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  • 1.
    Cocq, Coppélie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab. Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Gelfgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Enbom, Jesper
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Online Surveillance in a Swedish Context: Between acceptance and resistance2020In: Nordicom Review, ISSN 1403-1108, E-ISSN 2001-5119, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 179-193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Users of digital media leave traces that corporations and authorities can harvest, systema-tise, and analyse; on the societal level, an overall result is the emergence of a surveillance culture. In this study, we examine how people handle the dilemma of leaving digital footprints: what they say they do to protect their privacy and what could legitimise the collection and storing of their data. Through a survey of almost 1,000 students at Umeå University in Sweden, we find that most respondents know that their data are used and choose to adjust their own behaviour rather than adopting technical solutions. In order to understand contemporary forms of surveillance, we call for a humanistic approach – an approach where hermeneutic and qualitative methods are central.

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  • 2.
    Gelfgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Cocq, Coppélie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Enbom, Jesper
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Afterword: future directions for surveillance in practice and research2023In: Everyday life in the culture of surveillance / [ed] Lars Samuelsson; Coppélie Cocq; Stefan Gelfgren; Jesper Enbom, Nordicom, 2023, p. 205-211Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The contributions in this book shed light on the complexity of surveillance in a digital age and problematise power relations between the many actors involved in the development and performance of surveillance culture. More and more actors and practices play an increasing role in our contemporary digitalised society, and the chapters show how people negotiate surveillance in their use of digital media, often knowingly leaving digital footprints, and sometimes trying to avoid surveillance. The digital transformation will continue in the foreseeable future. The coordination and analysis of data is viewed by many government agencies, corporations, and other actors as important tools for improving public administration, health, and economic growth. For this development to be legitimate, it is important that hard values, such as technical and legal developments, and soft values, such as ethical and cultural values, are taken into consideration. 

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  • 3.
    Gelfgren, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Cocq, Coppélie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Enbom, Jesper
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Introduction: the complex web of everyday surveillance2023In: Everyday life in the culture of surveillance / [ed] Lars Samuelsson; Coppélie Cocq; Stefan Gelfgren; Jesper Enbom, Nordicom, 2023, p. 9-20Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The possibilities to surveil people have increased and been further refined with the implementation of digital communication over the last couple of decades, and with the ongoing process of digital transformation, surveillance can now go in any direction, leaving a label such as “surveillance state” somewhat outdated. Corporations and governmental organisations may surveil people, people may surveil each other, and surveillance may take place in subtle ways that are difficult for the surveilled to detect. In David Lyon’s terms, we are living in a “culture of surveillance”, a culture that surrounds and affects our everyday life. Today, it is of utmost relevance to study people’s attitudes, motives, and behaviours in relation to the fact that we live in a culture of surveillance. This includes the need for cultural and ethical perspectives to understand and nuanced contemporary discussions on surveillance, not least in the highly digitalised context of the Nordic countries. The chapters in this anthology address these issues from a variety of disciplinary and theoretical frameworks.  

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  • 4.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Den nya syntesen och etik i undervisningen2018In: Nordidactica: Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education, ISSN 2000-9879, no 3, p. 27-43Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 5.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Individualismens betydelse för moral- och etikundervisningen2019In: Religionskunskapsämnet i fokus: utmaningar och möjligheter / [ed] Olof Franck, Emma Hall & Bodil Liljefors Persson, Malmö: Föreningen lärare i religionskunskap , 2019, p. 115-129Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lärares yrkesetik och etiskt resonerande2018In: Läraren och yrkesetiken: principer, värden och förhållningssätt i förskolans och skolans vardag / [ed] Sara Irisdotter Aldenmyr, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2018, 1, p. 59-81Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

