärnor är ett problem för animalismen och att tesen att vi är identiska med hjärnor är ett verkligt hot mot den animalistiska teorin om personlig identitet. Olika argument som lagts fram mot tesen att vi är hjärnor avhandlas, som till exempel att hjärnor inte existerar och att hjärnor inte tänker. Jag diskuterar även två argument som tidigare använts för att visa att vi är personer snarare än mänskliga djur (the Transplant Intuition och the Remnant Person Problem), men i det här sammanhanget bedöms de utifrån deras förmåga att stödja hjärnteorin.

  • 6.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Den kritiska rationalismens intellektuella moral2012In: Från ett öppet universum: Studier i Karl Poppers filosofi / [ed] Ola Lindberg, Umeå: h:ström , 2012, 18-26 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Förnuftig tro och intellektuell moral2009In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 30, no 4, 13-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Is Experience a Reason for Accepting Basic Statements?2013In: Johanssonian Investigations: Essays in Honur of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday / [ed] C. Svennerlind, J. Almäng & R. Ingthorsson, Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag , 2013, 42-52 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The act of accepting a basic statement is distinguished from the logical justification of the content of a basic statement. Although experience cannot logically justify the content of a basic statement, it is argued that experience might be a reason for accepting a basic statement.

  • 9.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy and Linguistics.
    Kritische oder beschreibende Wissenschaftstheorie?2005In: Deskriptive oder normative Wissenschaftstheorie? / [ed] Bernward Gesang, Frankfurt, Main: Ontos Verlag, 2005, 75-90 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Review of Herbert Keuth: The Philosophy of Karl Popper. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press2009In: Philosophy of the social sciences, ISSN 0048-3931, E-ISSN 1552-7441, Vol. 39, no 2, 324-332 p.Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Review of Karl Popper: Critical Appraisals, ed. by Philip Catton and Graham Macdonald. London: Routledge. Pp. xii + 2352009In: Philosophy of the social sciences, ISSN 0048-3931, E-ISSN 1552-7441, Vol. 39, no 1, 115-119 p.Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Rättfärdigande och kritisk prövning2010In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 31, no 3, 33-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy and Linguistics.
    Test statements and experience2006In: Karl Popper: a centenary assessment. Vol. 2, Metaphysics and epistemology / [ed] Ian Jarvie, Karl Milford, David Miller, Aldershote: Ashgate, 2006, 177-183 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Barclay, Mikael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The absolutist criteria of Roderick Firth's ideal observer theory2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Meta-ethical theories take a number of different ontological, epistemic and semantic positions. In 1952 Roderick Firth published the article “Ethical absolutism and the ideal observer”, in which he defends and shares his own version of a theory on the meaning of ethical expressions, referred to as the ideal observer theory (IOT).

    The IOT essentially suggests that the truth value of an ethical expression could in principle be determined by knowing the ethically significant reaction it would evoke on an ideal observer (IO), of certain ideal psychological characteristics, should such a being exist. These characteristics are being understood in terms of an ideal practice of justification for actions. For instance, we might hold that in order to be a competent moral judge, we must have sufficient knowledge of the circumstances which we are to assess, or that we are not somehow biased. Firth suggests that an ideal observer has the characteristics of omniscience to non-ethical facts, omnipercipience, disinterest, dispassion and consistency. The theory itself is described as being absolutist, dispositional, objectivist, relational and possibly empirical.

    The specific research question of this paper regards the theory’s ability to give a plausible and meaningful explanation as to the meaning of ethical expressions, while maintaining its absolutist characteristic.

    The presented conclusion holds that: (i) the ethically significant reaction of IOs cannot be conflicting, (ii) that knowing the characteristics of the IO is not in principle necessary for the form and validity of the theory, (iii) that such form presupposes actual IO characteristics based on an assumption about the human nature and (iv) that ‘IO’ designates a hypothetical reference through a circular definition. And that this, although perhaps not in principle refuting the theory, renders it without the ability to provide any real meaningful explanation regarding the meaning of ethical expressions. A dilemma suggested to be possibly addressed by the abandonment of the theory’s absolutist criteria.

