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  • 1.
    Abdallah, Wissam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Vad är rättvisa?: En undersökning om vem eller vilka Platons teori riktar sig till2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Plato´s Republic is maybe the most widely read philosophical work of all times. It is the earliest surviving, systematic utopia in Europe´s history and continues to inspire people today. But who did Plato want to address with his work and why? In this paper I will discuss these issues. My thesis is that Plato wanted to direct his Republic to people, men and women, who have a good character and love wisdom in order to make them to think radically differently from the traditional norms. If these would-be philosophers could challenge the old-fashioned way of seeing things they could take the lead to establish a just society. I will also discuss critically two alternative approaches from other philosophers.

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  • 2.
    Abreu Zavaleta, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Disagreement Lost2021In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 199, no 1-2, p. 1899-1932Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper develops a puzzle about non-merely-verbal disputes. At first sight, it would seem that a dispute over the truth of an utterance is not merely verbal only if there is a proposition that the parties to the dispute take the utterance under dispute to express, which one of the parties accepts and the other rejects. Yet, as I argue, it is extremely rare for ordinary disputes over an utterance’s truth to satisfy this condition, in which case non-merely verbal disputes are extremely rare. After examining various responses to the puzzle, I outline a solution using the framework of truthmaker semantics.

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  • 3.
    Abreu Zavaleta, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Gómez-Torrente on reference to ordinary substances2020In: Manuscrito, ISSN 0100-6045, E-ISSN 2317-630X, Vol. 43, no 4, p. 97-107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to the Kripke-Putnam orthodoxy, a term like 'water' refers to samples of the same substance as the items on the basis of which the term was introduced. However, observations due to Needham (2000) and Leslie (2013) cast doubt on the idea that there is a uniquely privileged notion of substance relevant to the determination of reference, in which case it would seem at best indeterminate what the word `water' refers to. In response to this problem, Gómez-Torrente (2019) has argued that there is a privileged notion of substance that plays a role in the determination of reference, namely, the ordinary notion of substance. This paper argues that Gómez-Torrente's proposal is not successful. Contrary to what Gómez-Torrente supposes, there is no uniquely privileged ordinary notion of substance; rather, there are many notions of substance compatible with the meaning of 'substance' none of which seems privileged over the rest.

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  • 4.
    Agamalova, Medeya
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Klimat och Rättvisa: Varierande grader av utsatthet för klimatförändringar2021Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely recognized that changes in climate have an effect on people all around the world.There is also data supporting the claim that people are affected differently based on their ability (or lack thereof) to handle the imposed risks. The degree of ability can also determine whether adaptation and mitigation measures will be successful. This thesis discusses a few climate justice theories and principles to settle on those that can handle the variety in degrees of imposed risks. Arguments against isolated treatment of greenhouse gas emissions are drawn from discussion of the per capita principle. It is also argued that ideas about justice ought to be included into the theories and principles which guide international agreements. It is also shown that the absence of an account of historical responsibility ignores important considerations. Arguments against the rival account of Posner and Weisbach further strengthens the defended view.

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  • 5.
    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 0138-9130, E-ISSN 1588-2861, Vol. 103, no 1, p. 47-73Article 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.

  • 6.
    Algander, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Anders Hansson, Vad är fel med ojämlikhet?2023In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, no 1, p. 43-45Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 7.
    Algander, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Bör vi skapa lyckliga människor?2023In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 21-31Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Algander, Per
    Nova Institute of Philosophy, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal..
    Comment on Brown and Savulescu2019In: Journal of Medical Ethics, ISSN 0306-6800, E-ISSN 1473-4257, Vol. 45, no 10, p. 645-645Article in journal (Other academic)
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  • 9.
    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
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  • 10.
    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
  • 11.
    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
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  • 12.
    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.

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  • 13.
    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, p. 18-26Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 14.
    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, p. 13-18Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    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, p. 42-52Chapter 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.

  • 16.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Karl Popper und seine Kritiker: Kuhn, Feyerabend und Lakatos2019In: Handbuch Karl Popper / [ed] Giuseppe Franco, Wiesbaden: Springer, 2019, p. 717-731Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Investigation of the criticism of Popper's philosophy of science from the point of view of the history of science. Is is shown how this criticism can be answered with the help of basic ideas in critical rationalism.

