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  • 1.
    Agnafors, Marcus
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    A Secular State?2010In: Identity and pluralism : ethnicity, religion and values / [ed] Göran Collste, Linköping: LiU-Tryckk , 2010, p. 80-102Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Agnafors, Marcus
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Lunds universitet.
    Bör den liberala staten privilegiera religion i samhället?2013In: Tidskrift för politisk filosofi, ISSN 1402-2710, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 1-21Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Det anses ofta att en liberal stat måste förhålla sig neutral till religiösa element i samhället. Att bryta mot neutralitetskravet och därmed privilegiera religiösa element i samhället är uteslutet, hävdas det, eftersom ett sådant privilegierande skulle innebära att man medvetet gynnar en grupp uppfattningar om det goda livet – vilket skulle vara synnerligen icke-liberalt.

    I den här artikeln ifrågasätts det neutralitetskrav som åläggs den liberala staten. Istället försvaras idén att en liberal stat i vissa fall kan ha en prima facie skyldighet att privilegiera vissa religiösa element i samhället. I artikeln presenteras tre villkor som måste vara uppfyllda för att ett avsteg från neutralitetskravet ska vara rättfärdigat.

    Efter en kortare diskussion om den relevanta empiriska forskningen konkluderas att en liberal stat i vissa fall är berättigad att privilegiera religiösa element i samhället utan att därmed kompromissa med sin liberala status.

  • 3.
    Agnafors, Marcus
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Introduktion2013In: Varför inte Socialism? och Om den egalitära rättvisans valuta / [ed] G. A. Cohen, Daidalos, 2013Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4.
    Agnafors, Marcus
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Michael Sandel: What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets2014In: Tidskrift för politisk filosofi, ISSN 1402-2710, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 37-44Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Alm, Björn
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Att umgås med döden: metaforens begränsning2017In: Föreställningar om döden: forskares aspekter på vår existens och dess begränsning / [ed] Kjell O. Lejon, Stockholm: Carlsson Bokförlag, 2017, p. 156-175Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Behrensen, Maren
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Treacherous tropes: how ethicists communicate2016In: Ethics and communication: global perspectives / [ed] Göran Collste, London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016, p. 43-60Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Behrensen, Maren
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Kaliarnta, Sofia
    Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
    Sick and Tired: Depression in the Margins of Academic Philosophy2017In: Topoi (Dordrecht), ISSN 0167-7411, E-ISSN 1572-8749, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 355-364Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is a reflection on Peter Railtons keynote speech at the Central APA in February 2015, especially on his disclosure of his struggle with clinical depression. Without attempting to deny the significance of Prof. Railtons outing, we want to draw attention here to something that did not prominently figure in his speech: structural features of the philosophical profession that make people sick. In particular, we focus on the "ideology of smartness" in philosophy and how it creates a pathological double-bind for those that come into the discipline from the margins, or find themselves in its margins.

  • 8.
    Björk, Elin
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    ”Det är inte gay om man inte ser varandra i ögonen”: en kritisk undersökning av maskulinitet, våld och intimitet inom MMA2013Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Concepts about masculinity and violence are closely connected in today´s society, and have been so historically as well. The purpose of this essay is to study how these connections influence men who practice and compete in MMA and how this affects their construction of  masculinities. By the study of these men’s attitudes towards violence, masculinity and intimacy within MMA, this study aims to clarify the discourse that has developed in a martial arts club in Sweden. The conclusion of this study is that a seemingly contradictory image of violence and intimacy is produced in this discourse. Inside the MMA discourse there is room for physical intimacy between men in a way that is rarely accepted in society at large. At the same time their attitudes towards violence can be explained by the fact that the practitioners separate violent actions from aggression and therefor do not view these actions as violence. 

  • 9.
    Björklund, Jenny
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Hellstrand, Ingvil
    Universitetet i Stavanger, Norge.
    Folkmarson Käll, Lisa
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Marking the unmarked: theorizing intersectionality and lived embodiment through Mammoth and Antichrist2016In: Illdisciplined gender: engaging questions of nature/culture and transgressive encounters / [ed] Jacob Bull, Margareta Fahlgren, Cham: Springer, 2016, p. 99-113Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Advertisement of An Empirical Theory of Judgments of Moral Responsibilit2010Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Presentation of an empirical model of judgments of moral responsibility, based on work by Gunnar Björnsson, Karl Persson and Erik Johansson.