  • 15.
    Berglund, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy and Linguistics.
    From Conceivability to Possibility: An Essay in Modal Epistemology2005Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study deals with the thesis that conceivability implies possibility. Confronted with alleged counterexamples to this thesis, some philosophers have turned to what may be called “idealized” or “more demanding” notions of conceivability. I argue that in turning to such notions, they have made the thesis useless to limited beings like us for attaining modal knowledge. However, in refusing to identify conceivability with demanding or idealized notions, we cannot maintain that conceivability always implies possibility. Essentially, there are two ways to proceed: to view conceivability as a mere guide to possibility, or to argue that the conceivability thesis is a local truth, i.e., a truth with respect to a certain class of statements. I defend the latter alternative. This class of statements employs concepts with respect to which doubt concerning the conceivability thesis is to be regarded as general skepticism, not as skepticism relating to the conceivability thesis itself.

    I proceed by outlining an interpretation of strict possibility—i.e., the kind of possibility that I take the conceivability thesis to be about—according to which modal truths depend essentially on conceptual relations, as opposed to obtaining purely in virtue of properties of things themselves. Given this account, on which both ideal conceivability and strict possibility have a conceptual ground, I argue that these notions are not only coextensional but relate to one and the same property of statements. I further argue that the impossible is unimaginable, but that it is conceivable in the sense that one can misdescribe the contents of imagination.

  • 16.
    Berglund, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Kunde Descartes gud ha skapat allt på ett sådant sätt att han inte hade existerat?2012In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 33, no 4, 3-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Berglund, Moa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Åldersdiskriminering2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 18.
    Bergström, Jonathan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Group Belief and Justification: Analyzing Collective knowledge2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 19.
    Björklund, Hampus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Liberalism, Radical Feminism and Prostitution:: A Reassessment of Two Perspectives on Prostitution2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The current philosophical debate about prostitution is mainly concerned with two different points of view: (a) the permissibility of prostitution and if paternalistic interference on behalf of prostitutes is legitimate in a liberal democracy, and (b) feminist objections claiming that it is the unjust structures of the patriarchy that enables and affirms the institution of female bodies being sold on an open market for the sexual desires of males. The aim of this paper is to investigate if both of these perspectives take on too narrow a view when trying to address the phenomenon of prostitution. If so, the conclusions drawn may lead to unwanted consequences making it necessary for a more context-sensitive approach and/or a broader theoretical foundation.

  • 20.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. University of Gothenburg.
    Contextualism in Ethics2013In: The International Encyclopedia of Ethics / [ed] H. LaFolette, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell , 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There are various ways in which context matters in ethics. Most clearly, the context in which an action is performed might determine whether the action is morally right: though it is often wrong not to keep a promise, it might be permissible in certain contexts. More radically, proponents of moral particularism (see particularism) have argued that a reason for an action in one context is not guaranteed to be a reason in a different context: whether it is a reason against an act that it breaks a promise or inflicts pain might depend on the particulars of the situation. In moral epistemology, Timmons (1999: Ch. 5) argues that whether a moral judgment is epistemically responsible depends both on the basic moral outlook of the moral judge and on whether the context of judgment is one of engaged moral thinking, or one of distanced, skeptical reflection. In the former, the judge’s basic moral outlook can serve to justify the judgment; not so in the latter (see epistemology, moral).

    Our focus here, however, will be on forms of metaethical, and more precisely semantic, contextualism in moral discourse and moral thinking. According to these forms of contextualism (henceforth “metaethical contextualism,” or just “contextu- alism”), the meaning or truth-conditions of a moral judgment depend not only on the properties of the act it concerns, but also on features of the context in which the judgment is made, such as the standards endorsed by the moral judge or the parties of the conversation. If metaethical contextualism is correct, it might be that when two persons judge that abortions must be banned, one person’s judgment might be true whereas the other person’s is false, because they accept different fundamental norms. This would undermine the idea that there are objectively correct answers to moral questions.

    Metaethical contextualism is supported from three directions. First, what is expressed by terms such as “good” and “ought” seems to be context-dependent when used outside ethics, being dependent on a variety of interests and concerns. One might therefore expect similar context dependence when these terms are used to express moral judgments, assuming a corresponding variety of interests and concerns in moral contexts. Second, many have thought that deep moral disagree- ments suggest that the interests and concerns behind moral judgments do vary in this way. Finally, contextualism promises to make sense of what seems to be an intrinsic yet defeasible connection between moral judgments and moral motivation, by tying the meaning or truth-conditions of moral judgments closely to interests and concerns of moral judges. At the same time, contextualism faces two broad kinds of problems: to make sense of the seemingly categorical or objective preten- sions of moral claims, and to explain why the parties to deep moral disagreement often behave as if they were disagreeing about substantive issues rather than talking past each other. In the sections that follow, we look closer at both sources of support and problems for contextualism.

