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  • 1.
    Chappell, Zsuzsanna
    et al.
    Independent, London, UK.
    Jeppsson, Sofia M. I.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Recovery without normalisation: It's not necessary to be normal, not even in psychiatry2023In: Clinical Ethics, ISSN 1477-7509, E-ISSN 1758-101X, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 298-305Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we argue that there are reasons to believe that an implicit bias for normalcy influences what are considered medically necessary treatments in psychiatry. First, we outline two prima facie reasons to suspect that this is the case. A bias for "the normal" is already documented in disability studies; it is reasonable to suspect that it affects psychiatry too, since psychiatric patients, like disabled people, are often perceived as "weird" by others. Secondly, psychiatry's explicitly endorsed values of well-being and function are hard to measure directly, which is why we see simpler box-ticking conceptions of recovery used in large research studies. This need not be problematic, but might lead to researchers and clinicians focusing too much on treatments that promote easy-to-measure proxies for recovery, instead of what actually matters to psychiatric patients themselves. Next, we provide examples of treatments and treatment decisions within two areas - self-injury and psychosis - which are hard to explain unless we assume that an implicit and harmful normalcy bias is at work. We conclude with some suggestions for clinicians and future research.

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  • 2.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    A wide-enough range of 'test environments' for psychiatric disabilities2023In: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, ISSN 1358-2461, Vol. 94, p. 39-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The medical and social model of disability is discussed and debated among researchers, scholars, activists, and people in general. It is common to hold a mixed view, and believe that some disabled people suffer more from social obstacles and others from medical problems inherent in their bodies or minds. Rachel Cooper discusses possible 'test environments', making explicit an idea which likely plays an implicit part in many disability discussions. We place or imagine placing the disabled person in a range of different environments; if there is a relevant test environment in which they do fine, their problem was societal/external, if there is not, it was medical/internal. Cooper admits that deciding on the appropriate range of test environments is an ethical and political question. In this chapter, I argue that we often ought to widen our scope when discussing psychiatric disabilities.

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  • 3.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Accountability, answerability and attributability: on different kinds of moral responsibility2022In: The Oxford handbook of moral responsibility / [ed] Dana Kay Nelkin; Derk Pereboom, New York: Oxford University Press, 2022, p. 73-88Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 4. Jeppsson, Sofia
    Accountability, Answerability and Freedom2016In: Social Theory and Practice, ISSN 0037-802X, E-ISSN 2154-123X, Vol. 42, no 4, p. 681-705Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been argued that we cannot be morally responsible in the sense required to deserve blame or punishment if the world is deterministic, but still morally responsible in the sense of being apt targets for moral criticism. Desert-entailing moral responsibility is supposed to be more freedom-demanding than other kinds of responsibility, since it justifies subjecting people to blame and punishments, is nonconsequentialist, and has been shown by thought experiments to be incompatible with determinism. In this paper, I will show that all these arguments can be resisted.

  • 5.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. Umeå University.
    Agency and responsibility: the personal and the political2023In: Philosophical Issues, ISSN 1533-6077, E-ISSN 1758-2237, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 70-82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I review arguments according to which harsh criminal punishments and poverty are undeserved and therefore unjust. Such arguments come in different forms. First, one may argue that no one deserves to be poor or be punished, because there is no such thing as desert-entailing moral responsibility. Second, one may argue that poor people in particular do not deserve to remain in poverty or to be punished if they commit crimes, because poor people suffer from psychological problems that undermine their agency and moral responsibility. Third, one may argue that poor and otherwise marginalized people frequently face external obstacles that prevent them from taking alternative courses of action. The first kind of argument has its place in the philosophy seminar. Psychological difficulties may be important to attend to both in personal relationships and when holding ourselves responsible. Nevertheless, I argue that neither type of argument belongs in political contexts. Moral responsibility scepticism ultimately rests on contested intuitions. Labelling certain groups of people particularly irrational, weak-willed, or similar is belittling and disrespectful; such claims are also hard to prove, and may have the opposite effect to the intended one on people's attitudes. Arguments from external obstacles have none of these problems. Such arguments may not take us all the way to criminal justice reform, but in this context, we can supplement them with epistemic arguments and crime prevention arguments.