  • 11.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Collective explanations, individual responsibility2009In: Book of abstracts, International Conference on Moral Responsibility: Neuroscience, Organization & Engineering, Book of Abstracts / [ed] Nicole A Vincent, Neelke Doorn & Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist, Delft, Netherlands: 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology, Delft University of Technology , 2009, p. 35-36Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two philosophical discussions of moral responsibility run parallel. One is tightly connected to the debate about free will and its relation to determinism and indeterminism. Philosophical accounts of moral responsibility belonging to this discussion typically focus on individual agential responsibility, characterizing what must be true about individuals in order for them to be responsible for their actions. The other discussion is connected to normative ethics, and the question of when the normative status of an action is affected by the occurrence of some good or bad event. Accounts belonging to this discussion sometimes address questions of whether individuals can be responsible for outcomes of actions by collectives to which they belong or identify with, or for joint effects of a great number of similar actions. A branch of the normative debate about responsibility also concerns the responsibility of collective agents such as corporations and nations. The two discussions rarely meet, and for seemingly good reason, as they appear to be concerned with very different aspects of responsibility; one is concerned with the causes of actions and the conditions under which we decide to act, the other with the relation between actions and consequences of action. In this paper, however, I argue that the Explanation Account, a promising account of individual agential responsibility, extends naturally to both individual and collective outcome-responsibility, and suggests intuitively plausible answers to questions about the responsibility of collectives and their members. The crucial aspect of the Explanation Account is that for an agent to be responsible for an event is for some relevant aspect of the agent’s motivation or lack thereof to be part of a significant explanation of that event. In the paper, I discuss how this extends to cases where events are explained by the fact that, say, the US rejects an international treaty, or that affluent people keep flying more than necessary. Unlike many other accounts of responsibility in virtue of participation in collective action, this account does not presuppose that collectives are agents, or even that they are social or cultural units. What matters is whether the actions of these individuals are instances of a set of actions that explains the outcomes for which they are thereby responsible. References: * Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl “Judgments of Moral Responsibility: A Unified Account”, Society for Philosophy and Psychology, 35th Annual Meeting 2009, available at http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00004633/ * Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl “The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility”, forthcoming in Noûs

  • 12.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Collective explanations, joint responsibility2010Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Two philosophical discussions of moral responsibility run parallel. One is tightly connected to the debate about free will and its relation to determinism and indeterminism. Philosophical accounts of moral responsibility belonging to this discussion typically focus on individual agential responsibility, characterizing what must be true about individuals in order for them to be responsible for their actions. The other discussion is connected to normative ethics, and the question of when the normative status of an action is affected by the occurrence of some good or bad event. Accounts belonging to this discussion sometimes address questions of whether individuals can be responsible for outcomes of actions by collectives to which they belong or identify with, or for joint effects of a great number of similar actions. A branch of the normative debate about responsibility also concerns the responsibility of collective agents such as corporations and nations. The two discussions rarely meet, and for seemingly good reason, as they appear to be concerned with very different aspects of responsibility; one is concerned with the causes of actions and the conditions under which we decide to act, the other with the relation between actions and consequences of action. In this paper, however, I argue that the Explanation Account, a promising account of individual agential responsibility, extends naturally to both individual and collective outcome-responsibility, and suggests intuitively plausible answers to questions about the responsibility of collectives and their members. The crucial aspect of the Explanation Account is that for an agent to be responsible for an event is for some relevant aspect of the agent’s motivation or lack thereof to be part of a significant explanation of that event. In the paper, I discuss how this extends to cases where events are explained by the fact that, say, the US rejects an international treaty, or that affluent people keep flying more than necessary. Unlike many other accounts of responsibility in virtue of participation in collective action, this account does not presuppose that collectives are agents, or even that they are social or cultural units. What matters is whether the actions of these individuals are instances of a set of actions that explains the outcomes for which they are thereby responsible. References: * Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl “Judgments of Moral Responsibility: A Unified Account”, Society for Philosophy and Psychology, 35th Annual Meeting 2009, available at http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00004633/ * Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl “The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility”, forthcoming in Noûs