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

  • 7.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Moral Taste and Moral Education: An Interview Study2021In: Abstract Book 23rd Annual International Conference on Education: 17-20 May 2021, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2021, Vol. 23, p. 46-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent research on moral psychology, the human consciousness has been compared to a tongue, with different taste buds, which together can cause a variety of sensations. According to this theory people, in general, have a preparedness to react to situations, which can provide opportunities or pose threats in a social context. Moral psychologist, Jonathan Haidt (2012, 2013), has described these receptors as pairs, for example: care/harm, justice/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, holiness/degradation, and liberty/oppression. Which of these foundations the individual develops a taste for depends, largely, on the social and cultural context (Graham, Haidt & RimmKaufman 2008). Hence, the choices teachers make of which issues to address and in what way can contribute to a learning environment that influences their pupils‘ moral outlook. The purpose of this study is to investigate which of these moral intuitions or taste preferences that teachers want to endorse and cultivate in their pedagogical practices. Against this background, a number of qualitative research interviews were conducted with experienced teachers in the non-confessional subject religious education (RE), who have a particular responsibility for moral education in the Swedish school system. The interviews were partly based on a modified version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, which was deliberately developed in order to determine the participants‘ moral taste, and the participants were asked to elaborate their answers (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2008). The results of our study indicate that the participants tended to favour care and justice over loyalty, authority and holiness. As one of the participants puts it: "many of my examples relate to the weak and vulnerable or the ones that are denied their rights in society… these pedagogical choices are based on the content of the curriculum but also mirror my own preferences". In this paper we will analyze the interviews with the RE teachers and critically discuss the consequences the moral foundations theory have for moral education.

  • 8.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Moral Taste and Moral Education: An Interview Study2022In: Athens Journal of Education, ISSN 2407-9898, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 365-376Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent research on moral psychology, the human consciousness has been compared to a tongue, with different taste buds, which together can cause a variety of sensations. According to this theory, people in general have a preparedness to react to situations, which can provide opportunities or pose threats in a social context. Moral psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, has described these receptors as pairs, for example: care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion and sanctity/degradation. Which of these foundations the individual develops a taste for depends, largely, on the social and cultural context. Hence, the choices teachers make of which issues to address and in what way can contribute to a learning environment that influences their pupils’ moral outlook. The purpose of this study is to investigate which of these moral intuitions or taste preferences that teachers want to endorse and cultivate in their pedagogical practices. Against this background, a number of qualitative research interviews were conducted with experienced teachers in the non-confessional subject religious education (RE), who have a particular responsibility for moral education in the Swedish school system. The interviews were based on a modified version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, which was deliberately developed to determine the participants’ moral taste, and the participants were asked to elaborate their answers. The results indicate that the participants tended to favour harm and fairness over loyalty, authority and sanctity. As one of the participants puts it: “many of my examples relate to the weak and vulnerable or the ones that are denied their rights in society… these pedagogical choices are based on the content of the curriculum but also mirror my own preferences”. In this paper we analyse the interviews with the RE teachers and critically discuss the consequences the moral foundations theory has for moral education.  

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  • 9.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On how RE Teachers Address the Sometimes Conflicting Tasks of Conveying Fundamental Values and Facilitating Critical Thinking2022In: Athens Journal of Education, ISSN 2407-9898, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 23-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers in the non-confessional Swedish subject religious education have conflicting responsibilities to convey values and facilitate critical thinking. The research regarding these responsibilities has often been considered a theoretical problem and the discussion has concerned theoretical solutions. However, the problem is not only theoretical. It is in fact also a practical problem that many teachers frequently encounter. The overall aim of this paper is thus to draw attention to these conflicting responsibilities as a practical problem that teachers face and are expected to solve in their pedagogical practices. In line with this aim, a number of qualitative research interviews were conducted with experienced religious education teachers, who are considered to have a particular responsibility for moral education in the Swedish school system. The purpose of the interviews was to investigate how they relate to their sometimes conflicting responsibilities and consequently make an empirically informed contribution to the debate. This is an important task since there are no official guidelines on how teachers are to balance these responsibilities in their pedagogical practices. 