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  • 6.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Allegedly impossible experiences2024In: Philosophical Psychology, ISSN 0951-5089, E-ISSN 1465-394XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I will argue for two interrelated theses. First, if we take phenomenological psychopathology seriously, and want to understand what it is like to undergo various psychopathological experiences, we cannot treat madpeople’s testimony as mere data for sane clinicians, philosophers, and other scholars to analyze and interpret. Madpeople must be involved with analysis an interpretation too. Second, sane clinicians and scholars must open their minds to the possibility that there may be experiences that other people have, which they nevertheless cannot conceive of. 

    I look at influential texts in which philosophers attempt to analyze and understand depersonalization and thought insertion. They go astray because they keep using their own powers of conceivability as a guide to what is or is not humanly possible to experience. Several experiences labelled inconceivable and therefore impossible by these philosophers, are experiences I have had myself. 

    Philosophers and others would be less likely to make this mistake if they would converse and collaborate more with the madpeople concerned. When this is not feasible, they should nevertheless strive to keep an open mind. Fantastical fiction may have a role to play here, by showing how bizarre experiences may nevertheless be prima facie conceivable. 

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  • 7.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Can we define mental health?2022Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Can we draw a line between people with psychiatric disorders and those without? If we zoom in on a single individual, can we draw a line between that which is them or their self, and that which is the psychiatric condition? Well, in a sense it’s always possible to draw a line; all you need is pen and paper. But does the line track a real distinction, a truth which is out there for us to find? Or is it a construct? In short, is the line between people with psychiatric disorders and those without, and the line between a single person’s self and their condition, more like a shoreline or like a country border? I argue for the latter. 

  • 8.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Ciurria and Strawson: how deep is the divide2022Other (Other academic)
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  • 9.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Culpability2024In: Handbook of the philosophy of medicine / [ed] Thomas Schramme; Mary Walker, Dordrecht: Springer, 2024Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People are morally responsible agents when they are sufficiently rational and in control of themselves. Morally responsible agents may or may not be morally responsible for particular actions, depending on whether they had sufficient control and the information needed in the situation at hand. We can be morally responsible for good, bad, or morally neutral actions. This chapter focuses on culpability – responsibility for bad actions. In cases of mental disorder, rationality and/or control may be diminished, and people might be unable to avail themselves of important information. Nevertheless, the exact difficulties that people struggle with vary, not only between diagnostic categories but within them as well. Culpability assessments are therefore complicated, and must ultimately be done on a case-by-case basis. Psychiatric patients who are exempted from culpability altogether, considered too irrational or out of control to be morally responsible agents at all, may feel dismissed and isolated. Moreover, culpability judgments in clinician-patient relationships are naturally quite fraught. Hierarchical relationships often result in one-sided responsibility practices. In these cases, a person in power holds another person culpable and, at the same time, dismisses attempts to be held culpable by others, most notably people subjected to their power. Finally, it is important to recognize that actions that seem strange and disturbing need not be culpable; they may be excused or even justified. 

  • 10.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Derk Pereboom, Free Will, Agency and Meaning in Life: (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 2192018In: Utilitas, ISSN 0953-8208, E-ISSN 1741-6183, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 241-244Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Det naturliga och trans2020In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 41, no 4, p. 13-19Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    En värld nu: Läsvärd och brännande, men ojämn2021In: Salongen, ISSN 2703-7053Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 13.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Flourishing Dogs: The Case for an Individualized Conception of Welfare and Its Implications2016In: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, ISSN 1187-7863, E-ISSN 1573-322X, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 425-438Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Martha Nussbaum argues that animals (including ourselves) are entitled to a flourishing life according to the norm for their species. Nussbaum furthermore suggests that in the case of dogs, breed norms as well as species norms are relevant. Her theses capture both common intuitions among laypeople according to which there is something wrong with the breeding of “unnatural” animals, or animals that are too different from their wild ancestors, and the dog enthusiast’s belief that dogs departing from the norms for their breed are tragic. I argue that the high diversity of the dog species and the ultimate arbitrariness of breed norms support the thesis that a conception of welfare must be tied to what the individual requires in order to flourish. In the second part of the paper, I discuss the implications that an individualized (but sufficiently sophisticated) welfare conception has for the breeding of dogs for conformation shows, for the pet market and for the performance of various tasks for which we need working dogs.