  • 13.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Collective explanations, joint responsibility2010Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Two philosophical discussions of moral responsibility run parallel. One is tightly connected to the debate about free will and its relation to determinism and indeterminism. Philosophical accounts of moral responsibility belonging to this discussion typically focus on individual agential responsibility, characterizing what must be true about individuals in order for them to be responsible for their actions. The other discussion is connected to normative ethics, and the question of when the normative status of an action is affected by the occurrence of some good or bad event. Accounts belonging to this discussion sometimes address questions of whether individuals can be responsible for outcomes of actions by collectives to which they belong or identify with, or for joint effects of a great number of similar actions. A branch of the normative debate about responsibility also concerns the responsibility of collective agents such as corporations and nations. The two discussions rarely meet, and for seemingly good reason, as they appear to be concerned with very different aspects of responsibility; one is concerned with the causes of actions and the conditions under which we decide to act, the other with the relation between actions and consequences of action. In this paper, however, I argue that the Explanation Account, a promising account of individual agential responsibility, extends naturally to both individual and collective outcome-responsibility, and suggests intuitively plausible answers to questions about the responsibility of collectives and their members. The crucial aspect of the Explanation Account is that for an agent to be responsible for an event is for some relevant aspect of the agent’s motivation or lack thereof to be part of a significant explanation of that event. In the paper, I discuss how this extends to cases where events are explained by the fact that, say, the US rejects an international treaty, or that affluent people keep flying more than necessary. Unlike many other accounts of responsibility in virtue of participation in collective action, this account does not presuppose that collectives are agents, or even that they are social or cultural units. What matters is whether the actions of these individuals are instances of a set of actions that explains the outcomes for which they are thereby responsible. References: * Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl “Judgments of Moral Responsibility: A Unified Account”, Society for Philosophy and Psychology, 35th Annual Meeting 2009, available at http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00004633/ * Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl “The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility”, forthcoming in Noûs

  • 14.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Commentary On Janice Dowell’s “Flexible Contextualism About ‘Ought’”2010Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Problematiserar Dowell's antagande att människor är objektivister om moraliska omdömen och skissar på alternativa sätt att försvara kontextualism om "bör".

  • 15.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Conceptual Spandrels2010Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The possibility of conceptual spandrels is used to make problematic traditional arm chair approaches to metaethics. An empirical model of judgments of moral responsibility is used to illustrate conceptual spandrels, and to indicate the sort of philosophical implications that empirical models of this sort can have.

  • 16.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Contextualism and relativism about 'ought'2010Other (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Contextualism, assessment-relativity and content-insensitivity2009Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, a number of authors have argued that contextualist analyses of for example epistemic modals and matters of taste are inadequate and need to be recast in terms of assessment-relative truth or assessment-relative contents. The viability of such relativist proposals have been much discussed recently, but what has not been noted is that a minor adjustment of a standard non-relativist background assumption yields the same predictions of linguistic intuitions and behaviour as does the intrusive revisions called for by relativism. The evidence adduced to support assessment-relative accounts consists mostly in cases where the following seems to be true: EVIDENCE: The correctness of an utterance (or belief) is appropriately assessed without sensitivity to the truth-conditions assigned to that utterance by contextualist accounts. Such cases might seem to suggest that the content of the utterance, or the proposition it expresses, has assessment-relative truth-conditions, or that the utterance has its contents relative to contexts of assessment. From the non-relativist perspective, however, such cases can simply be understood as cases of appropriate content-insensitive assessments; the assessor is simply assessing a content other than (but related to) that expressed by the original speaker or accepted as true by the original believer. Instead of relativizing contents or truth-conditions to contexts of assessment, this perspective gives a contextualist account of the content of acts of assessment, where the content of utterances like "no", "yes" or of the form "[what he said/that] is [true/right/wrong]" depend on their context in ways corresponding exactly to the assessor-relativity proposed by critics of contextualist analyses. In my talk, which is based on joint work with Alexander Almér, I compare this contextualist interpretation with relativist alternatives and argue that it provides a theoretically preferable accommodation of various examples of EVIDENCE.

