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  • 1.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Den nya syntesen och etik i undervisningen2018In: Nordidactica: Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education, ISSN 2000-9879, no 3, p. 27-43Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Researchers within the educational field usually acknowledge the idea that teaching is an essentially moral activity. Yet, they seem to have different opinions on how teachers are supposed to complete that task in their everyday pedagogical practice. Jonathan Haidt has conducted a series of international studies, during recent years, revealing how people in general tend to respond ethically to situations that evoke strong emotional reactions. Based on the results he has presented a theory, the New Syntheses, in which he claims to explain the difference between the dominating moral pedagogical models and develop new approaches to teaching ethics. The present paper is based on a survey of Swedish teacher students and religious education teachers for which we have borrowed two of Jonathan Haidts examples. We discuss the New Synthesis in relation to the results of the surveys and the ethical dimension of the teaching profession. We argue that these results indicate a need for teacher students and teachers to consciously reflect on their values and methods for approaching ethics in education.

  • 2.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lärares yrkesetik och etiskt resonerande2018In: Läraren och yrkesetiken: principer, värden och förhållningssätt i förskolans och skolans vardag / [ed] Sara Irisdotter Aldenmyr, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2018, 1, p. 59-81Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    En uppsättning yrkesetiska principer sätter ramar och ger riktlinjer för lärares verksamhet, men ofta är sådana principer i sig själva inte tillräckliga för att ge den vägledning som krävs för att lösa konkreta etiska problem. För det krävs också att läraren besitter färdigheter relevanta för att hantera etiska frågor, i synnerhet en förmåga till etiskt resonerande.

  • 3.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Reason and Emotion: How Teachers Respond to Ethical Problems2018In: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series / [ed] Dr. Gregory T. Papanikos, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research , 2018, p. 1-14, article id EDU2018-2501Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers frequently face ethical problems in their everyday practice – ranging from pedagogical choices affecting their pupils to pressing conflicts that need to be solved – and they are expected to respond to such problems in a professional manner. Given the centrality of the ethical dimension to the teaching profession, an important question is how teachers tend to approach such problems. While some studies have been carried out regarding how teachers in particular approach ethical problems, there are interesting studies revealing how people in general tend to respond ethically to situations involving ethical aspects that evoke strong emotional reactions. Aiming to fill parts of this gap, the present paper is based on a survey of Swedish teacher students and religious education (RE) teachers for which we have borrowed two examples from such general studies (carried out by Jonathan Haidt among others). These examples were chosen on the basis that one of them clearly represent a social taboo in a Swedish context while the other one does not. Letting the teacher students and RE teachers respond to both examples give us an indication of whether there is any significant difference in their approach to an example evoking a strong emotional reaction as opposed to a more neutral one. It is clear from our survey that there is such a difference: the respondents generally make rationally motivated judgments when confronted with the neutral example, while most of them seem to rely on gut feeling in the more provoking case. If these results can be taken as an indication of how teacher students and teachers tend to respond to real life situations, a provoking or emotionally laden context is likely to enhance the risk of making ethical choices which are not based on rational reasoning. We argue that these results emphasize the importance for teacher students as well as already practicing teachers to study, and cultivate the ability for, moral reasoning.

  • 4.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Using interactive tools and teaching methods to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying basic values2016In: EDULEARN16 Proceedings: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 4th-6th, 2016 — Barcelona, Spain / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres, Valencia: IATED Academy , 2016, p. 7197-7201Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Generally, teachers are expected to convey certain basic values to their pupils in addition to the task of mediating knowledge. These values differ between different countries and may be either implicitly taken for granted within the educational system or explicitly established in regulatory documents. In light of this aspect of the teacher profession, we take it to be an important ingredient in the teacher education to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying such basic values. The present paper focuses on pedagogical challenges in relation to this task. In order to investigate the evaluative profiles of the teacher students and develop this aspect of the teacher education, we have worked according to a model with three distinct phases. (1) A survey was designed, using interactive tools and deliberately choosing questions in relation to (a) the task provided by The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE) of conveying a set of basic values, and (b) more extensive international studies. (2) Students were invited to answer the survey, where they received direct feedback, providing the basis for problematizing and discussing their evaluations in relation to alternative views. In addition their answers provided information for us to map their evaluative profile. (3) The evaluative profile wasin turn put in relation to the basic values of their future profession and international research. Hence the students were engaged in creating a substantial part of the study material of the course used as apoint of departure for critical analysis and discussion, making the students aware of their own evaluative profile and alternative points of view. We believe that such an increased awareness of one’s own evaluative profile is one prerequisite to develop a professional attitude to conveying both individual and social values in the teacher’s pedagogical practice and meet the requirements from SNAE and the challenges of evaluatively diverse teaching environments. In this paper we present our method and explain how it can be used as a general model for working with values in the teacher education.

  • 5.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Using interactive tools and teaching methods to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying basic values2016In: EDULEARN16 Proceedings: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 4th-6th, 2016 - Barcelona, Spain / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres, Valencia: IATED Academy , 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Generally, teachers are expected to convey certain basic values to their pupils in addition to the task of mediating knowledge. These values differ between different countries and may be either implicitly taken for granted within the educational system or explicitly established in regulatory documents. In Sweden the curriculum for the upper secondary school states that “[e]ach and everyone working in the school should… encourage respect for the intrinsic value of each person and the environment we all share […] this is to be achieved by nurturing in the individual a sense of justice, generosity, tolerance and responsibility” (The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE) 2012). In light of this aspect of the teacher profession, we take it to be an important ingredient in the teacher education to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying such basic values. The present paper focuses on challenges in relation to this task.