  • 14.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Gothenburg Responsibility Project, Department of philosophy, linguistics and theory of science, University of Gothenburg/Göteborgs Universitet, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.
    Irrational Option Exclusion2018In: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, ISSN 1386-2820, E-ISSN 1572-8447, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 537-551Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I describe a hitherto overlooked kind of practical irrationality, which I call irrational option exclusion. An agent who suffers from this problem does not merely fail to act on her best judgement – she fails to realize that the superior action is even an option for her. I furthermore argue that this kind of irrationality is serious enough to undermine moral responsibility. I show that an agent suffering from this problem has compromised reasons-responsiveness, does not really express her will through action, and has a hard time doing otherwise; thus, from the standpoint of several popular moral responsibility theories, we ought to conclude that her responsibility is at the very least diminished.

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  • 15.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine.
    Michael S. Moore: Mechanical Choices. The Responsibility of the Human Machine: New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. E-book (ISBN: 9780190864019) 589 pages.  Hardback (ISBN: 9780190863999) 616 pages2022In: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, ISSN 1386-2820, E-ISSN 1572-8447, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 499-502Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Moraliskt ansvar och mentala svårigheter2021Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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  • 17.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    My strategies for dealing with radical psychotic doubt: a schizo-something philosopher’s tale2023In: Schizophrenia Bulletin, ISSN 0586-7614, E-ISSN 1745-1701, Vol. 49, no 5, p. 1097-1098Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A short autobiographical piece on different coping strategies for handling psychosis symptoms.

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  • 18.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Box 100, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden; Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden.
    Non-Elusive Freedom Contextualism2016In: Philosophia, ISSN 0048-3893, E-ISSN 1574-9274, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 793-808Article, book review (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There are powerful arguments for free will scepticism. However, it seems obvious that some of our actions are done of our own free will. It has been argued that we can solve this puzzle by giving ‘free’ a contextualist analysis. In everyday contexts we are often allowed to ignore sceptical arguments, and can truly say that we acted freely. In the more demanding context of philosophy, it is true that we never do anything freely. Our freedom is elusive; it escapes us as soon as sceptical arguments are brought up. This kind of freedom contextualism has been criticized for conceding too much to the sceptic. Furthermore, it has problematic implications for moral responsibility. I develop an alternative contextualist analysis of ‘free’, according to which it is proper in certain contexts to ignore sceptical arguments even if they are brought up. Ignoring them is proper when doing so is necessary for engaging in an activity that is obviously justified. I argue that engaging in deliberation and inter-agential interaction with other people are obviously justified activities that require ignoring sceptical arguments. In these contexts, we do have a non-elusive kind of freedom.

    John Hawthorne and Steven Rieber suggest that ‘freedom’ might be given a contextualist analysis, analogous to David Lewis’ contextualist analysis of ‘knowledge’. In this paper, I identify the main problems with their analysis, and show how these problems can be avoided by a freedom contextualism based on the epistemological contextualism of Michael Williams.

  • 19.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine.
    Obesity and Obligation2015In: Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal (Print), ISSN 1054-6863, E-ISSN 1086-3249, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 89-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The belief that obese people ought to lose weight and keep it off is widespread, and has a profound negative impact on the lives of the obese. I argue in this paper that most obese people have no such obligation, even if obesity is bad, and caused by calorie input exceeding output. Obese people do not have an obligation to achieve long-term weight loss if this is impossible for them, is worse than the alternative, or requires such an enormous effort in relation to what stands to be gained that this option is supererogatory rather than obligatory. It is highly plausible that most obese people fall into one of these three groups. Politicians may still have obligations to fight obesity, but they ought to do so through progressive politics rather than blaming and shaming.