  • 17.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Karl Popper und seine Kritiker: Kuhn, Feyerabend und Lakatos2018In: Handbuch Karl Popper / [ed] Giuseppe Franco, Wiesbaden: Springer, 2018Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [de]

    Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend und Imre Lakatos kritisieren Poppers Wissenschaftsauffassung mit den Argumenten, dass die Erfahrung keine sichere Grundlage für Falsifikationen von Theorien gibt, und dass falsifizierte Theorien in der Wissenschaftsgeschichte selten vollständig aufgegeben werden. Es wird gezeigt, dass eine kritische Diskussion von fehlbaren Prüfsätzen möglich ist, und dass es nicht notwendig ist, falsifizierte Theorien vollständig aufzugeben. Mit diesen Argumenten kann Kuhns, Feyerabends und Lakatos’ Kritik zurückgewiesen werden.

  • 18.
    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, p. 75-90Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Andersson, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Kritische Prüfung und Erkenntnisfortschritt2019In: Begegnungen mit Hans Albert: Eine Hommage / [ed] Giuseppe Franco, Wiesbaden: Springer, 2019, p. 23-28Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [de]

    Als Student der Wissenschaftstheorie an der Universität Göteborg in Schweden Ende der sechziger Jahre habe ich zum ersten Mal Karl Poppers Logik der Forschung und Hans Alberts Traktat über kritische Vernunft gelesen. Dieser erste Kontakt mit der Philosophie des Kritischen Rationalismus hat einen tiefen Eindruck bei mir hinterlassen. Besonders aufschlussreich fand ich Alberts Ausführungen über das Prinzip der zureichenden Begründung und das Prinzip der kritischen Prüfung. Albert zeigt, dass das Prinzip der zureichenden Begründung zu einem Trilemma (dem Münchhausentrilemma) führt, während das Prinzip der kritischen Prüfung es ermöglicht, das Trilemma zu vermeiden und Erkenntnisfortschritt zu erzielen.

  • 20.
    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, p. 324-332Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 21.
    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, p. 115-119Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 22.
    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, p. 33-39Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 23.
    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, p. 177-183Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Andersson, Julia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Hur evolutionär är den undergrävande förklaringen?2022Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Although there is no consensus among biologists as to whether human behaviour can beexplained by evolution, there are a number of theories and models in different fields ofresearch that aim to do just that. Philosophy is no exception. In metaethics, evolutionarybiology is used to formulate an evolutionary debunking explanation. This skepticalepistemological tool is used to show that if evolution has, in some way, affected humanmorality, then we cannot have true justified belief in moral matters.An ongoing debate about the evolutionary debunking explanation is about howmuch empirical detail the evolutionary debunking explanation can demand. With this paper, Iwant to examine how philosophers writing about the evolutionary debunking explanation useevolutionary biology, as well as how much evolutionary biology is required for theevolutionary debunking explanation to be valid. I will argue that it is possible to identifythree difficulties in using evolutionary biology to formulate a philosophical tool.

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  • 25.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Eriksson, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Stillesjö, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Juslin, Peter
    Nyberg, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI).
    Karlsson Wirebring, Linnea
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Neurocognitive processes underlying heuristic and normative probability judgments2020In: Cognition, ISSN 0010-0277, E-ISSN 1873-7838, Vol. 196, p. 1-7, article id 104153Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Judging two events in combination (A&B) as more probable than one of the events (A) is known as a conjunction fallacy. According to dual-process explanations of human judgment and decision making, the fallacy is due to the application of a heuristic, associative cognitive process. Avoiding the fallacy has been suggested to require the recruitment of a separate process that can apply normative rules. We investigated these assumptions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during conjunction tasks. Judgments, whether correct or not, engaged a network of brain regions identical to that engaged during similarity judgments. Avoidance of the conjunction fallacy additionally, and uniquely, involved a fronto-parietal network previously linked to supervisory, analytic control processes. The results lend credibility to the idea that incorrect probability judgments are the result of a representativeness heuristic that requires additional neurocognitive resources to avoid.