  • 21.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Diagreement, correctness, and the evidence for metaethical absolutism2015In: Oxford Studies in Metaethics / [ed] Russ Shafer-Landau, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Metaethical absolutism is the view that moral concepts have non-relative satisfaction conditions that are constant across judges and their particular beliefs, attitudes, and cultural embedding. Two related premises underpin the argument for absolutism: (1) that moral thinking and discourse display a number of features that are characteristically found in paradigmatically absolutist domains, and only partly in uncontroversially non-absolutist domains; and (2) that the best way of making sense of these features is to assume that absolutism is correct. This chapter defends the prospect of a non-absolutist explanation of these “absolutist” features, thus calling into question the second premise. The chapter proposes independently motivated general accounts of attributions of agreement, disagreement, correctness, and incorrectness that can explain both why absolutist domains display all “absolutist” features and why these non-absolutist domains display some, and thus provides preliminary reasons to think that these features of moral discourse can be given a non-absolutist explanation.

  • 22.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Do ‘objectivist’ features of moral discourse and thinking support moral objectivism?2012In: Journal of Ethics, ISSN 1382-4554, E-ISSN 1572-8609, Vol. 16, no 4, 367-393 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many philosophers think that moral objectivism is supported by stable features of moral discourse and thinking. When engaged in moral reasoning and discourse, people behave ‘as if’ objectivism were correct, and the seemingly most straightforward way of making sense of this is to assume that objectivism is correct; this is how we think that such behavior is explained in paradigmatically objectivist domains. By comparison, relativist, error-theoretic or non-cognitivist accounts of this behavior seem contrived and ad hoc. After explaining why this argument should be taken seriously (recent arguments notwithstanding), I argue that it is nevertheless undermined by considerations of moral disagreement. Even if the metaphysical, epistemic and semantic commitments of objectivism provide little or no evidence against it, and even if the alternative explanations of ‘objectivist’ traits of moral discourse and thinking are speculative or contrived, objectivism is itself incapable of making straightforward sense of these traits. Deep and widespread moral disagreement or, rather, the mere appearance of such disagreement, strongly suggests that the explanations operative in paradigmatically objective discourse fail to carry over to the moral case. Since objectivism, no less than relativism, non-cognitivism and error-theories, needs non-trivial explanations of why we behave ‘as if’ objec- tivism were correct, such behavior does not presently provide reason to accept objectivism.

  • 23.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Essentially shared obligations2014In: Midwest studies in philosophy, ISSN 0363-6550, E-ISSN 1475-4975, Vol. 38, no 1, 103-120 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Stockholm University.
    Explaining away epistemic skepticism about culpability2017In: Oxford studies in agency and responsibility: vol 4 / [ed] David Shoemaker, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, a number of authors have suggested that the epistemic condition on moral responsibility makes blameworthiness much less common than we ordinarily suppose, and much harder to identify. This paper argues that such epistemically based responsibility skepticism is mistaken. Section 2 sketches a general account of moral responsibility, building on the Strawsonian idea that blame and credit relates to the agent’s quality of will. Section 3 explains how this account deals with central cases that motivate epistemic skepticism and how it avoids some objections to quality of will accounts recently raised by Gideon Rosen. But an intuitive worry brought out by these objections remains. Section 4 spells out this remaining worry and argues that, like traditional metaphysical responsibility skepticism, it has its source in a non-standard explanatory perspective on action, suggesting that strategies for explaining away the intuitive pull of traditional skepticism are applicable in this case too.

  • 25.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Explaining (Away) the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility2017In: Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition / [ed] Philip Robichaud, Jan Willem Wieland, Oxford University Press, 2017Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter combines the familiar Strawsonian idea that moral blame and credit depend on the agent’s quality of will with an independently motivated account of responsibility as grounded in a normal explanatory relation between agential qualities and objects of responsibility. The resulting ‘explanatory quality of will condition’ on moral responsibility is then further motivated by being shown to account for the effects on moral blame and credit of justifications, excuses, and undermined control in cases where agents are fully aware of what they are doing. Having been independently motivated, the explanatory quality of will condition is then applied to cases involving lack of awareness. Though this condition involves no explicit epistemic condition on responsibility, it is shown how it accounts for the degrees to which lack of awareness can excuse.