  • 20. Jeppsson, Sofia
    Obesity and Obligation2015In: Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal (Print), ISSN 1054-6863, E-ISSN 1086-3249, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 89-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The belief that obese people ought to lose weight and keep it off is widespread, and has a profound negative impact on the lives of the obese. I argue in this paper that most obese people have no such obligation, even if obesity is bad, and caused by calorie input exceeding output. Obese people do not have an obligation to achieve long-term weight loss if this is impossible for them, is worse than the alternative, or requires such an enormous effort in relation to what stands to be gained that this option is supererogatory rather than obligatory. It is highly plausible that most obese people fall into one of these three groups. Politicians may still have obligations to fight obesity, but they ought to do so through progressive politics rather than blaming and shaming.

  • 21.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Psychosis and Intelligibility2021In: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, ISSN 1071-6076, E-ISSN 1086-3303, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 233-249Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When interacting with other people, we assume that they have their reasons for what they do and believe, and experience recognizable feelings and emotions. When people act from weakness of will or are otherwise irrational, what they do can still be comprehensible to us, since we know what it is like to fall for temptation and act against one’s better judgment. Still, when someone’s experiences, feelings and way of thinking is vastly different from our own, understanding them becomes increasingly difficult. Delusions and psychosis are often seen as marking the end of intelligibility. In this article, I argue first for the importance of seeing other people as intelligible as long as this is at all possible. Second, I argue, based on both previous literature and my own lived experience, that more psychotic phenomena than previously thought can be rendered at least somewhat intelligible. Besides bizarre experiences like illusions, hallucinations, and intense feelings of significance, I also explain what it is like to lose one’s bedrock, and how this loss impacts which beliefs one has reason to reject. Finally, I give an inside account of some disturbances of reason, and show that there are important similarities between certain psychotic reasoning problems and common non-pathological phenomena.

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  • 22.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Stockholm University.
    Purebred Dogs and Canine Wellbeing2014In: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, ISSN 1187-7863, E-ISSN 1573-322X, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 417-430Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Breeders of purebred dogs usually have several goals they want to accomplish, of which canine wellbeing is one. The purpose of this article is to investigate what we ought to do given this goal. Breeders typically think that they fulfil their wellbeing-related duties by doing the best they can within their breed of choice. However, it is true of most breeders that they could produce physically and mentally healthier dogs if they switched to a healthier breed. There are a few breeds that are healthier than other breeds as well as mutts; we could maximize wellbeing for the next generations by focusing all our breeding resources on those. However, in the long run such a strategy would severely deplete the canine gene pool. If we are to breed for wellbeing in the long run, we must thus weigh the benefits of selection against physical and mental problems against the benefits of genetic diversity. The optimal breeding strategy for canine wellbeing is to preserve many breeds, though not all of them. Furthermore, we ought to combine strict health programs with looser barriers between breeds. Such a policy conflicts with the goal of breed preservation, at least if we think of breeds as populations registered within kennel clubs rather than types of dogs, but not with the goal of producing good working dogs capable of performing various tasks.

  • 23.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Radical psychotic doubt and epistemology2023In: Philosophical Psychology, ISSN 0951-5089, E-ISSN 1465-394X, Vol. 36, no 8, p. 1482-1506Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Wouter Kusters argues that madness has much to offer philosophy, as does philosophy to madness. In this paper, i support both claims by drawing on a mad phenomenon which I label Radical Psychotic Doubt, or RPD. First, although skepticism is a minority position in epistemology, it has been claimed that anti-skeptical arguments remain unsatisfying. I argue that this complaint can be clarified and strengthened by showing that anti-skeptical arguments are irrelevant to RPD sufferers. Second, there's a debate about whether so-called hinge commitments are beliefs or not. I argue that RPD can be used to strengthen the case that they are. Moreover, if hinges are beliefs, some madpeople are more epistemically rational than some sane philosophers. Third, drawing on my own mad experiences, I challenge evidentialism by presenting a better candidate for a truly forced cchoice about what to believe than William James' traditional religious example. I further show that in certain psychiatric contexts, evidentialism has more radical implications than Jamesian pragmatism, which comes out as more conservative. Finally, I discuss how philosophical theories like pragmatism and Pyrrhonism can provide inspiration for new and much-needed coping strategies for RPD sufferers.