    As researchers and teachers in the Swedish teacher education we have had the opportunity to address the value-conveying task of the teacher profession in both research and education. In addressing this task, the typical evaluative profile of the teacher students has turned out to be an interesting challenge. According to previous studies, Swedes in general (Inglehart 2015) including Swedish teacher students (Authors 2016a), tend to embrace individualist values and reject more social values. This kind of individualist evaluative profile is potentially problematic in relation to the task of conveying basic values, since it typically comes with a tendency to view values as a private matter, something that the school should not interfere with (Authors 2016b).

    In order to investigate the evaluative profiles of the teacher students and develop this aspect of the teacher education, we have worked according to a model with three distinct phases.

    (1) A survey was constructed, using interactive tools such as Mentimeter and Lime Survey, deliberately choosing questions in relation to (a) the task provided by SNAE of conveying a set of basic values, and (b) relevant international studies (cf. Inglehart & Baker 2000). 

    (2) Students were invited to answer the survey, where they received direct feedback, providing the basis for problematizing and discussing their evaluations in relation to alternative views. In addition their answers provided information for us to map their evaluative profile. 

    (3) The evaluative profile was in turn put in relation to the basic values of their future profession and international research. 

    Hence the students were engaged in creating a substantial part of the study material of the course, used as a point of departure for critical analysis and discussion, making the students aware of their own evaluative profile and alternative points of view. We believe that such an increased awareness of one’s own evaluative profile is one prerequisite to develop a professional attitude to conveying both individual and social values in the teacher’s pedagogical practice and meet the requirements from SNAE and the challenges of a multicultural teaching environment. Our teaching method has also resulted in research which has been used in order to further develop the content of the course (Authors 2016a; 2016b). In this paper we present our method and explain how it can be used as a general model for working with values in the teacher education.

  • 6.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Which values are reproduced within the swedish educational system?2016In: Usuteaduslik Ajakiri / The Estonian Theological Journal, ISSN 1406-6564, Vol. 69, no 1, p. 49-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using the World Values Survey (WVS) as a background the paper discusses a tension between the general evaluative outlook of Swedish teacher students and the educational values established by The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE). According to the results from WVS, which maps evaluative differences between approximately 80 countries in the world, Sweden stands out as a country that rejects traditional values and embraces so called secular self-expression values. However, the values established by SNAE include both traditional values, such as “sharing a common cultural heritage”, and secular self-expression values, such as “individual freedom and integrity”. Against this background we conducted a survey of 179 Swedish teacher students in order to investigate the relation between their evaluative outlook and the values they are supposed to convey to their pupils as established by SNAE. The result of the survey indicates that these students do not differ in any significant respect from the Swedish population in general as regards secular vs traditional evaluations. The fact that the traditional values emphasized by SNAE seem to be scarcely represented among the teacher students, makes questionable whether they will be present in their future teaching. On the assumptions that there are important educational values among the traditional as well as the secular self-expression ones, and that values are reproduced within an educational system, we argue that there is reason to take the imbalance in the evaluative outlook of the students seriously.

  • 7.
    Mårald, Erland
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Sandström, Camilla
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Rist, Lucy
    Rosvall, Ola
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Idenfors, Annika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Exploring the use of a dialogue process to tackle a complex and controversial issue in forest management2015In: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 0282-7581, E-ISSN 1651-1891, Vol. 30, no 8, p. 749-756Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores the use of a dialogue process to approach complex issues related to forest management. Aninterdisciplinary research team set up an experimental dialogue process concerning the use of introduced tree speciesin Southern Sweden for the purposes of climate change adaptation. The process involved stakeholders at a regionallevel, including those with divergent opinions regarding introduced tree species and their use in forestry. Through aprocess of repeated meetings and exchanges with researchers, the participant’s knowledge was deepened and grouprelationships developed such that the group was able to jointly formulate a set of policy recommendations. Theinvestigation revealed that dialogue processes may improve decision-making by identifying priorities for action orfurther research. However, when a collaborative process targets complex environmental issues on larger geographicaland temporal scales, as matters about forests typically do, a collaborative process must be integrated with externalactors and institutions in order to attain tangible outcomes. Consequently, to fully access the benefits of usingcollaborative processes to handle complex challenges in forest policy and management, the connections betweenpolitical sphere, the private sector, authorities and research institutions must be concretely established.

  • 8. Rist, Lucy
    et al.
    Felton, Adam
    Mårald, Erland
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lundmark, Tomas
    Rosvall, Ola
    Avoiding the pitfalls of adaptive management implementation in Swedish silviculture2016In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 45, p. 140-151Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a growing demand for alternatives to Sweden’s current dominant silvicultural system, driven by a desire to raise biomass production, meet environmental goals and mitigate climate change. However, moving towards diversified forest management that deviates from well established silvicultural practices carries many uncertainties and risks. Adaptive management is often suggested as an effective means of managing in the context of such complexities. Yet there has been scepticism over its appropriateness in cases characterised by large spatial extents, extended temporal scales and complex land ownership—characteristics typical of Swedish forestry. Drawing on published research, including a new paradigm for adaptive management, we indicate how common pitfalls can be avoided during implementation. We indicate the investment, infrastructure, and considerations necessary to benefit from adaptive management. In doing so, we show how this approach could offer a pragmatic operational model for managing the uncertainties, risks and obstacles associated with new silvicultural systems and the challenges facing Swedish forestry.

  • 9.
    Rist, Lucy
    et al.
    SLU.
    Felton, Adam
    SLU.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Sandström, Camilla
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Rosvall, Ola
    A new paradigm for adaptive management2013In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 63-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Uncertainty is a pervasive feature in natural resource management. Adaptive management, an approach that focuses on identifying critical uncertainties to be reduced via diagnostic management experiments, is one favored approach for tackling this reality. While adaptive management is identified as a key method in the environmental management toolbox, there remains a lack of clarity over when its use is appropriate or feasible. Its implementation is often viewed as suitable only in a limited set of circumstances. Here we restructure some of the ideas supporting this view, and show why much of the pessimism around AM may be unwarranted. We present a new framework for deciding when AM is appropriate, feasible, and subsequently successful. We thus present a new paradigm for adaptive management that shows that there are no categorical limitations to its appropriate use, the boundaries of application being defined by problem conception and the resources available to managers. In doing so we also separate adaptive management as a management tool, from the burden of failures that result from the complex policy, social, and institutional environment within which management occurs.