  • 26.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Incompatibilism and ‘Bypassed’ Agency2014In: Surrounding Free Will: Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience / [ed] Alfred R. Mele, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 95-122 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent papers, Eddy Nahmias and Dylan Murray have proposed an error theory for intuitions supporting incompatibilism. They suggest that when people take responsibility to be undermined by determinism, they do so because they take determinism to imply that agents’ beliefs, desires, and decisions are bypassed, having no effect on their actions. This chapter first presents results from experiments designed to exclude certain sources of error in Nahmias and Murray’s studies, showing that their data, however puzzling, are robust with respect to minor variations in questionnaires. Second, it presents results from studies designed to provide more direct tests of the bypass hypothesis, results strongly suggesting that in spite of these data, the hypothesis is false. Third, it argues that, initial appearances notwithstanding, the explanation hypothesis can straightforwardly explain Nahmias and Murray’s data.

  • 27.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Moralisk oenighet utan metaetisk absolutism2015In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 36, no 3, 3-11 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 28.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Outsourcing the deep self: Deep self discordance does not explain away intuitions in manipulation arguments2016In: Philosophical Psychology, ISSN 0951-5089, E-ISSN 1465-394X, Vol. 29, no 5, 637-653 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to manipulation arguments for incompatibilism, manipulation might undermine an agent's responsibility even when the agent satisfies plausible compatibilist conditions on responsibility. According to Sripada (2012), however, empirical data suggest that people take manipulation to undermine responsibility largely because they think that the manipulated act is in discord with the agent's “deep self”, thus violating the plausible compatibilist condition of deep self concordance. This paper defends Sripada's methodological approach but presents data from an experiment that corrects for crucial weaknesses in his study. These data strongly suggest that, contrary to Sripada’s contention, most of the effect of manipulation on attributions of moral responsibility is unmediated by worries about inadequate information or deep self discordance. Instead, it depends largely on worries that the action is ultimately explained by factors outside the agent’s control, just as proponents of manipulation arguments have proposed. More generally, data suggest that judgments of deep self discordance are themselves explained by worries about responsibility, and that the everyday notion of what an agent wants or is “deep down” is sensitive not only to the agent’s internal psychological structure, but also its source. This casts doubt on recent claims about the explanatory role of deep self judgments.

  • 29.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Quasi-Realism, Absolutism, and Judgment-Internal Correctness Conditions2013In: Johanssonian Investigations: Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday / [ed] Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng, Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson, Heusenstamm: Ontos Verlag, 2013, 96-119 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The traditional metaethical distinction between cognitivist absolutism, on the one hand, and speaker relativism or noncognitivism, on the other, seemed both clear and important. On the former view, moral judgments would be true or false independently on whose judgments they were, and moral disagreement might be settled by the facts. Not so on the latter views. But noncognitivists and relativists, following what Simon Blackburn has called a “quasi-realist” strategy, have come a long way in making sense of talk about truth of moral judgments and its in- dependence of moral judges and their attitudes or standards. The success of this strategy would undermine the traditional way of understanding the distinction, and it is not obvious how it can be reformulated. In this paper, I outline the difficulty posed by quasi-realism, raise problems for some prior attempts to overcome it, and present my own suggestion, focusing on correctness conditions that are internal to the act of moral judgment.

  • 30.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Stockholm University.
    The significance of ethical disagreement for theories of ethical thought and talk2017In: The Routledge handbook of metaethics / [ed] Tristram McPherson and David Plunkett, New York: Routledge, 2017, 275-291 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 31.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Björklund, Fredrik
    Eriksson, John
    Francén Olinder, Ragnar
    Strandberg, Caj
    Recent Work on Motivational Internalism2012In: Analysis, ISSN 0003-2638, E-ISSN 1467-8284, Vol. 72, no 1, 124-137 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reviews recent work on motivational internalism