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  • 10.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On how RE Teachers Address the Sometimes-Conflicting Tasks of Conveying Basic Values and Tools for Critical Thinking2020In: Abstract Book: 22nd Annual International Conference on Education, 18-21 May 2020, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2020, Vol. 22, p. 41-41, article id 17Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A recurring idea, among practitioners and researchers, is that “teaching is a moral endeavour” where any act can convey “moral meaning” and “influence students” (Hansen, 2001, 826; Bulloughs, 2010; Campbell, 2013). Some have even stated that “all that can be seen and heard in classrooms” can be of moral significance, including “events, actions and even aspects of the physical environment” (Jackson, Boostrom & Hansen, 1998). Yet, they seem to be divided on how teachers ought to treat ideals, norms and values in their pedagogical practices.

    Hence, a division is often made between character-based and reason-based approaches to moral or ethics education. The difference can, somewhat simplified, be described schematically by their respective emphasis on group or individual, emotion or reason, habituation or critical assessment of universal ethical principles (for a more elaborated account see: Kohlberg, 1966, 2; Carr, 1983, 39; Graham, Haidt & Rimm-Kaufman, 2008, 271, 275). Even if the approaches are often described as mutually exclusive alternatives teachers are, nevertheless, often expected to perform these tasks in their everyday practices (see SNAE 2011).

    Against this background, we have conducted qualitative research interviews, with religious education (RE) teachers, who are considered to have a particular responsibility for moral and ethics education in the Swedish school system (Almén, 2000; Hartman, 2008; Larsson, 2009; Franck & Löfstedt, 2015). Our overall aim of this paper is to investigate how they relate to the sometimes conflicting responsibilities to convey a set of basic values and contribute to the pupils’ abilities to critically examine ideals, norms and values. Our analysis of the results shows that RE teachers use different strategies to describe and motivate their pedagogical choices (Yin, 1994; Bryman, 2008). We will, for instance, distinguish between a casuist-, a rights-, and an existentialist oriented approach to moral and ethics education and perform a critical discussion of the results.

     

  • 11.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Reason and Emotion: How Teachers Respond to Ethical Problems2018In: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series / [ed] Dr. Gregory T. Papanikos, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2018, p. 1-14, article id EDU2018-2501Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 12.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Three Approaches of How to Address Controversial Issues in Education2022In: Abstract Book: 24th Annual International Conference on Education, 16-19 May 2022, Athens, Greece / [ed] David P. Wick & Olga Gkounta, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2022, Vol. 24, p. 85-86Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A recurring idea in the educational debate is that we live in a time of polarization, where people hold radically different beliefs, which makes it difficult for us to communicate with each other (e.g., Noddings & Brooks, 2017; Lukianoff & Haidt, 2018; Boghossian & Lindsey, 2019). It is, however, the teachers’ responsibility to address the controversial issues that tend to divide individuals or groups. Such issues may, for example, include moral dilemmas, extremism, terrorism, politics and religion (e.g. Moore & Kyser, 2014; Sjöborg, 2015; McDonough, 2016; Revell & Christopher, 2021). 

    There is no generally accepted definition of controversial issues in the research literature. Most definitions, however, contain what we describe as emotional, cognitive and evaluative elements. Hence, controversial issues are matters about which individuals or groups tend to get upset and disagree, about which individuals or groups tend to hold conflicting explanations, and about which individuals or groups create solutions based on different values (e.g., Cooling, 2012; Hand, 2008; Ljunggren et al., 2015; Stradling, 1984; Lindström & Sullivan, 2021). Which aspects of controversial issues researchers emphasize seem to rely on a variety of factors, however, we argue that it depends on how they perceive the principal aim of education.