  • 26.
    Anneborg, Raymond
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Human Brains and Thinking Machines: Artificial Soul, Life and Consciousness2022Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I examine if strong artificial intelligence can be achieved or not. Can machines have a mind, be conscious, think and have subjective experiences, just like a human? I analyze David Chalmers arguments supporting the possibility of strong AI and conclude that his emulation argument and principle of organizational invariance is not a sufficient condition for strong AI. Instead, I defend the thesis that life is a necessary condition for any conscious agent, human or machine (or other), to have a mind, be able to think and have subjective experiences. I revisit the ideas of the soul and of vitalism and the need for a life force energy, an élan vital as introduced by Henri Bergson. In the investigation of life I also examine if strong artificial life can be achieved or not, since this would be a prerequisite for strong AI.

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  • 27.
    Astudillo, Jacob
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Domenic D'Ettore. Analogy After Aquinas: Logical Problems, Thomistic Answers. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press. 2019. 205 s.2019In: Svensk teologisk kvartalskrift, ISSN 0039-6761, Vol. 95, no 4, p. 289-291Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 28.
    Astudillo, Jacob
    Lunds universitet.
    Gud, metafysik och ontoteologi2020In: Svensk teologisk kvartalskrift, ISSN 0039-6761, Vol. 96, no 2, p. 159-171Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyzes the use of metaphysics to speak of God within theology. More specifically, the charge of ontotheology levelled against Thomas Aquinas, in particular by Jean-Luc Marion and John Caputo, are being analyzed and criticized, not only with the help of thinkers like John Knasas and W. Norris Clarke, but also Marion himself. Because this article also examines the change of heart that Marion had about Aquinas's metaphysics during the 1990s, his position now being that Aquinas was not a producer of ontotheology. However, the article also asks a specific question of whether there can be a metaphysics that safeguards an objective standard for our knowledge and assertions, but that does not reduce the divine mystery to the categories of human reason, something that ontotheology allegedly does. With this question in mind, I examine Erich Przywara's version of the doctrine of the analogy of being, that he derived from Aquinas, and which he developed, at least in part, to answer Karl Barth's criticism against this doctrine. I look specifically at his idea of essence in-and-beyond existence, which describes a dynamic in our ontological constitution that Przywara sees as fundamental for all contingent existence. Other parts of his doctrine that are mentioned are the difference between "philosophical metaphysics" and "theological metaphysics" and the idea of the principle of non-contradiction as "negative reductive formality". My conclusion is that although Przywara's doctrine avoids the charge of ontotheology, it does not suffice as a metaphysic that offers an objective standard.

  • 29.
    Baledi, Amin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On Nondomination: A comparative study on the distinctiveness and the preferability of freedom as nondomination vis-à-vis freedom as noninterference2021Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The recent years have seen the revival of neo-Roman republicanism through the works of Philip Pettit, who has replaced Isaiah Berlin’s taxonomy of positive/negative liberty with freedom as nondomination. This essay compares the neo-Roman conception of nondomination to the liberal conception of noninterference, with the purpose of clarifying whether nondomination is a distinct concept of liberty and preferable to that of noninterference. The essay highlights the exchange between Pettit/Skinner and Carter/Kramer, wherein Carter and Kramer make their case for ‘pure negative liberty’, which is claimed to be the proper articulation of negative liberty. Pure-negative theorists believe that nondomination is a strand of negative liberty, adding nothing new to the concept, whereas their republican counterparts disagree. My essay argues that nondomination is a distinct, preferable concept of liberty, thanks to its view on fundamental unfreedom and the mere presence of arbitrary power, which the pure negative view fails to account for satisfactorily.

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  • 30.
    Ball, Derek
    et al.
    Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews, Edgecliffe, The Scores, St Andrews,Fife, United Kingdom.
    Huvenes, Torfinn Thomesen
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    A puzzle about accommodation and truth2022In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883, Vol. 179, p. 759-776Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss a puzzle involving accommodation. The puzzle is based on three assumptions. The first assumption is that accommodation takes place after an utterance. The second assumption is that accommodation can make a difference to the truth-value of an utterance even if the utterance is not about the future. The third assumption is that something that takes place after an utterance cannot make a difference to the truth-value of the utterance unless the utterance is about the future. Since these assumptions are jointly inconsistent, one of them must be false. The question is which one we ought to reject. The majority of the discussion is devoted to discussing each of the options, and the tentative conclusion is that the most plausible strategy is to reject the third thesis. That amounts to saying that something that takes place after an utterance can make a difference to the truth-value of the utterance even if the utterance is not about the future.