  • 32.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Brülde, Bengt
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Normative responsibilities: structure and sources2017In: Parental responsibility in the context of neuroscience and genetics / [ed] Kristien Hens, Daniela Cutas, Dorothee Horstkötter, Cham: Springer, 2017, 13-33 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Normative responsibilities have a central role in everyday moral thinking, largely because they are taken to ground requirements to act and react in certain ways. If parents are responsible for the wellbeing of their children, for example, this might mean that they are morally required to feed them, attend to their emotional needs, or make sure that someone else does. But normative responsibilities are not well understood as lists of requirements to act or react, for such requirements will depend on what options and information the agent has available. In the first part of the paper, we instead propose to understand normative responsibilities as requirements to care about what one is responsible for: about the wellbeing of one’s child, about performing a certain action, or about playing the sort of role that one’s profession requires. Such requirements, we argue, are just the sort of things that will give rise to requirements to act and react given the right context. In the second part, we survey and discuss a variety of considerations that might give rise to normative responsibilities: capacities and costs; retrospective and causal responsibility; benefits; promises, contracts and agreements; laws and norms; and roles and special relationships.

  • 33.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Francén Olinder, Ragnar
    Enoch’s Defense of Robust Meta-Ethical Realism2016In: Journal of Moral Philosophy, ISSN 1740-4681, E-ISSN 1745-5243, Vol. 13, no 1, 101-112 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Taking Morality Seriously is David Enoch’s book-length defense of meta-ethical and meta-normative non-naturalist realism. After describing Enoch’s position and outlining the argumentative strategy of the book, we engage in a critical discussion of what we take to be particularly problematic central passages. We focus on Enoch’s two original posi-tive arguments for non-naturalist realism, one argument building on first order moral implications of different meta-ethical positions, the other attending to the rational commitment to normative facts inherent in practical deliberation. We also pay special attention to Enoch’s handling of two types of objections to non-naturalist realism, objec-tions having to do with the possibility of moral knowledge and with moral disagreement.

  • 34.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Francén Olinder, Ragnar
    Internalists Beware – We Might all be Amoralists!2013In: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0004-8402, E-ISSN 1471-6828, Vol. 91, no 1, 1-14 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Standard motivational internalism is the claim that by a priori or conceptual necessity, a psychological state is a moral opinion only if it is suitably related to moral motivation. Many philosophers, the authors of this paper included, have assumed that this claim is supported by intuitions to the effect that amoralists—people not suitably related to such motivation—lack moral opinions proper. In this paper we argue that this assumption is mistaken, seeming plausible only because defenders of standard internalism have failed to consider the possibility that our own actual moral practice as a whole is one where moral opinions fail to motivate in the relevant way. To show this, we present a cynical hypothesis according to which the tendency for people to act in accordance with their moral opinions ultimately stems from a desire to appear moral. This hypothesis is most likely false, but we argue, on both intuitive and methodological grounds, that it is conceptually possible that it correctly describes our actual moral opinions. If correct, this refutes standard motivational internalism. Further, we propose an explanation of why many have seemingly internalist intuitions. Such intuitions, we argue, stem from the fact that standard amoralist cases allow (or even suggest) that we apprehend the putative moral opinions of amoralists as radically different from how we understand actual paradigmatic moral opinions. Given this, it is reasonable to understand them as not being moral opinions proper. However, since these intuitions rest on substantial a posteriori assumptions about actual moral opinions, they provide no substantial a priori constraints on theories of moral judgment.

  • 35.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. University of Gothenburg.
    Hess, Kendy
    Corporate Crocodile Tears?: On the Reactive Attitudes of Corporations2017In: Philosophy and phenomenological research, ISSN 0031-8205, E-ISSN 1933-1592, Vol. 94, no 2, 273-298 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, a number of people have argued that certain entities embodied by groups of agents themselves qualify as agents, with their own (analogs of) beliefs, desires, and intentions; even, some claim, as moral agents. However, others have independently argued that fully-fledged moral agency involves a capacity for reactive attitudes such as guilt and indignation, and these capacities might seem beyond the ken of “collective” or “corporate” agents. Individuals embodying such agents can of course be ashamed, proud, or indignant about what the agent has done. But just as an entity needs to have its own beliefs, desires, and intentions to qualify as a bona fide agent, the required capacity for reactive attitudes is a capacity to have one’s own reactive attitudes. If fully-fledged moral agency requires reactive attitudes, the corporate agent must itself be capable of (analogs of) guilt and indignation. In this paper, we argue that at least certain corporate agents are. Or, more precisely, we argue that if there are bona fide corporate agents, these agents can have the capacities that are both associated with guilt and indignation and plausibly required for moral agency; in particular certain epistemic and motivational capacities.