  • 18.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Contextualism for Conditionals2010Other (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Contextualism for Indicative Conditionals2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper argues that the conventional contribution of the If P, Q form to communicated contents is radically dependent on pragmatic factors that vary with context of utterance and contents of if-clause and main clause. That pragmatics play a considerable role in the understanding of conditionals is familiar, and although some accounts of conditionals exclude non-conditional conditionals, such as (1) There are biscuits on the table if you want some. and conditional bets or requests, others want to include those (Stephen Barker 1995, DeRose and Grandy 1999, David Barnett 2006, Smith and Smith 1988, Noh 1996), and all standard accounts are meant to cover all paradigmatic “conditional” conditionals, such as (2) If Sarah has the measles, she will be having a fever. (3) If you are really hungry, Bill still won’t share his food. Standard accounts can be represented by materialism, expressivism and credalism. According to materialism, indicative conditionals express material implications: asserting a conditional like (2) “if Sarah has the measles, she will be having a fever” is asserting that it isn’t both the case that Sarah has the measles and that she doesn’t have a fever. According to expressivism, conditionals lack truth-conditions, but asserting (2) is expressing a high subjective probability for Sarah’s having a fever conditional on her having the measles. (Adams 1975; Bennett 2003; Edgington 1995) And according credalism, asserting (2) is asserting that Sarah has a fever in all relevant possible worlds in which she has the measles and which matches the present world with respect to what we believe or know. (Nolan 2003; Stalnaker 1981; Weatherson 2001) Two things are notable about these accounts: (A) They all take the conventional contribution of conditionals to determine a truth- or assertability condition in a context according to some conventional rule. (Although assumptions about the relation between the semantics of conditionals and the process of interpretation are seldom detailed, I will assume that these theories take normal utterance interpretation to proceed by taking this content as input, to be modified by pragmatic processes.) (B) They take this content to be mute on whether the consequent would follow from or holds independently of the antecedent. When we sense that (2), unlike (3), communicates that the consequent would follow from the antecedent, we have added to the literal content of the conditional. If the argument of this paper is correct, neither (A) nor (B) is sustainable. What the arguments suggest, instead, is that the conventional contribution of the If P, Q form is restricted to the following: Non-assertoric Introduction: If-clauses introduce a proposition without presenting it as true it so that the main clause can be understood in relation to it. According to this hypothesis – relational contextualism – the content of conditionals could be represented as follows at the most abstract level: (4) If P, Q / Q if P =df R(P, Q) R would be supplied by context, and could take such values as (a) THE POSSIBILITY … MAKES THE ASSERTION OF … RELEVANT (b) UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES LIKE THE PRESENT, THE POSSIBILITY … HAS … AS A CONSEQUENCE where (a) would provide the relevant relation for normal interpretations of (1) and (b) the relation for (2), to provide two examples. (Notice that only parts of the content would be understood as asserted content: it is not asserted that the antecedent represents a possibility rather than the truth, and utterances of conditionals of form (a) typically assert their consequents.) In the paper, I pose three kinds of problem for standard accounts, and offer relational contextualism as the solution to these problems. The first problem is that neither of these accounts make good sense of how we learn to use sentences of the If P, Q form. A child who is learning to use and interpret conditionals will have to grasp non-assertoric introduction before understanding that conditionals convey the relation of material implication or any other relation postulated as the literal content by standard theories of conditionals. Furthermore, there are reasons to think that the relations that standard accounts take to provide the literal meaning of conditionals are too abstract to be grasped to be associated with the conditional form. Grasping these contents could only be the result of fairly sophisticated abstraction. For learners who have not reached that level of sophistication, interpretation would have to proceed along the very lines suggested by relational contextualism. The second problem is that even if such abstraction could take place, a child who has grasped non-assertoric introduction has nothing to gain but something to loose in interpretive effectiveness by assuming that the conditional form itself conveys any of these other relations. The third problem for standard accounts is that they fail to provide adequate explanations of why some conditionals that would be literally true or acceptable are normally perceived to be false or meaningless. For example, in the case of both of the following conditionals, I am right now fairly confident that the consequent is true, independently of the antecedent: (5) If I go to the movies tonight, it will rain tomorrow. (6) If Berne is the capital of Switzerland, John Lennon was killed in 1980. Their literal contents are obviously acceptable on both materialism, expressivism and credalism. Nevertheless, (5) seems false to me – tomorrow’s weather is independent of my cinematic activities – and (6) seems nonsensical. Studies of students of different backgrounds at different universities show that such verdicts are very common (even among people with some familiarity with logic). Proponents of standard accounts hope to explain such reactions with reference to conversational pragmatics, but it is unclear what principles would support these explanations. As I make clear, standard explanations in terms of Gricean maxims or relevance theoretic constraints seem to yield the wrong results. By contrast, relational contextualism can explain typical reaction to both (5) and (6) and standard epistemic constraints on indicative conditionals.