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  • 24.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, S-405 30 Gothenburg, SE, Sweden.
    Reasons, Determinism and the Ability to Do Otherwise2016In: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, ISSN 1386-2820, E-ISSN 1572-8447, Vol. 19, no 5, p. 1225-1240Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been argued that in a deterministic universe, no one has any reason to do anything. Since we ought to do what we have most reason to do, no one ought to do anything either. Firstly, it is argued that an agent cannot have reason to do anything unless she can do otherwise; secondly, that the relevant ‘can’ is incompatibilist. In this paper, I argue that even if the first step of the argument for reason incompatibilism succeeds, the second one does not. It is argued that reasons require alternative possibilities, because reasons are action-guiding. A supposed reason to do the impossible, or to do what was inevitable anyway, could not fill this function. I discuss different interpretations of the claim that reasons are action-guiding, and show that according to one interpretation it is sufficient that the agent believes that she has several alternative options. According to other interpretations, the agent must really have alternative options, but only in a compatibilist sense. I suggest that an interpretation of action-guidance according to which reasons can only guide actions when we have several options open to us in an incompatibilist sense cannot be found. We should therefore assume that reasons and obligations are compatible with determinism.

  • 25.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Retributivism and the objective attitude2024In: Diametros : An Online Journal of Philosophy, E-ISSN 1733-5566, Vol. 21, no 79, p. 56-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been argued that a retributivist criminal justice system treats offenders with a respectlacking in alternative criminal justice systems; retributivism presumably recognizes that offenders are fellow members of the moral community who can be held responsible for their actions. One version of the respect argument builds on P.F. Strawson’s moral responsibility theory. According to Strawson, we may take either a participant or objective attitude toward other people. The former is the default attitude when interacting with other adults, whereas the latter is fit for children and the mentally disabled or ill, whom we merely try to manage and handle as best we can. The participant attitude also involves holding people responsible when they do wrong. Supposedly, a retributivist criminal justice system functions as a natural continuation of our everyday, participant, and responsibility-holding practices, unlike alternative systems that adopt an objective attitude toward offenders. I argue that this is wrong. The participant atti-tude requires reciprocity and, usually, some level of equality too. Even an idealized retributivist system has little room for this, not to mention the flawed versions of this system we see in reality. 

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  • 26.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Retributivism and uncertainty: Why do we punish criminals?2021Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Why do we have a criminal justice system? What could possibly justify the state punishing its citizens? Retributivism is the view that we ought to give offenders the suffering that they deserve for harming others.

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  • 27.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Solving the self-illness ambiguity: the case for construction over discovery2022In: Philosophical Explorations, ISSN 1386-9795, E-ISSN 1741-5918, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 294-313Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Psychiatric patients sometimes ask where to draw the line between who they are–their selves–and their mental illness. This problem is referred to as the self-illness ambiguity in the literature; it has been argued that solving said ambiguity is a crucial part of psychiatric treatment. I distinguish a Realist Solution from a Constructivist one. The former requires finding a supposedly pre-existing border, in the psychiatric patient’s mental life, between that which belongs to the self and that which belongs to the mental illness. I argue that no such border exists, and that attempts to find it might even render the felt ambiguity worse. Instead, any solution must be constructivist; the patient (and others) should deliberate and discuss what to identify with or not. I further argue that psychiatric patients need not see their mental illness as wholly distinct from themselves to avoid ‘identifying with their diagnoses' in a problematic way. Finally, we can excuse problematic behaviour by mentally ill people–in fact, we can do so in a more nuanced and constructive way–while rejecting the view that the mental illness is wholly distinct from the patient’s self.

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  • 28.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The agential perspective: a hard-line reply to the four-case manipulation argument2020In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883, Vol. 177, p. 1935-1951Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the most influential arguments against compatibilism is Derk Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. Professor Plum, the main character of the thought experiment, is manipulated into doing what he does; he therefore supposedly lacks moral responsibility for his action. Since he is arguably analogous to an ordinary agent under determinism, Pereboom concludes that ordinary determined agents lack moral responsibility as well. I offer a hard-line reply to this argument, that is, a reply which denies that this kind of manipulation is responsibility undermining. I point out that fully fleshed-out manipulated characters in fiction can seem morally responsible for what they do. This is plausibly because we identify with such characters, and therefore focus on their options and the reasons for which they act rather than the manipulation. I further argue that we ought to focus this way when interacting with other agents. We have no reason to trust the incompatibilist intuitions that arise when we regard manipulated agents from a much more detached perspective.