  • 36.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. Göteborgs universitet.
    John, Eriksson
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Strandberg, Caj
    Universitetet i Oslo.
    Francén Olinder, Ragnar
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Björklund, Fredrik
    Lunds universitet.
    Motivational internalism and folk intuitions2015In: Philosophical Psychology, ISSN 0951-5089, E-ISSN 1465-394X, Vol. 28, no 5, 715-734 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Motivational internalism postulates a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. In arguing for and against internalism, metaethicists traditionally appeal to intuitions about cases, but crucial cases often yield conflicting intuitions. One way to try to make progress, possibly uncovering theoretical bias and revealing whether people have conceptions of moral judgments required for noncognitivist accounts of moral thinking, is to investigate non-philosophers' willingness to attribute moral judgments. A pioneering study by Shaun Nichols seemed to undermine internalism, as a large majority of subjects were willing to attribute moral understanding to an agent lacking moral motivation. However, our attempts to replicate this study yielded quite different results, and we identified a number of problems with Nichols' experimental paradigm. The results from a series of surveys designed to rule out these problems (a) show that people are more willing to attribute moral understanding than moral belief to agents lacking moral motivation, (b) suggest that a majority of subjects operate with some internalist conceptions of moral belief, and (c) are compatible with the hypothesis that an overwhelming majority of subjects do this. The results also seem to suggest that if metaethicists’ intuitions are theoretically biased, this bias is more prominent among externalists.

  • 37.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. Göteborgs universitet.
    McPherson, Tristram
    Moral Attitudes for Non-Cognitivists: Solving the specification problem2014In: Mind (Print), ISSN 0026-4423, E-ISSN 1460-2113, Vol. 123, no 489, 1-38 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Moral non-cognitivists hope to explain the nature of moral agreement and disagreement as agreement and disagreement in non-cognitive attitudes. In doing so, they take on the task of identifying the relevant attitudes, distinguishing the non-cognitive attitudes corresponding to judgements of moral wrongness, for example, from attitudes involved in aesthetic disapproval or the sports fan’s disapproval of her team’s performance. We begin this paper by showing that there is a simple recipe for generating apparent counterexamples to any informative specification of the moral attitudes. This may appear to be a lethal objection to non-cognitivism, but a similar recipe challenges attempts by non-cognitivism’s competitors to specify the conditions underwriting the contrast between genuine and merely apparent moral disagreement. Because of its generality, this specification problem requires a systematic response, which, we argue, is most easily available for the non-cognitivist. Building on premisses congenial to the non-cognitivist tradition, we make the following claims: (1) In paradigmatic cases, wrongness-judgements constitute a certain complex but functionally unified state, and paradigmatic wrongness-judgements form a functional kind, preserved by homeostatic mechanisms. (2) Because of the practical function of such judgements, we should expect judges’ intuitive understanding of agreement and disagreement to be accommodating, treating states departing from the paradigm in various ways as wrongness-judgements. (3) This explains the intuitive judgements required by the counterexample-generating recipe, and more generally why various kinds of amoralists are seen as making genuine wrongness-judgements.

  • 38.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Olinder, Ragnar Francen
    Taking Morality Seriously2016In: Journal of Moral Philosophy, ISSN 1740-4681, E-ISSN 1745-5243, Vol. 13, no 1, 101-112 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Taking Morality Seriously is David Enoch's book-length defense of meta-ethical and meta-normative non-naturalist realism. After describing Enoch's position and outlining the argumentative strategy of the book, we engage in a critical discussion of what we take to be particularly problematic central passages. We focus on Enoch's two original positive arguments for non-naturalist realism, one argument building on first order moral implications of different meta-ethical positions, the other attending to the rational commitment to normative facts inherent in practical deliberation. We also pay special attention to Enoch's handling of two types of objections to non-naturalist realism, objections having to do with the possibility of moral knowledge and with moral disagreement.