  • 10.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    At the centre of what?: a critical note on the centrism-terminology in environmental ethics2013In: Environmental Values, ISSN 0963-2719, E-ISSN 1752-7015, Vol. 22, no 5, p. 627-645Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The distinction between anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric theories, together with the more fine-grained distinction between anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, are probably two of the most frequently occurring distinctions in the environmental ethics literature. In this essay I draw attention to some problematic aspects of the terminology used to draw these distinctions: the ‘centrism-terminology’. I argue that this terminology is ambiguous and misleading, and therefore confusing. Furthermore, depending on which interpretation it is given, it is also either asymmetric and non-inclusive, or superfluous. Although I find it unlikely that the centrism-terminology will be abandoned, I end the essay by providing a suggestion for an alternative way to categorise theories in environmental ethics.

  • 11.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Environmental pragmatism and environmental philosophy: a bad marriage!2010In: Environmental Ethics, ISSN 0163-4275, E-ISSN 2153-7895, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 405-415Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental pragmatists have presented environmental pragmatism as a new philosophical position, arguing that theoretical debates in environmental philosophy are hindering the ability of the environmental movement to forge agreement on basic policy imperatives. Hence, they aim to lead environmental philosophers away from such theoretical debates, and toward more practical—and pragmatically motivated—ones. However, a position with such an aim is not a proper philosophical position at all, given that philosophy (among other things) is an effort to get clear on the problems that puzzle us.

  • 12.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy and Linguistics.
    Miljöetikens förvirra(n)de distinktioner2007Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Sedan miljöetikens framväxt på 70-talet har den dragits med tre särskilt seglivade – men i sammanhanget ofta både förvirrade och förvirrande – distinktioner. Den första är distinktionen mellan intrinsikalt och instrumentellt värde (hos naturen eller några av dess icke-mänskliga/icke-kännande komponenter). Den andra är distinktionen mellan individualistiska och holistiska teorier i miljöetik. Och den tredje, som vanligtvis förstås i termer av de två första, är distinktionen mellan antropocentrisk, biocentrisk och ekocentrisk miljöetik. Att dessa distinktioner både är relevanta och applicerbara på så gott som alla miljöetiska teorier är något som tas för givet inte bara av de flesta miljöetiker själva, utan ofta även av dem som kritiserar miljöetiken (som disciplin, eller idén att naturen eller några av dess icke-mänskliga/icke-kännande komponenter har direkt moralisk status). Detta faktum har fått såväl den interna miljöetiska debatten som den externa kritiken av densamma att frekvent skjuta bredvid målet, dvs. missa de verkligt intressanta frågorna. I det här föredraget anför jag exempel för att visa detta och argumenterar för att om vi överger den slentrianmässiga tillämpningen av dessa tre distinktioner så ökar förutsättningarna för att se, och på ett fruktbart sätt undersöka, miljöetikens verkliga problem och möjligheter.

  • 13.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the critique of “The environmental ethical project”: Why this critique has failed2010In: The Philosophy of the Environment - Programme and Abstracts, 2010, p. 117-118Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Ever since environmental ethics began to emerge as an academic discipline in the early 70’s, critical voices have been raised against what by many has been considered its project, namely to establish the direct moral importance of some non-human, non-sentient, non-conscious natural entities. We can distinguish between two main lines of this critique; one that is practical, or pragmatic (claiming that there are pragmatic reasons – given certain practical, “environmentalist”, goals – to avoid this project), and one that is theoretical. Here I am interested in the latter, theoretical, critique. This critique has appeared in many different forms, but all versions that I know of suffer from one of three flaws: (1) They apply only to some versions (not the most plausible ones) of the environmental ethical project (or they do not apply to any actual version of it); (2) they are not critiques against this project specifically, but against any normative ethical view (i.e. any view according to which there are moral reasons to do (or refrain from doing) this or that); (3) they simply beg the question against those who defend some version of this project. Among the critiques that suffer from (1) we find, e.g., allegations of misanthropy and “ecofascism” (or more generally, various critiques according to which the environmental ethical project has unacceptable normative implications). Among those that suffer from (2) we find, e.g., the critiques according to which the very notion of intrinsic value is untenable and ought to be abandoned. And among those that suffer from (3) we find, e.g., the critique according to which the central notion of moral importance is not intrinsic value, but moral standing (which is supposed to pertain only to sentient creatures). I will give some examples of critiques that suffer from (1) and (2), and explain why they do so, but I will focus on the critiques that suffer from (3). Doing so will reveal what a critique of the environmental ethical project that escapes (1), (2) and (3) would have to show, and what implications it would have. My conclusion is that it is very doubtful that a successful critique of this project can be formulated, and that each environmental ethical theory, therefore, should be judged on its own merits.

  • 14.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Critique of "The Environmental Ethics Project": Why this Critique has Failed2014In: Issues in Human Relations and Environmental Philosophy / [ed] Sophia Boudouri & Kostas Kalimtzis, Athens: Ionia Publications, 2014, p. 303-319Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Ever since environmental ethics began to emerge as an academic discipline in the early 70’s, critical voices have been raised against what by many has been considered its project, namely to establish the direct moral importance of some non-human, non-sentient, non-conscious natural entities. We can distinguish between two main lines of this critique; one that is practical, or pragmatic (claiming that there are pragmatic reasons – given certain practical, “environmentalist” goals – to avoid this project), and one that is theoretical. Here I am interested in the latter, theoretical critique. This critique has appeared in many different forms, but all versions that I know of suffer from one of three flaws: (1) They apply only to some versions (not the most plausible ones) of the environmental ethics project (or they do not apply to any actual version of it); (2) they are not critiques against this project specifically, but against any normative ethical view (i.e. any view according to which there are moral reasons to do (or refrain from doing) this or that); (3) they simply beg the question against those who defend some version of this project. Among the critiques that suffer from (1) we find, e.g., allegations of misanthropy and “ecofascism” (or more generally, various critiques according to which the environmental ethics project has unacceptable normative implications). Among those that suffer from (2) we find, e.g., the critiques according to which the very notion of intrinsic value is untenable and ought to be abandoned. And among those that suffer from (3) we find, e.g., the critique according to which the central notion of moral importance is not intrinsic value, but moral standing (which is supposed to pertain only to sentient creatures). I give examples of each of these critiques and explain why they fail. My conclusion is that it is very doubtful that a successful critique of the environmental ethics project can be formulated, and that each environmental ethical theory, therefore, should be judged on its own merits.