    In this paper, we will provide a division of three educational approaches to controversial issues, which are prevalent in the research literature and among teachers in their pedagogical practices. If the principal aim of education is:

    • that students should develop without being disturbed by unsettling or threatening content, it is important that the teachers can create safe learning environments, which is characteristic of an emotional perspective of controversial issues (see: Stradling, 1984; Hickey, 2016; Cush, 2007; Lukianoff & Haidt, 2018 ).
    • to develop the students’ ability to think and act rationally, they should be provided with opportunities to review arguments from different points of view and learn how to make well-grounded assessments, which is characteristic of a cognitive perspective of controversial issues (see: Hand, 2008; Boghossian & Lindsay, 2019).
    • to contribute to the pupils’ ability to feel empathy, look beyond people´s differences and work for a fair community, they must be exposed to specific personal stories that can facilitate their understanding of others (see: Stradling, 1984; Cooling, 2012; Noddings & Brooks, 2017).

    In this paper, we will provide examples of these positions and discuss to which extent they are attainable and valuable ends to strive against in an educational practice. 

     

  • 13.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Using interactive tools and teaching methods to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying basic values2016In: EDULEARN16 Proceedings: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 4th-6th, 2016 — Barcelona, Spain / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres, Valencia: IATED Academy , 2016, p. 7197-7201Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 14.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Using interactive tools and teaching methods to prepare teacher students for the task of conveying basic values2016In: EDULEARN16 Proceedings: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 4th-6th, 2016 - Barcelona, Spain / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres, Valencia: IATED Academy , 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 15.
    Lindström, Niclas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Which values are reproduced within the swedish educational system?2016In: Usuteaduslik Ajakiri / The Estonian Theological Journal, ISSN 1406-6564, Vol. 69, no 1, p. 49-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 16.
    Mårald, Erland
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Sandström, Camilla
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Rist, Lucy
    Rosvall, Ola
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Idenfors, Annika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Exploring the use of a dialogue process to tackle a complex and controversial issue in forest management2015In: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 0282-7581, E-ISSN 1651-1891, Vol. 30, no 8, p. 749-756Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 19.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    A response to Rut Vinterkvist2024In: Environmental Ethics, ISSN 0163-4275, E-ISSN 2153-7895, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 95-97Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In a reply to my recent paper “The Cost of Denying Intrinsic Value in Nature,” Rut Vinterkvist raises an important objection to my claim that environmentalists must ascribe intrinsic value to some natural entities to consistently defend the protectionist views I believe many of them have. To defend this claim, I provided three hypothetical cases, involving threatened natural entities, designed to show that only an intrinsic value of these respective entities could explain a reason to protect them. My claim was that, even in these cases, environmentalists would generally find the natural entities in question protection-worthy. Against this claim, Vinterkvist argues that environmentalists can consistently opt for protection of these entities without ascribing any intrinsic value to them, the idea being that we can argue for protection of the entities on the basis that other people care for them (for whatever reasons, if any). We should protect them, not for their own sake, but for the sake of those who care for them. In this response, I explain why I believe her suggestion—challenging to my argument as it is—does not provide a proper option for environmentalists who want to argue for protection in these and similar cases.

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  • 20.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Accepting or rejecting online surveillance: the case of Swedish students2023In: Everyday life in the culture of surveillance / [ed] Lars Samuelsson; Coppélie Cocq; Stefan Gelfgren; Jesper Enbom, Nordicom, 2023, p. 125-144Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter is based on the results of a questionnaire that was distributed to students at Umeå University, Sweden, and investigates their propensity to accept online surveillance in relation to three conditions that could increase their acceptance of it: 1) that it results in personal benefits; 2) that they have consented to it; and 3) that society can benefit from it. To categorise the respondents’ positions, I use a conceptual apparatus from moral philosophy, namely, the distinction between deontological and consequentialist ethical views. The study reveals two clear tendencies among the respondents: The most considerable difference among them is a difference in their general attitudes to being surveilled online rather than a difference in ethical thinking of a kind that can be framed in terms of deontology and consequentialism; the personal benefits that can result from allowing online surveillance do not generally have any significant impact on their acceptance of it. 