  • 39.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Pereboom, Derk
    Free Will Skepticism and Bypassing2014In: Moral Psychology, vol 4: Free Will and Moral Responsibility / [ed] Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, MIT Press, 2014, 27-35 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 40.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Pereboom, Derk
    Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility2016In: A Companion to Experimental Philosophy / [ed] Justin Sytsma, Wesley Buckwalter, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, 158-172 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 41.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Persson, Karl
    University of Gothenburg.
    A unified empirical account of responsibility judgments2013In: Philosophy and phenomenological research, ISSN 0031-8205, E-ISSN 1933-1592, Vol. 87, no 3, 611-639 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Skeptical worries about moral responsibility seem to be widely appreciated and deeply felt. To address these worries—if nothing else to show that they are mistaken—theories of moral responsibility need to relate to whatever concept of responsibility underlies the worries. Unfortunately, the nature of that concept has proved hard to pin down. Not only do philosophers have conflicting intuitions; numerous recent empirical studies have suggested that both prosaic responsibility judgments and incompatibilist intuitions among the folk are influenced by a number of surprising factors, sometimes prompting apparently contradictory judgments. In this paper, we show how an independently motivated hypothesis about responsibility judgments provides a unified explanation of the more important results from these studies. According to this ‘Explanation Hypothesis’, to take an agent to be morally responsible for an event is to take a relevant motivational structure of the agent to be part of a significant explanation of the event. We argue that because of how explanatory interests and perspectives affect what we take as significant explanations, this analysis accounts for the puzzling variety of empirical results. If this is correct, the Explanation Hypothesis also provides a new way of understanding debates about moral responsibility.

  • 42.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Persson, Karl
    The explanatory component of moral responsibility2012In: Noûs, ISSN 0029-4624, E-ISSN 1468-0068, Vol. 46, no 2, 326-354 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 43.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Shanklin, Robert
    ‘Must’, ‘Ought’ and the Structure of Standards2014In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349, no 8554, 33-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper concerns the semantic difference between strong and weak necessity modals. First we identify a number of explananda: their well-known intuitive difference in strength between ‘must’ and ‘ought’ as well as differences in connections to probabilistic considerations and acts of requir- ing and recommending. Here we argue that important extant analyses of the semantic differences, though tailored to account for some of these aspects, fail to account for all. We proceed to suggest that the difference between ’ought’ and ’must’ lies in how they relate to scalar and binary standards. Briefly put, must(φ) says that among the relevant alternatives, φ is selected by the relevant binary standard, whereas ought(φ) says that among the relevant alternatives, φ is selected by the relevant scale. Given independently plausible assumptions about how standards are provided by context, this explains the relevant differ- ences discussed.

  • 44.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Strandberg, CajFrancén Olinder, RagnarEriksson, JohnBjörklund, Fredrik
    Motivational Internalism2015Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Motivational internalism—the thesis that there is an intrinsic or necessary connection between moral judgment and moral motivation—is a central thesis in a number of metaethical debates. In conjunction with a Humean picture of motivation, it has provided a challenge for cognitivist theories that take moral judgments to concern objective aspects of reality, and versions of internalism have been seen as having implications for moral absolutism, realism, non-naturalism, and rationalism. Being a constraint on theories of moral motivation and moral judgment, it is also directly relevant to wider issues in moral psychology. But internalism is a controversial thesis, and the apparent possibility of amoralists and the rejection of strong forms of internalism have also been seen as a problem for non-cognitivists. This volume is meant to help people appreciate the state of the art of research on internalism, to see connections between various aspects of the debate, and to deepen the discussion of a number of central aspects. The introductory chapter provides a structured overview of the debate with a focus on the last two decades or so, distinguishing several important threads and trends in recent developments. The 13 chapters of original research are divided into three parts. The essays in the first part focus on what evidence there is for or against various versions of internalism, those in the second on the relevance of versions of internalism for wider metaethical issues, and those in the third develop different ways of accommodating both internalist and externalist aspects of moral practice.

  • 45.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Strandberg, Caj
    Francén Olinder, Ragnar
    Eriksson, John
    Björklund, Fredrik
    Motivational Internalism: Contemporary Debates2015In: Motivational Internalism / [ed] Gunnar Björnsson, Caj Strandberg, Ragnar Francén Olinder, John Eriksson, and Fredrik Björklund, New York: Oxford University Press, 2015, 1-25 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Motivational internalism—the idea that moral judgments are intrinsically or necessarily connected to motivation—has played a central role in metaethical debates. In conjunction with a Humean picture of motivation, internalism has provided a challenge for theories that take moral judgments to concern objective aspects of reality, and versions of internalism have been seen as having implications for moral absolutism, realism, and rationalism. But internalism is a controversial thesis, and the apparent possibility of amoralists and the rejection of strong forms of internalism have also been seen as a problem for non-cognitivists. The last decades have seen a number of developments of internalist positions and arguments for and against internalism. This chapter provides a structured overview of the more important themes, including the development of new forms of conditional internalism, deferred internalism, and non-constitutional internalism, as well as the emergence of empirically-based arguments and new forms of a posteriori internalism.