  • 20.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Contextualism, Relativism And The Pragmatics Of Insensitive Assessments2010Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Argues that the phenomenon highlighted by defenders of so-called Asessor Relativism is but one example of a wider sort of phenomena and is best accounted for by a pragmatic account of semantic assessments.

  • 21.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Illusions of Undermined Responsibility2011In: Morality and the Cognitive Sciences, Book of abstracts, Riga, Latvia: Center for the Cognitive Sciences and Semantics, University of Latvia , 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many of us find attributions of moral responsibility undermined when we reflect on skeptical philosophical arguments. Defenders of moral responsibility try to explain away such reactions and undermine premises of these arguments, but the worries seem uncomfortably independent of any one particular argument or dubious premise. By contrast, skeptics seem to have a straightforward explanation of why people seem responsible though in fact they are not: we have paid insufficient attention to features highlighted by the skeptical arguments.

    In this paper, I argue that the shoe is on the other foot. Judging by recent work on the psychology of responsibility judgments, skeptical intuitions are best seen as side-effects of cognitive systems designed to (i) track explanatory relations between aspects of agents’ motivation and the objects of responsibility and (ii) guide practices of holding agents responsible for those events. I begin by reviewing the relevant psychological model of responsibility judgments and its support and indicating how it explains the appeal of various skeptical arguments. I then argue that if these explanations are correct, intuitions of undermined responsibility triggered by such arguments are akin to visual illusions, preventing us from seeing a relation that is really there.

     

  • 22.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    In Defence of Contextual Theories of Indicative Conditionals2010Other (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Manipulation arguments and the explanatory nature of moral responsibility2010In: Moral Responsibility: Analytic Approaches, Substantive Accounts and Case Studies, 18-19 October, Ghent, Belgium, Program/Book of abstracts, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Manipulation arguments and the explanatory nature of moral responsibility Manipulation arguments against moral responsibility (or against compatibilism about moral responsibility) rely on the following assumption: (M) Manipulation reduces responsibility because of features shared with causation (or with deterministic causation). Consequently, they would be undermined if the reduction were due specifically to the agent’s being manipulated—intentionally caused to act in ways not relying on the agent’s rational cooperation. To strengthen (M), Pereboom has argued that responsibility is equally reduced by versions of his manipulation cases where analogous natural events are substituted for manipulators. Significantly, however, these versions seem less intuitively compelling, suggesting that (M) is mistaken. In this talk, I suggest that manipulation arguments seem uniquely compelling because manipulation provides particularly straightforward cases of actions caused by conditions outside the agent’s control. Moreover, equally straightforward non-manipulative cases are possible: manipulation arguments are merely a species of arguments from straightforward causation by external factors. Such arguments rely on the following assumption: (S) Straightforward causation by external factors reduces responsibility because of features shared with causation (or with deterministic causation). (S) might seem more plausible than (M): although the intentional and social nature of manipulation might be especially responsibility undermining, whether causation is straightforward in the relevant sense depends on explanatory interests and perspectives, and it might seem that moral responsibility must rest on a more secure basis than that. Before closing, however, I provide evidence that our everyday notion of moral responsibility is essentially guided by certain explanatory interests, suggesting a way for defenders of moral responsibility to reject (S).

  • 24.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Metaethical Contextualism Defended2010Other (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Neurophysiology and the Illusion of Undermined Responsibility2011In: Ethical and moral aspects of naturalising the mind, Siena, Italy, June 2011: Abstracts, http://www.unisi.it/eventi/naturalisation_mind/abstracts.pdf, 2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Many of us find attributions of moral responsibility undermined when we reflect on skeptical philosophical arguments. Defenders of moral responsibility try to explain away such reactions and undermine premises of these arguments, but the worries seem uncomfortably independent of any one particular argument or dubious premise. By contrast, skeptics seem to have a straightforward explanation of why people seem responsible though in fact they are not: we have paid insufficient attention to features highlighted by the skeptical arguments.

    In this paper, I argue that the shoe is on the other foot. Judging by recent work on the psychology of responsibility judgments, skeptical intuitions are best seen as side-effects of cognitive systems designed to (i) track explanatory relations between aspects of agents’ motivation and the objects of responsibility and (ii) guide practices of holding agents responsible for those events. I begin by reviewing the relevant psychological model of responsibility judgments and its support and indicating how it explains the appeal of various skeptical arguments. I then argue that if these explanations are correct, intuitions of undermined responsibility triggered by such arguments are akin to visual illusions, preventing us from seeing a relation that is really there.