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  • 21.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    At the centre of what?: a critical note on the centrism-terminology in environmental ethics2013In: Environmental Values, ISSN 0963-2719, E-ISSN 1752-7015, Vol. 22, no 5, p. 627-645Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 22.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Environmental pragmatism and environmental philosophy: a bad marriage!2010In: Environmental Ethics, ISSN 0163-4275, E-ISSN 2153-7895, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 405-415Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 23.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Etik i utbildning för hållbar utveckling: Att undervisa den etiska dimensionen av en kontroversiell fråga2020In: Acta Didactica Norden, ISSN 2535-8219, Vol. 14, no 4, article id 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable development is nowadays a widely accepted goal in educational contexts, both in Sweden and internationally. However, the central components that constitute the idea of sustainability can be given different interpretations generating incompatible sustainability goals. It is thus a controversial question what kind of development we should count as sustainable. This means that education for sustainable development is never neutral – to the contrary, it rests on ethical assumptions. An important component in a comprehensive education for sustainable development is hence to reveal and discuss these assumptions.

    The aim of the paper is to elucidate the ethical dimension of sustainable develop­ment and argue for a suitable methods-based approach for dealing with this dimension in an educational context. The investigation is mainly philosophical in character, which means that the method used is primarily the analytic approach that is characteristic of modern analytic philosophy, with conceptual analysis and examination of arguments. The research material used is regulatory documents and relevant reports.

    The main contribution is the establishment of a specific methods-based model for ethics education as particularly appropriate for dealing with the ethical dimension of education for sustainable development (and for controversial issues generally). An practical implication is that teachers via this model get access to a set of tools for dealing with the ethical dimension of sustainability and other controversial issues. Further research is however needed to determine which teaching methods are most suitable for working with these tools in various educational contexts.

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  • 24.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy and Linguistics.
    Miljöetikens förvirra(n)de distinktioner2007Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

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

  • 25.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the critique of “The environmental ethical project”: Why this critique has failed2010In: The Philosophy of the Environment - Programme and Abstracts, 2010, p. 117-118Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 26.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Critique of "The Environmental Ethics Project": Why this Critique has Failed2014In: Issues in Human Relations and Environmental Philosophy / [ed] Sophia Boudouri & Kostas Kalimtzis, Athens: Ionia Publications, 2014, p. 303-319Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 27.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the demarcation problem and the possibility of environmental ethics: a refutation of "A refutation of environmental ethics"2010In: Environmental Ethics, ISSN 0163-4275, E-ISSN 2153-7895, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 247-265Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 28.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On the Possibility of Evidence for Intrinsic Value in Nature2013In: Ethics and the Environment, ISSN 1085-6633, E-ISSN 1535-5306, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 101-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 29.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Partisk vs. opartisk moral2015In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 35-43Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Reasons and Values in Environmental Ethics2010In: Environmental Values, ISSN 0963-2719, E-ISSN 1752-7015, Vol. 19, no 4, p. 517-535Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 31.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Resolving the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem2013In: Swedish Congress of Philosophy 2013 = Filosofidagarna : 14-16 june, 2013: Abstracts, Stockholm: Kungl. tekniska högskolan , 2013, p. 177-178Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 32.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Sustainable development and the value of future populations: Reviving the average view2018In: The 11th International Conference on Applied Ethics - Center for Applied Philosophy & Ethics - Kyoto University, Japan 15th-16th December 2018: Abstracts, Kyoto, 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 33.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The cost of denying intrinsic value in nature2022In: Environmental Ethics, ISSN 0163-4275, E-ISSN 2153-7895, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 267-288Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many people who claim to genuinely care about nature still seem reluctant to ascribe intrinsic value to it. Environmentalists, nature friendly people in general, and even environmental activists, often hesitate at the idea that nature possesses value in its own right - value that is not reducible to its importance to human or other sentient beings. One crucial explanation of this reluctance is probably the thought that such value - at least when attached to nature - would be mysterious in one way or another, or at least very difficult to account for. In addition, Bryan Norton’s influential convergence hypothesis states that, from a practical point of view, it makes no or little difference whether we ascribe intrinsic value to nature, given the depth and variety of instrumental value it possesses. In this paper, I argue that people who genuinely care about nature cannot avoid ascribing intrinsic value (in a certain sense) to it, if they want to be able to consistently defend the kind of claims about protecting nature they arguably want to make, i.e., claims to the effect that we ought to protect for instance nature areas and species. The cost of denying intrinsic value in nature is the cost of giving up a crucial resource to philosophically defend such claims.