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  • 31.
    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.

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  • 32.
    Beckman, Emma
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Mistaken morality?: an essay on moral error theory2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation explores arguments and questions related to moral error theory – the idea that morality inevitably involves a fundamental and serious error such that moral judgments and statements never come out true. It is suggested that the truth of error theory remains a non-negligible possibility, and that we for this reason should take a version of moral fictionalism seriously.

    I begin by defining error theory as the claim that moral judgments are beliefs with moral propositions as content, moral utterances are assertions of moral propositions, and no positive moral proposition is true. Second, after giving an account of J.L. Mackie’s error theory, I argue that neither Richard Joyce’s nor Jonas Olson’s argument for error theory gives us strong reasons to believe it. According to Joyce, moral discourse presupposes non-institutional desire-transcendent reasons and non-institutional categorical requirements. I challenge this claim by arguing that morality can be understood as an institution, and that the assumption that there are non-institutional moral reasons and requirements can be understood as entering pragmatically into moral conversations. According to Olson, moral discourse involves a commitment to irreducibly normative favoring relations between facts and actions. I challenge this claim by challenging Olson’s response to Stephen Finlay’s argument against absolutist accounts of moral discourse.

    Third, I discuss two objections to error theory, and argue that neither gives us strong reasons to reject it. According to the first objection, which is suggested by Terence Cuneo, error theory entails epistemic error theory, which has problematic consequences. After indicating some possible responses on part of the epistemic error theorist, I challenge the entailment claim by defending Hilary Kornblith’s account of epistemic reasons as hypothetical reasons. According to the second objection, error theory entails normative error theory, which cannot be believed. Although he does not defend this objection, Bart Streumer has given an argument for the unbelievability claim. I challenge Streumer’s argument by suggesting that we might have hypothetical reasons to believe normative error theory and that, properly understood, Streumer’s conclusion is not as radical as it may first appear.

    Fourth, I discuss what practical implications the discovery that error theory is true would have for first-order moral thinking and discourse. I argue that if this practice is overall non-morally valuable to us, we ought to revise engagement in it on the model of role-playing in live action role-playing games if we find out that error theory is true. Some have claimed that Richard Joyce’s fictionalism encounters (prima facie) problems. I argue that by incorporating the suggestion that engagement in revised moral practice is modeled on role-playing, fictionalism can escape these problems and preserve the benefits of first-order moral practice.

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  • 33.
    Beran, Tâm
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Can I and AI be Friends?: Robots and personal relationships2020Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    To exist is to relate. As human, you are relating to other beings, animate and inanimate entities, physical objects and abstract ideas. A kind of relationship that affects our life and wellbeing in a most concrete sense is that between humans. Modern technology has made it possible to create artificial intelligence (AI) that has become increasingly integrated in our everyday life. AI can be distinguished between weak or strong, that is whether the AI appears to have human mental capacities or in fact has these capacities. The aim of this thesis is to determine whether AI and humans can be friends, based on the condition of them having equal moral status, as well as the concept of friendship as defined by LaFollette. According to LaFollette, a friendship is defined as a relationship that is voluntary, reciprocal and where you relate to each other as unique individuals.

     

    If considering life as essential for moral status, true friendship is not possible between a human and an AI, weak or strong. Other criteria for moral status are the capacity of feeling pleasure and pain, being conscious and having a mind. Although weak AI would behave as if it has human mental capacities, it cannot have the same moral status as humans, and consequently cannot be involved in a genuine friendship in this framework. On the other hand, a strong AI would have equal moral status as a human, and a relationship with such an AI would have all the essential properties required for a friendship as defined by LaFollette. However, from a subjective point of view, it is possible to create unidirectional emotions towards an AI regardless of it having a mind or not.