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  • 29.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Theories of Psychosis versus What It Is Like2021In: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, ISSN 1071-6076, E-ISSN 1086-3303, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 257-258Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Brandenburg, Daphne
    Faculty of philosophy, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
    Patronizing praise2022In: Journal of Ethics, ISSN 1382-4554, E-ISSN 1572-8609, Vol. 26, p. 663-682Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Praise, unlike blame, is generally considered well intended and beneficial, and therefore in less need of scrutiny. In line with recent developments, we argue that praise merits more thorough philosophical analysis. We show that, just like blame, praise can be problematic by expressing a failure to respect a person’s equal value or worth as a person. Such patronizing praise, however, is often more insidious, because praise tends to be regarded as well intended and beneficial, which renders it harder to recognize and object to. Among other things, a philosophical analysis of patronizing praise helps people on the receiving end articulate why they feel uncomfortable or offended by it, shows patronizing praisers how their praise is problematic, and provides input for further philosophical analysis of blame. In the first section of the paper, we discuss how hypocritical praise, just like hypocritical blame, can fail to respect the equality of persons by expressing that the praiser applies more demanding moral standards to the praisee than to themself. We further discuss obstructionist praise, which loosely corresponds to complicit blame, and can similarly express that certain moral standards apply to others but not to the praiser. In the second part of the paper, we discuss another variety of patronizing praise. Praise can be an inaccurate appraisal of a person based on irrelevant considerations – like race, gender, or class – and thereby constitute a failure to recognize their equal worth as a person. We identify three ways in which such praise can manifest.

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  • 31.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lodge, Paul
    Strategy, pyrrhonian scepticism and the allure of madness2024In: European journal of analytic philosophy, ISSN 1849-0514Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Justin Garson introduces the distinction between two views on Madness we encounter again and again throughout history: Madness as dysfunction, and Madness as strategy. On the latter view, Madness serves some purpose for the person experiencing it, even if it’s simultaneously harmful. The strategy view makes intelligible why Madness often holds a certain allure – even when it’s prima facie terrifying. Moreover, if Madness is a strategy in Garson’s metaphorical sense – if it serves a purpose – it makes sense to use consciously chosen strategies for living with Madness that doesn’t necessarily aim to annihilate or repress it as far as possible. In this paper, we use our own respective stories as case studies. We have both struggled to resist the allure of Madness, and both ended up embracing a kind of Pyrrhonian scepticism about reality instead of clinging to sane reality.

  • 32.
    Jeppsson, Sofia M. I.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Retributivism, Justification and Credence: The Epistemic Argument Revisited2021In: Neuroethics, ISSN 1874-5490, E-ISSN 1874-5504, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 177-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Harming other people is prima facie wrong. Unless we can be very certain that doing so is justified under the circumstances, we ought not to do it. In this paper, I argue that we ought to dismantle harsh retributivist criminal justice systems for this reason; we cannot be sufficiently certain that the harm is justified. Gregg Caruso, Ben Vilhauer and others have previously argued for the same conclusion; however, my own version sidesteps certain controversial premises of theirs. Harsh retributivist criminal justice can only be morally right if the following three propositions are true: Moral responsibility exists, retributivism is right, and we can find out how much punishment offenders deserve for their crimes. Suppose that we initially assign a high credence to each of the three propositions; I assume for the sake of argument that there are good arguments in support of each. Nevertheless, these arguments ultimately depend on intuitions. Since we have philosophical peers whose intuitions differ from ours, we ought to downgrade our credence in each. However, even slightly less credence in each proposition means far less credence in a conjunction of all three. Since the stakes are high and there are morally safer options for a criminal justice system, we ought to dismantle harsh retributivist ones.

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