  • 15.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the demarcation problem and the possibility of environmental ethics: a refutation of "A refutation of environmental ethics"2010In: Environmental Ethics, ISSN 0163-4275, E-ISSN 2153-7895, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 247-265Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to a popular critique of environmental ethics, the view that nature has intrinsic value faces an insurmountable demarcation problem. This critique was delivered in a particularly forceful manner two decades ago by Janna Thompson in her paper “A Refutation of Environmental Ethics.” However, the demarcation problem, albeit a real problem, is not insurmountable. Thompson’s argument draws on the claim that the possibility of environmental ethics depends on the possibility that nature can be demarcated with respect to some allegedly morally significant property or set of properties. Her own view of nature’s moral significance is equally dependent on that possibility. Therefore, if the demarcation problem were insurmountable, that would imply a refutation of her own view on nature’s moral significance as well.

  • 16.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Possibility of Evidence for Intrinsic Value in Nature2013In: Ethics and the Environment, ISSN 1085-6633, E-ISSN 1535-5306, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 101-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the most common projects among environmental ethicists is to develop theories according to which some non-human natural entities possess intrinsic value. However, this project has not been unchallenged. From time to time we have seen efforts to refute it, the claim being that not only are the particular theories suggested flawed, but the very idea of intrinsic value in nature—at least in some allegedly important sense of “intrinsic value”—is in principle indefensible. One of the latest contributions to this line of efforts was recently provided by Toby Svoboda, whose target is mind-independent intrinsic value of non-human entities. Svoboda elegantly argues that there is no evidence for the existence of such value in non-humans, and that hence the position that some non-humans have such value is unjustified. In this paper I aim to show that Svoboda’s argument, elegant as it is, nevertheless is flawed.

  • 17.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Partisk vs. opartisk moral2015In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 35-43Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Reasons and Values in Environmental Ethics2010In: Environmental Values, ISSN 0963-2719, E-ISSN 1752-7015, Vol. 19, no 4, p. 517-535Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ever since environmental ethics (EE) began to take form as an academic discipline in the early 1970s, the notion of intrinsic value has occupied a prominent position within the field. Recently, however, various types of critique have emerged within EE against invoking this notion. Contrary to these critiques, I argue that appeals to intrinsic value are not problematic, given the reason-implying sense of ‘intrinsic value’ that is most relevant to EE. I further argue that also those who criticise ‘intrinsic-value-talk’ in EE actually need this reason-implying concept of intrinsic value. However, once we realise that this is the sense of ‘intrinsic value’ that is most relevant to EE, it also becomes clear that it is the concept of a reason, rather than that of intrinsic value, that is most important to EE.

  • 19.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Resolving the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem2013In: Swedish Congress of Philosophy 2013 = Filosofidagarna : 14-16 june, 2013: Abstracts, Stockholm: Kungl. tekniska högskolan , 2013, p. 177-178Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The wrong kind of reason problem (WKRP) has been presented as a problem for T. M. Scanlon’s ‘buck-passing account of value’ (BPA) (e.g. Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen, 2004:393). According to this account, ‘being good, or valuable, is not a property that itself provides a reason to respond to a thing in certain ways. Rather, to be good or valuable is to have other properties that constitute such reasons’ (Scanlon 1998:97). Now, WKRP arises because some objects which clearly lack value yet seem to have properties that constitute such reasons. If there are such objects, BPA can be upheld only if it can be shown that in these cases the reasons are of the wrong kind, in the sense that the properties which constitute them do not give rise to corresponding values of the objects which possess them. Hence, the challenge that WKRP poses for buck-passers is commonly understood as the challenge of convincingly explaining the difference between reasons of the wrong kind and reasons of the right kind. There have been several proposals for solution to WKRP, but all of them have been exposed to objections (see e.g. Lang, 2008; Olson, 2009; Rønnow-Rasmussen, 2011:33–45; Samuelsson, forthcoming). My suggestion for a solution to this problem is quite simple and straightforward, and it proceeds from recognizing an ambiguity in the expression ‘properties constituting (or providing) reasons’. The notion of a reason relevant to BPA is that of a normative reason, i.e. a fact that counts in favour of some response. Now, BPA is not formulated in terms of facts, but in terms of properties constituting reasons. However, properties are not themselves reasons, and there are different ways in which the property of an object can feature in a fact taken to provide a reason. My suggestion is that only one of these ways is relevant to whether the object in question possesses value. Thus, the solution to WKRP lies in understanding BPA in terms of facts, and getting the place of properties in these facts right. If BPA is adequately formulated in this way, it seems that WKRP does not arise in the first place – the problem will resolve. This solution that I propose bears similarities to a kind of solution to WKRP most thoroughly articulated by Stratton-Lake (2005), and can be seen as a further development and defence of that kind of solution.