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  • 34.
    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.

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  • 35.
    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, p. 3-7Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 36.
    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
  • 37.
    Bergman, Karl Gustav
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Box 627, Uppsala, Sweden; Universitat de Barcelona, Montalegre 6, Barcelona, Spain.
    Franzén, Nils
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The force of fictional discourse2022In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 200, no 6, article id 474Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Consider the opening sentence of Tolkien's The Hobbit: (1) In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. By writing this sentence, Tolkien is making a fictional statement. There are two influential views of the nature of such statements. On the pretense view, fictional discourse amounts to pretend assertions. Since the author is not really asserting, but merely pretending, a statement such as Tolkien's is devoid of illocutionary force altogether. By contrast, on the alternative make-believe view, fictional discourse prescribes that the reader make-believe the content of the statement. In this paper, we argue that neither of these views is satisfactory. They both fail to distinguish the linguistic act of creating the fiction, for instance Tolkien writing the sentence above, from the linguistic act of reciting it, such as reading The Hobbit out loud for your children. As an alternative to these views, we propose that the essential feature of the author's speech act is its productive character, that it makes some state of affairs obtain in the fiction. Tolkien's statement, we argue, has the illocutionary force of a declaration.

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  • 38.
    Bergqvist Karlsson, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Om fenomenell kunskap och Förmågehypotesen: Information eller förmåga – vad lär vi oss när vi får en ny upplevelse?2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Physicalism concerning the phenomenal consciousness; the view that it is entirely physical,stands in contrast with various versions of dualism, which claims that consciousness isirreducibly non-physical.Frank Jackson has presented the so-called knowledge argument against physicalism. Becausewe do learn something new upon having a new experience, and because this something cannotbe learned any other way than to have the experience, the knowledge argument concludes thatthere are non-physical facts about the world. Hence, physicalism is false.The Ability Hypothesis is a response to the knowledge argument presented by David Lewis andLaurence Nemirow. They argue that what we learn upon having a new experience is nothingbut a set of abilities. Hence, the conclusion of the knowledge argument that there are nonphysicalfacts about the world, is false.The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the Ability Hypothesis constitutes a viabledefense for physicalism against the knowledge argument. To accomplish this, I evaluate fiveobjections that have been raised against the Ability Hypothesis and the answers to thesepresented by Nemirow. I will argue that two of these objections point to problems with theAbility Hypothesis which cannot be solved, and I therefore conclude that the Ability Hypothesisis unable to defend physicalism against Jacksons knowledge argument

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  • 39.
    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
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  • 40.
    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.

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  • 41.
    Björklund, Samuel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Omsorgsetiken som moralteori: En feministisk teori om omsorg2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay I will defend Nel Noddings care ethics by arguing against Michael Slotes critique of it, while also presenting critique of Slotes virtue ethical version of care ethics. The essential difference between the theories is in my opinion that Noddings theory gives relations so-called ontological priority. I will be arguing that the relational ontology vies better guidance in care situations, but it is also preferrable as an metaethical fundament. I will do this by presenting a situation where Slotes virtue ethics judges an act as caring, even though that’s not necessarily the case. I will then argue that Noddings care ethics demands a more amplie picture of the situation and therefore also gives better guidance, which I argue is valid generally in moral practice. In this essay I will also present arguments against Slote by bringing to light how the feasability of his arguments and theory presupposes a so-called individualistic ontologi (unlike Noddings relational ontology). A relational ontology presupposes a relation between two (or more) individuals in a situation, while the individualistic doesn’t consider that fact. The relational ontology is important for most of care ethics advocates, which is why I contend that Noddings theory is to prefer ahead of Slotes theory. Therefore I argue for using the relational ontology also as a metaethical foundation.

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  • 42.
    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.

  • 43.
    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.

  • 44.
    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, p. 367-393Article 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.

  • 45.
    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, p. 103-120Article in journal (Refereed)
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  • 46.
    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.

  • 47.
    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.

  • 48.
    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, p. 95-122Chapter 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.

  • 49.
    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, p. 3-11Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 50.
    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, p. 637-653Article 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.

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