  • 26.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    ’Objectivist’ traits of moral phenomenology and moral discourse don’t support moral objectivism2008Other (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Projektorienterad uppsatshandledning2009In: Ett år med Bologna - vad har hänt vid LiU?: En rapport från CUL-dagen 11 december 2008, Linköping: LiU-Tryck , 2009, p. 105-115Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 28.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The Explanation Explanation of the Side-Effect Effect2011In: Pacific APA San Diego April 2011, Experimental Philosophy Society Group Session, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Beginning with Knobe (2003), numerous studies have revealed asymmetries in folk judgments about a variety of relations between agents and side-effects of their actions to which the agents are indifferent. When the CEO of a company cares solely about profit and knowingly decides to implement a project that will harm the environment, subjects tend to say that he harmed the environment intentionally, that he is blameworthy for doing so, that he was for harming the environment, that he decided to harm the environment, and that he achieved profit by harming the environment. When the same CEO instead knowingly implements a profitable project that will help the environment, subjects are unwilling to say that he helped the environment intentionally, that he is praiseworthy for doing so, that he was for helping the environment, decided to do so, or achieved profit by helping the environment (see e.g. Pettit & Knobe 2009).

    Given that the CEO was equally indifferent to and aware of the environmental effects in both cases, the asymmetry might seem puzzling. A number of accounts have been proposed, and there is reasonable agreement that the asymmetries depend on norms, or on evaluations of the different effects (see e.g. Nichols & Ulatowski 2007; Knobe 2007; Knobe & Mendlow 2004; Knobe forthcoming; Cole Wright & Bengson 2009). What is not clear, however, is what the nature of this dependence is.

    In this talk, I outline some problems with prior explanations and provide an account that handles all the relevant cases. The basic explanans is that in the harm condition, there is a straightforward and intuitively striking explanation of the effect in terms of the agent’s motivational states: the environment was harmed because the CEO didn’t care enough about the environment. Nothing similar is available in the help condition. This difference in intuitive explanatory judgments between the harm and help conditions is in turn explained by the fact that differences in normative expectations make certain factors seem explanatorily more significant than others (cf. Hitchcock & Knobe 2009). To various degrees, these differences affect judgments of intentionality and related folk-psychological judgments (concerning what was decided, what an agent was for, what was done by doing what, etc), when such judgments are seen as playing an explanatory role: for this purpose the action in question needs to be understood in terms that connect to motivational states that explain the agent’s actions. Given an assumption defended elsewhere (Björnsson & Persson forthcoming) and supported by new empirical evidence, the same is true about judgments of blame- and praiseworthiness: they depend on attributions of responsibility for the outcome, and judgments of responsibility are themselves a species of explanatory judgments.

    If this ‘explanation explanation’ is correct, we can expect similar asymmetries in the case of intended effects of actions performed under microscopic chances of success, and we can expect side-effect asymmetries triggered by non-normative considerations that affect the explanatory relevance of agents’ motivational structures. And this is indeed what we see (Nadelhoffer 2004).

    Björnsson, G.; Persson, K. Forthcoming: ‘The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility’. Noûs

    Cole Wright, J; Bengson, J. 2009: ‘Asymmetries in Judgments of Responsibility and Intentional Action’. Mind & Language, 24, pp. 24–50.

    Knobe, J.; Hitchcock, C. 2009: ‘Cause and Norm’. Journal of Philosophy, 106, pp. 587-612.

    Knobe, J. 2003: ‘Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language.’ Analysis 63, pp. 190–93.

    Knobe, J. Forthcoming: ‘Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist.’ Behavioral and Brain Sciences

    Knobe, Joshua 2007: ‘Reason Explanation in Folk Psychology’. Midwest Studies In Philosophy 31, pp. 90–106.

    Knobe, J.; Mendlow, G. 2004: ‘The Good, the Bad and the Blameworthy: Understanding the Role of Evaluative Reasoning in Folk Psychology.’ Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 24, pp. 252–25

    Nadelhoffer, T. 2004: ‘On Praise, Side Effects, and Folk Ascriptions of Intentionality’. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 24, pp. 196–213.

    Nichols, Shaun; Ulatowski, Joseph 2007: ‘Intuitions and Individual Differences: The Knobe Effect Revisited’. Mind & Language, 22, pp. 346-65.