  • 20.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Sustainable development and the value of future populations: Reviving the average view2018In: The 11th International Conference on Applied Ethics - Center for Applied Philosophy & Ethics - Kyoto University, Japan 15th-16th December 2018: Abstracts, Kyoto, 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Philosophical investigations that explicitly concern sustainable development have largely been conducted separately from work within population ethics, and vice versa. In this paper I suggest that taking the idea of sustainable development (as expressed in the Brundtland report) seriously can provide important insights for population ethics, i.e. for the question of how to account for the value of future populations. I argue that a common sense intuition in line with the sustainability idea points in the direction of the so called average view within population ethics, a view that nowadays has rather few adherents and is generally considered deeply problematic for several reasons. This common sense intuition can be roughly expressed as follows: It is good if people in the future live good lives, irrespective of who they are and how many they are, and it is bad if they live bad lives. A way of capturing this thought is via the claim that it is better the higher the average well-being of these people is, which is the core idea of the average view. This view can be contrasted with the major alternative within population ethics, the total view, according to which it is better the higher the total well-being in the world is. This latter view seems to rhyme badly with the sustainability idea: at least prima facie it seems to speak in favour of increasing the human population, whereas sustainability is usually taken to point in the opposite direction. I show how a version of the average view based on the common sense intuition expressed above, and informed by philosophical theorizing about sustainability, can be construed so as to avoid the problems usually taken to be devastating for it.

  • 21.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The Moral Status of Nature: Reasons to Care for the Natural World2009Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The subject-matter of this essay is the moral status of nature. This subject is dealt with in terms of normative reasons. The main question is if there are direct normative reasons to care for nature in addition to the numerous indirect normative reasons that there are for doing so. Roughly, if there is some such reason, and that reason applies to any moral agent, then nature has direct moral status as I use the phrase. I develop the notions of direct normative reason and direct moral status in detail and identify and discuss the two main types of theory according to which nature has direct moral status: analogy-based nature-considerism (AN) and non-analogy-based nature-considerism (NN). I argue for the plausibility of a particular version of the latter, but against the plausibility of any version of the former.

    The theory that is representative of AN claims that nature has direct moral status in virtue of possessing interests. Proponents of this theory fail to show (i) that nature has interests of the kind that they reasonably want to ascribe to it, and (ii) that interests of this kind are morally significant. In contrast to AN, NN comes in a variety of different forms. I elaborate a version of NN according to which there are direct normative reasons to care for nature in virtue of (i) its unique complexity, and (ii) its indispensability (to all moral agents). I argue that even if these reasons should turn out not to apply to any moral agent, they are still genuine direct normative reasons: there is nothing irrational or misdirected about them.

    Finally, I show how the question of whether there are direct normative reasons to care for nature is relevant to private and political decision-making concerning nature. This is exemplified with a case from the Swedish mountain region.

  • 22.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The moral status of nature: reasons to care for the natural world2008Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The subject-matter of this essay is the moral status of nature. This subject is dealt with in terms of normative reasons. The main question is if there are direct normative reasons to care for nature in addition to the numerous indirect normative reasons that there are for doing so. Roughly, if there is some such reason, and that reason applies to any moral agent, then nature has direct moral status as I use the phrase. I develop the notions of direct normative reason and direct moral status in detail and identify and discuss the two main types of theory according to which nature has direct moral status: analogy-based nature-considerism (AN) and non-analogy-based nature-considerism (NN). I argue for the plausibility of a particular version of the latter, but against the plausibility of any version of the former.

    The theory that is representative of AN claims that nature has direct moral status in virtue of possessing interests. Proponents of this theory fail to show (i) that nature has interests of the kind that they reasonably want to ascribe to it, and (ii) that interests of this kind are morally significant. In contrast to AN, NN comes in a variety of different forms. I elaborate a version of NN according to which there are direct normative reasons to care for nature in virtue of (i) its unique complexity, and (ii) its indispensability (to all moral agents). I argue that even if these reasons should turn out not to apply to any moral agent, they are still genuine direct normative reasons: there is nothing irrational or misdirected about them.

    Finally, I show how the question of whether there are direct normative reasons to care for nature is relevant to private and political decision-making concerning nature. This is exemplified with a case from the Swedish mountain region.

  • 23.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The right version of the right kind of solution to the wrong kind of reason problem2011In: Seventh European Congress of Analytic Philosophy: Program and Abstract, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a recent article – ‘The Right Kind of Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem’ – Gerald Lang suggests a solution to the so called ‘wrong kind of reason problem’ (the WKR problem) for T. M. Scanlon’s buck-passing account of value. In two separate replies to Lang, Jonas Olson and John Brunero, respectively, point out serious problems with Lang’s suggestion, and at least Olson concludes that the kind of solution that Lang opts for is the wrong kind of solution to the WKR problem. I argue that while both Olson and Brunero have indeed identified considerable flaws in Lang’s particular suggestion for solution to the WKR problem, they have not provided sufficient grounds for dismissing the kind of solution that Lang opts for. I show how a version of this kind ofsolution can be formulated so as to avoid both Olson’s and Brunero’s objections.

  • 24.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The Right Version of 'the Right Kind of Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem'2013In: Utilitas, ISSN 0953-8208, E-ISSN 1741-6183, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 383-404Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a recent article in Utilitas, Gerald Lang suggests a solution to the so-called ‘wrong kind of reason problem’ (WKR problem) for the buck-passing account of value. In two separate replies to Lang, Jonas Olson and John Brunero, respectively, point out serious problems with Lang’s suggestion, and at least Olson concludes that the solution Lang opts for is of the wrong kind for solving the WKR problem. I argue that while both Olson and Brunero have indeed identified considerable flaws in Lang’s suggestion for a solution to the WKR problem, they have not provided sufficient grounds for dismissing the kind of solution that Lang proposes. I show how a version of this kind of solution can be formulated so as to avoid both Olson’s and Brunero’s objections. I also raise some worries concerning an alternative solution to the WKR problem suggested by Sven Danielsson and Jonas Olson.