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  • 34.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The Moral Status of Nature: Reasons to Care for the Natural World2009Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

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

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

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

  • 35.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The moral status of nature: reasons to care for the natural world2008Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

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

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

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

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  • 36.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The right version of the right kind of solution to the wrong kind of reason problem2011In: Seventh European Congress of Analytic Philosophy: Program and Abstract, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 37.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The Right Version of 'the Right Kind of Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem'2013In: Utilitas, ISSN 0953-8208, E-ISSN 1741-6183, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 383-404Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 38.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Transitivitet och omärkbara effekter: en invändning mot ett argument i Folke Tersmans bok Tillsammans2010In: Filosofisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7482, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 40-50Article in journal (Other academic)
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  • 39.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    "Two distinctions in final goodness"2009Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

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

  • 40.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Cocq, Coppélie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Gelfgren, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Enbom, Jesper
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Preface2023In: Everyday life in the culture of surveillance / [ed] Lars Samuelsson; Coppélie Cocq; Stefan Gelfgren; Jesper Enbom, Nordicom, 2023, p. 6-8Chapter in book (Other academic)
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  • 41.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Lindström, Niclas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    A Counterfactual Argument for Environmentalists to Endorse Non-Instrumental Value in Nature2021In: Abstract Book: 16th Annual International Conference on Philosophy 24-27 May 2021, Athens, Greece / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2021, Vol. 16, p. 27-28Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmentalists care about nature. Often, they reason and act as if they consider nature to be valuable for its own sake, i.e., to have non-instrumental value (often referred to as intrinsic value). Yet, there is a rather widespread reluctance, even among environmentalists, to explicitly ascribe such value to nature. One important explanation for this is probably the thought that such value, at least when attached to nature, is mysterious in one way or another. Anthropocentrists within environmental ethics have argued that the idea of non-instrumental value in nature is problematic in various ways (see Samuelsson, 2010a, for references), and some so called environmental pragmatists have maintained that a focus on non-instrumental value in nature among environmentalists is counter-productive (see Samuelsson, 2010b, for a critical account of such environmental pragmatism). In addition, Bryan Norton‘s influential convergence hypothesis states that from a practical point of view it makes no or little difference whether we ascribe noninstrumental value to nature, given the depth and variety of instrumental value that it possesses (Norton, 1991, 237-43).

    Several environmental ethicists have provided replies to this pessimistic outlook on the prospects for non-instrumental value in nature (e.g., Callicott, 1995; McShane, 2007). In this paper we add to this list of replies by providing a counter-factual argument, applying to anyone who genuinely cares about nature, for ascribing non-instrumental value to it. Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, something like the convergence hypothesis, relying on nature‘s instrumental value for preservational purposes is risky business for environmentalists. We can easily imagine a scenario where some crucial instrumental value that is in fact (now) possessed by some preservation-worthy natural entity (such as a species or a diverse and unique ecosystem) is absent. Yet, even under such circumstances, environmentalists would generally want to preserve this entity. In other words, the convergence hypothesis can only be contingently true, and once we acknowledge this fact it becomes clear that giving up on the non-instrumental value of nature means losing an important source for providing arguments to the effect that we ought to preserve certain natural entities.

    In the paper we develop this argument, go through some possible replies to it and briefly consider the theoretical costs that might be involved in ascribing non-instrumental value to nature. We argue that with respect to most accounts of such value, whatever theoretical costs one might claim to be involved in ascribing such value to nature, these costs are not higher than the costs of ascribing it to anything else.

  • 42.
    Samuelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.