  • 46.
    Bortolotti, Lisa
    et al.
    University of Birmingham, Department of Philosophy.
    Cutas, Daniela
    University of Gothenburg,Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science.
    Reproductive and parental autonomy: an argument for compulsory parental education2009In: Reproductive Biomedicine Online, ISSN 1472-6483, Vol. 19, no 1, 5-14 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we argue that comprehensive and systematic parental education has the potential to equip young adults with the necessary information for the responsible exercise of their autonomy in choices about reproduction and parenting. Education can allow young adults to acquire largely accurate beliefs about reproduction and parenting and about the implications of their reproductive and parental choices. Far from being a limitation of individual freedom, the acquisition of relevant information about reproduction and parenting and the acquisition of self-knowledge with respect to reproductive and parenting choices can help give shape to individual life plans. We make a case for compulsory parental education on the basis of the need to respect and enhance individual reproductive and parental autonomy within a culture that presents contradictory attitudes towards reproduction and where decisions about whether to become a parent are subject to significant pressure and scrutiny.

  • 47.
    Boucher, Caroline
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Dumas, Genevieve
    Univ Sherbrooke, Dept Hist, Sherbrooke, PQ J1K 2R1, Canada.
    Medical Translations and Practical Compilations: A Necessary Coincidence?2012In: Early Science and Medicine, ISSN 1383-7427, Vol. 17, no 3, 273-308 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Medical Translations and Practical Compilations: A Necessary Coincidence? Fourteenth-and fifteenth-century medicine is characterised by a trickle-down effect which led to an increasing dissemination of knowledge in the vernacular. In this context, translations and compilations appear to be two similar endeavours aiming to provide access to contents pertaining to the particulars of medical practice. Nowhere is this phenomenon seen more clearly than in vernacular manuscripts on surgery. Our study proposes to compare for the first time two corpora of manuscripts of surgical compilations, in Middle French and Middle English respectively, in order to discuss form and matter in this type of book production.

  • 48.
    Brattgård, Tove
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Den pliktetiska datorn: En diskussion om förutsättningarna för Kants pliktetik som etisk teori i datorer som har en plats i vardagen2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Many has asked themselves the question, now when technology gets a larger importance in everyday life, if it is necessary to give this technology the ability to act according to an ethical theory. In this paper I will say that it is a good idea to give computers that take part in everyday life an ethic, even though they are not conscious or ethically responsible to a higher degree. The choosen ethic for this paper is the deontological ethics of Kant, which initially seems very appealing as an ethic for computers. I write that even if that is the case, it is not suitable as a theory for computers. As a conclusion I have choosen to present questions that may be up for discussion later, or that will be interesting to discuss when computers work under new conditions. This paper is written in Swedish.

    Key words: Kant, ethics, technology, computers, consciousness, thinking.

  • 49.
    Burman, Christo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Comparative Literature and Scandinavian Languages. Drama-Teater-Film.
    Osynligheten tar vid där ruinerna slutar2005In: À Derrida x 13, Institutionen för konstvetenskap, Umeå universitet: Umeå , 2005, S. 59-63 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 50. Cantwell, John
    et al.
    Lindström, Sten
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Rabinowicz, Wlodek
    McGee's Counterexample to the Ramsey Test2017In: Theoria, ISSN 0040-5825, E-ISSN 1755-2567, Vol. 83, no 2, 154-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vann McGee has proposed a counterexample to the Ramsey Test. In the counterexample, a seemingly trustworthy source has testified that p and that if not-p, then q. If one subsequently learns not- p (and so learns that the source is wrong about p), then one has reason to doubt the trustworthiness of the source (perhaps even the identity of the source) and so, the argument goes, one has reason to doubt the conditional asserted by the source. Since what one learns is that the antecedent of the conditional holds, these doubts are contrary to the Ramsey Test. We argue that the counterexample fails. It rests on a principle of testimonial dependence that is not applicable when a source hedges his or her claims.

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