  • 25.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Transitivitet och omärkbara effekter: en invändning mot ett argument i Folke Tersmans bok Tillsammans2010In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 40-50Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    "Two distinctions in final goodness"2009Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Den engelska titeln till trots hålls föredraget på svenska. Syftet med titeln är att anknyta till Christine Korsgaards artikel från 1983, ”Two Distinctions in Goodness”, i vilken hon visar att den traditionellt antagna distinktionen mellan intrinsikalt och instrumentellt värde i själva verket blandar ihop två olika distinktioner; en mellan intrinsikalt och extrinsikalt värde, och en mellan finalt och instrumentellt värde. Precis som det har skett en sammanblandning mellan dessa två distinktioner menar jag att det har skett en sammanblandning mellan två olika distinktioner inom den senare distinktionen (dvs. den mellan finalt och instrumentellt värde) – en sammanblandning vars implikationer påminner om implikationerna av den sammanblandning som Korsgaard uppmärksammar.I mitt föredrag urskiljer jag dessa två distinktioner (i finalt värde). Den första, som följer av den vanligt förekommande praxisen att ge en negativ karaktärisering av finalt värde som icke-instrumentellt värde (där instrumentellt värde förstås som det värde något har uteslutande i kraft av att vara ett medel till något annat som är värdefullt), liknar distinktionen mellan intrinsikalt och extrinsikalt värde (som den vanligtvis förstås) såtillvida att den vilar på en liknande indelningsgrund, nämligen en som utgår från vilket slags egenskaper som ligger till grund för värdet (dvs.: instrumentella egenskaper ligger till grund för instrumentellt värde, medan (åtminstone delvis) icke-instrumentella egenskaper ligger till grund för finalt värde). Den andra distinktionen vilar på en annan indelningsgrund, som har att göra med (för att använda Korsgaards ord) ”the way we value the thing”. Jag kommer att diskutera hur denna idé kan/bör förstås (eventuellt kan vi här finna flera relevanta/intressanta distinktioner). Ett objekt som endast har instrumentellt värde givet den första distinktionen kan mycket väl ha finalt värde givet den andra (något som bland annat Shelly Kagan har argumenterat för). Genom att göra en klar åtskillnad mellan de två distinktionerna i finalt värde kan vi förklara hur det är möjligt.

  • 27.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Mastering methods for moral reasoning as a form of ethical competence: A methods-based approach to ethics education2017In: WHAT MAY BE LEARNT IN ETHICS? CONFERENCE 11-13 DECEMBER 2017 ABSTRACTS, Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 2017, p. 16-16Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on an aspect of ethics rarely treated by scholars or in textbooks, namely the methods for reasoning by which one can arrive at justified moral decision. While these methods are rarely spelled out, they seem to be taken for granted in ethical debates and by scholars working within the field. We argue that the ability to master these methods is a clear candidate for ethical competence – a form of such competence which is both theoretically and practically useful in ethics education at various levels, particularly in comparison to standard theory-based accounts to ethics education. While others have criticized theory-based approaches to ethics education, the methods-based approach that we explore has not been suggested as an alternative. Hence, our research topic is methods for moral reasoning as a basis for ethical competence and ethics education. We have used two complementary methodological tools for arriving at our conclusion that mastering such methods is a form of ethical competence, useful in schools. We combine (1) personal substantial experiences from teaching ethics, in particular to teacher students, with (2) philosophical analysis of ethical debates and theories. By (1) we get important indications about the usefulness of a methods-based approach to ethics education. (2) helps us reveal what ethical debates and theories assume about requirements on moral reasoning. What emerges is a set of basic seemingly uncontroversial methods for moral reasoning, which can be roughly structured under the headings “information”, “vividness” and “coherence”. Hence analytical moral philosophy provides our main theoretical framework.

  • 28.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Educational Task of Mediating Basic Values in an Individualist Society2016In: Education Abstracts: Eighteenth Annual International Conference on Education 16-19 May 2016, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2016, p. 127-128Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides the task of conveying information, methods and skills to their pupils, teachers are also expected to mediate certain basic values, which may differ between different societies. Depending on which country we look at, this latter task is either implicitly taken for granted within the educational system or explicitly established in regulatory documents. In Sweden, for instance, the curriculum for the upper secondary school states that "[e]ach and everyone working in the school should… encourage respect for the intrinsic value of each person and the environment we all share. […] In accordance with the ethics borne by Christian tradition and Western humanism, this is to be achieved by nurturing in the individual a sense of justice, generosity, tolerance and responsibility" (see http://www.skolverket.se/publikationer?id=2975; accessed 2015-10-14). In this paper we are interested in the educational task of mediating such basic values in societies imbued with individualist values and attitudes. As a background, and for illustrative purposes, we use the results from the recurring "World Values Survey" (WVS) which maps the evaluative profile of citizens in about 80 different countries worldwide (http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs.jsp; accessed 2015-10-14). It has become common practice to present the results from WVS along two value dimensions: traditional versus secular-rational values, and survival versus self-expression values (see e.g. R. Inglehart, 2006, "Mapping Global Values", in Y. Esmer & T. Pettersson (eds.) Measuring and Mapping Cultures: 25 Years of Comparative Values Surveys, Leiden: Brill.). In general, secular-rational and self-expression values are representative of an individualist evaluative outlook, whereas traditional and survival values are representative of a more collectivist evaluative outlook. Hence, it is possible to use the results from WVS to roughly categorize countries as more or less individualist (generally speaking). The results from WVS reveal that Sweden – which constitutes our example of an individualist society – stands out as remarkably individualist in this respect (see http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/ images/Cultural_map_WVS6_2015.jpg; accessed 2015-10-14). One important aspect of this individualist outlook is that values are commonly regarded as largely a private matter – something that should not be interfered with in the public sphere, e.g. in schools – a view often accompanied by a tendency to downplay the importance of ethical questions in general (see World Values Survey, Wave 6: 2010-2014; http://www.worldvalues survey.org/WVSOnline.jsp; accessed 2015- 10-14). Against this background we have investigated the evaluative outlook of 179 Swedish teacher students, using questions from WVS as a point of departure. The results indicate that these students do not differ to any significant degree from the Swedish population in general as regards their evaluative outlook, and yet they are supposed to mediate both individual and social basic values in their coming profession. The purpose of this paper is to make visible and problematize the tension between an individualist evaluative outlook – where one tends to diminish the importance of ethical questions and regard values as largely a private matter – and the ethical and educational task of mediating a set of basic values, and reveal some of the challenges that this tension poses for teachers and the educational system in general in more or less individualist societies.

  • 29.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Educational Task of Mediating Basic Values in an Individualist Society2017In: Athens Journal of Education, ISSN 2407-9898, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 137-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides the task of conveying information, methods and skills to their pupils, teachers are also expected to mediate certain basic values. In this paper we are interested in the educational task of mediating such values in societies imbued with individualist values and attitudes. As a background we use the results from the recurring "World Values Survey" (WVS) which maps the evaluative profile of citizens in about 80 different countries worldwide. The results from WVS reveal that Swedes in general stand out as remarkably individualist with respect to their reported value judgements. Hence, Sweden constitutes our example of an individualist society, i.e., a society whose members to a large extent share an individualist evaluative profile. One important feature of such an individualist evaluative profile is a tendency to regard questions of value as largely a private matter and to downplay the importance of ethics in general. Against this background we investigated the evaluative outlook of 134 Swedish teacher students, using questions from WVS as a point of departure. The results indicate that these students do not differ to any significant degree from the Swedish population in general as regards their evaluative outlook, and yet they are supposed to mediate both individualist and social basic values in their coming profession. The purpose of this paper is to make visible and problematize the tension between an individualist evaluative profile and the educational task of mediating a set of basic values. This tension, it is argued, poses special challenges for teachers and the teacher education in societies on the individualist side of the scale.

  • 30.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Educational Task of Mediating Basic Values in an Individualist Society2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides the task of conveying information, methods and skills to their pupils, teachers are also expected to mediate certain basic values. In this paper we are interested in the educational task of mediating such values in societies imbued with individualist values and attitudes. As a background we use the results from the recurring "World Values Survey" (WVS) which maps the evaluative profile of citizens in about 80 different countries worldwide. The results from WVS reveal that Swedes in general stand out as remarkably individualist with respect to their reported value judgements. Hence, Sweden constitutes our example of an individualist society, i.e., a society whose members to a large extent share an individualist evaluative profile. One important feature of such an individualist evaluative profile is a tendency to regard questions of value as largely a private matter and to downplay the importance of ethics in general. Against this background we investigated the evaluative outlook of 134 Swedish teacher students, using questions from WVS as a point of departure. The results indicate that these students do not differ to any significant degree from the Swedish population in general as regards their evaluative outlook, and yet they are supposed to mediate both individualist and social basic values in their coming profession. The purpose of this paper is to make visible and problematize the tension between an individualist evaluative profile and the educational task of mediating a set of basic values. This tension, it is argued, poses special challenges for teachers and the teacher education in societies on the individualist side of the scale.

  • 31.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Reason and Emotion: How Teachers Respond to Ethical Problems2018In: Abstract Book: 20th Annual International Conference on Education: 21-24 May 2018, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2018, Vol. 20, p. 133-134Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers frequently face ethical problems in their everyday practice, ranging from pedagogical choices affecting their pupils to pressing conflicts that need to be solved – e.g. conflicts between pupils, conflicts between colleagues, and conflicts between teachers and parents. In order to handle such problems, teachers need to be able to respond in a professional and thoughtful manner to the various ethical aspects involved.

    Given the centrality of the ethical dimension to the teaching profession, it is an important question how teachers tend to approach ethical problems within their profession. To the extent that teachers fail to approach such problems in a professional and thoughtful manner, this is an issue that should be brought to attention and considered by teachers and within the teacher education.

    Few studies have been carried out regarding how teachers tend to approach ethical problems in their profession. However, there are interesting international studies revealing how people in general tend to respond ethically to situations involving ethical aspects that evoke strong emotional reactions. Jonathan Haidt has constructed several more or less provoking examples involving social taboos, and investigated how people tend to react when confronted with them (Haidt, Koller & Dias, 1993).

    The present paper is based on a survey of Swedish teacher students for which we have borrowed two of Haidts examples. These examples were chosen on the basis that one of them clearly represents a social taboo in a Swedish context while the other does not. Hence, letting the teacher students respond to both these examples allows us to get an indication of whether there is any significant difference in their response to an example evoking a strong emotional reaction as opposed to a more neutral example.

    We present our investigation and discuss the results, which show that the respondents in the more neutral case generally seem to make motivated judgments and in the more provoking case generally seem to rely on gut feelings. If these results can be taken as an indication of how teacher students and teachers tend to respond to real life situations, we argue, they generally have good chances of approaching ethical problems in a professional way. However, a provoking or emotionally laden context enhances the risk of making ethical choices which are not based on professional reasoning.

    We argue that these results indicate a need for teachers and teacher students to consciously reflect on their values and methods for approaching ethical problems.

  • 32.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University.
    Teaching Ethics to Non-Philosophy Students2017In: Abstract Book: 19th Annual International Conference on Education 15-18 May 2017, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2017, p. 185-186Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is not only philosophy students who read ethics in universities and colleges. Nor are they the only ones who have reason to do so. Dealing with ethical issues is a central aspect of many professions, and hence e.g. teacher students, engineering students, police students, medicine students, social worker students and research students are commonly taught ethics within their educational programs, just to mention some.

    In this paper we address the question of how ethics is most appropriately taught to such “non-philosophy” student groups – on a general level, that is; of course there may be important differences between these various professions and areas of study, calling for partly different approaches to teaching ethics.

    The standard way to introduce ethics to non-philosophy students is doubtlessly to present and briefly explain a number of ethical theories (or kinds of theory), such as utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, virtue ethics and moral pluralism. And indeed, most introductory books to ethics adopt this approach, be it general introductions or introductions specialized towards a specific profession or subject matter.

    We refer to this approach as the “smorgasbord approach” to teaching ethics, due to the false impression that it is likely to make on non-philosophy students approaching ethics as an academic discipline for the first time. This approach invites the conception that adopting an ethical position is mainly a matter of simply choosing from this smorgasbord of different theories.

    We find this approach problematic for several reasons:

    To start with, it tends to misrepresent the field of ethics as well as ethical reasoning. These students generally lack the prerequisites required to critically examine and evaluate these theories, to understand the different motivations behind them, and to put them in context. Indeed, it is even difficult, given the usually quite limited time frame for such courses, to give the students an appropriate understanding of what these theories really are theories about. To get a thorough enough understanding of the field for it to be meaningful to focus on ethical theories in introducing non-philosophy students to ethics would require a much more comprehensive ethics education than what there is usually room for within the kinds of educational program mentioned above.

    Furthermore, the smorgasbord approach is likely to be infeasible. How is such an approach supposed to aid the students in practical decision-making – which, first and foremost, is the rational for having them take ethics courses in the first place? Which of these theories should they apply, and why? The different theories give different verdicts in most tricky cases, and these students lack the background knowledge required to critically choose between them. Nor is it obvious that it is desirable to choose one such theory and then apply it in one’s practical reasoning.

    In light of these problematic features of a smorgasbord approach to teaching ethics we suggest a methodology-based approach as a more fruitful alternative. Instead of presenting a list of theories this approach focuses on conveying basic methods for ethical reasoning. We argue that there is almost unanimous agreement among moral philosophers (at least within a broadly analytical tradition) as regards certain basic methods for ethical reasoning, even if these methods are rarely explicitly formulated. These methods can be summarized roughly under three main headings: information, vividness and coherence.

    The main purpose of this paper is to explain and defend the methodological approach to teaching ethics to non-philosophy students. In doing so we also consider and reply to some possible expected objections to this approach.

    Lastly we consider whether the approach should be complemented in some way. One useful complement, we think – if the time and space in the educational program in question allows it – is to bring up the question of character traits – what kind of person one should be.

  • 33.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University.
    Teaching Ethics to Non-Philosophy Students: A Methods-Based Approach2017In: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2017, p. 1-17, article id EDU2017-2338Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dealing with ethical issues is a central aspect of many professions. Consequently, ethics is taught to diverse student groups in universities and colleges, alongside philosophy students. In this paper, we address the question of how ethics is best taught to such “non-philosophy” student groups. The standard way of introducing ethics to non-philosophy students is to present them with a set of moral theories. We refer to this approach as the “smorgasbord approach”, due to the impression it is likely to make on non-philosophy students approaching ethics as an academic discipline for the first time. This approach invites the assumption that adopting an ethical position is mainly a matter of choosing from this smorgasbord of different theories. We argue that this approach is problematic for several reasons, both theoretical and practical, and we suggest a methodsbased approach – focusing on methods for moral reasoning – as a more fruitful alternative. The main purpose of this paper is to explain and defend this methods-based approach to teaching ethics to non-philosophy students. In so doing, we also consider and meet some expected objections to this approach.

  • 34.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Traditional vs secular: Which values are reproduced in Swedish teacher education?2015In: XIII Nordic Conference on Religious Education: Shifting borders in Religious Education / [ed] Olga Schihalejev, Tartu: University of Tartu, 2015, p. 17-17Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using the World Values Survey (WVS) as a background the paper discusses a tension between generally shared values among Swedish teacher students and the educational values established by The Swedish National Agency for Education (SNAE). WVS (2014) maps evaluative differences between countries based on the extent to which their populations embrace non-secular traditional values, e.g. nation and religion, and secular self-expression values, e.g. individual choice and responsibility. Sweden stands out as a country that rejects traditional values and embraces selfexpression values (Inglehart 2006). The educational values established by SNAE (2011) include both traditional values, such as “sharing a common cultural heritage”, and self-expression values, such as “individual freedom and integrity”. However, according to WVS the former values are gravely underrepresented in the Swedish population, generally. Against this background, we investigated the evaluative outlook of 153 teacher students. The result indicates that these students do not differ in any significant respect from the population in general as regards secular vs traditional evaluations. An important upshot of this result is that the traditional values emphasized by SNAE are scarcely represented among the teacher students, which makes it questionable whether they will be present in their future teaching. It is a widely accepted idea that teachers tend to reproduce a set of values in their pedagogical practice, consciously and unconsciously, dependent on their own background, resulting in shared ways of thinking, valuing and acting (Bourdieu 1970). Given that there are important educational values among the traditional as well as the self-expression values the imbalance of the evaluative outlook of the students is especially troubling from the sociocultural perspective emphasized in the official documents, where learning is considered to be an essentially social process and not just an individual affair.

  • 35.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Rist, Lucy
    Stakeholder Participation as a Means to Produce Morally Justified Environmental Decisions2016In: Ethics, Policy & Environment, ISSN 2155-0085, E-ISSN 2155-0093, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 76-90Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Stakeholder participation is an increasingly popular ingredient within environmental management and decision-making. While much has been written about its purported benefits, a question that has been largely neglected is whether decision-making informed through stakeholder participation is actually likely to yield decisions that are morally justified in their own right. Using moral methodology as a starting point, we argue that stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making (if adequately designed) may indeed be an appropriate means to produce morally justified decisions, the reason being that such participation may constitute an efficient way to satisfy the standard requirements on moral reasoning and moral justification. This finding also emphasizes the importance of identifying those settings most conducive to allowing different stakeholders to both challenge each other’s arguments and to adopt each other’s perspectives in order to make effective use of participation in environmental decision-making for the purpose of reaching morally justified decisions.

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