    Pettit, D.; Knobe, J. 2009: ‘The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment.’ Mind & Language 24:5, pp. 586-604.

  • 29.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility2010Other (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility2010Other (Other academic)
  • 31.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    The Illusion of Undermined Responsibility2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Scepticism and consequentialist about moral responsibilityTwo features about our everyday practice of holding people responsible seem to tug in opposite directions. The first feature is that our attributions of moral responsibility for decisions, actions and outcomes as well as our practice of holding agents responsible are notoriously sensitive to sceptical arguments. Ordinarily, people take agents to be morally responsible for their actions and take them to deserve blame or sanctions for bad actions or praise and rewards for good deeds, without prior reflection on possible metaphysical prerequisites for moral responsibility. But they often come to see metaphysical considerations as highly relevant and find their confidence in moral responsibility shaken when introduced to regress arguments such as Galen Strawson’s “basic argument” or Peter van Inwagen’s “direct argument”, arguments from manipulation such as Derk Pereboom’s “four case argument”, or arguments from luck, such as Al Mele’s contrastive argument.

    The second feature is that our practice of holding people responsible is largely driven by concerns about how motivational structures are affected by our holding or not holding people responsible for decisions and their outcomes. The most obvious sign of this concern is that people often motivate practices of holding people responsible with reference to what would happen in their absence: people would care less about values beyond their immediate interests, go lazy, engage in free-riding. Somewhat more subtly, it is clear that our reactive attitudes, expressed in our ways of holding agents responsible, are sensitive to the qualities of will of those agents. If we learn that an action was not the result of ill will, our tendency to hold the agent responsible for a bad outcome tends to be diminished, just as one would expect if the concern were to modify faulty motivational structures. Expressions of regret and guilt and thus willingness to change motivational and behavioural patterns tend to placate indignation or resentment. From an etiological perspective, it seems plausible that our species have reactive attitudes and engage in practices of holding each other responsible exactly because such reactions modify motivational structures and behaviours in ways that protect and promote values that we care about.

    To the extent that our holding people responsible is motivated by the effects of holding people responsible, it is puzzling why it should be subject the sceptical concerns: neither of the sceptical arguments mentioned above seem to undermine the usefulness of holding people responsible. This is how the two features seem to tug in opposite directions.

    In his influential paper “Freedom and Resentment”, Peter Strawson argued that we should let our practice of holding people responsible be deeply affected by neither of these concerns. Unlike “pessimists”, we should not be moved by sceptical, incompatibilist, concerns because they involved judging the practice from a metaphysical perspective foreign to the participatory stance to which our practices of holding people responsible belongs. Unlike “optimists”, we should not justify our practice with reference to its effects, because, again, such concerns are external to the practice itself, or at least leaves out concerns that are internal to the practice, concerns that are focused on how the action came but have no truck with consequences of holding the agent responsible—perhaps the agent is dead. In my paper, I argue that Strawson and some of his followers misrepresent the relation between sceptical arguments and our practice of holding responsible. As many of his critics have pointed out, the appeal of such arguments is very natural and almost unavoidable given the shape of the concept of moral responsibility that governs this practice. Unlike many of his critics, however, I will argue that our impression that the considerations invoked in such arguments diminish responsibility is nevertheless an illusion, comparable to other cognitive and perceptual illusions. Similarly, I will argue that Strawson misrepresents the role of “external” consequentialist concerns. It is correct that our attributions of moral responsibility are backward-looking, relying on information on how a decision, action or outcomes came about rather than on potential effects of holding the agent responsible for it. But it is also true that our judgments focus on backward-looking concerns because our practices of holding responsible is largely driven by forward-looking—consequentialist—concerns. The argument proceeds in three steps. The first is to make plausible an empirical theory about the concept of moral responsibility operative in our practices of holding people responsible and attributing desert. The second step is to explain why sceptical arguments have intuitive force given this structure. The third step is to present a plausible account of why a concept satisfying this empirical description is governing our judgments of moral responsibility as well as our practices of holding people responsible. The fourth step, finally, is to argue that intuitions resulting from sceptical arguments are best understood as illusory because they are insensitive to what our concept of moral responsibility has been designed to track.

    *Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl, forthcoming: “The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility”, forthcoming in Noûs

    *Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl, 2009: “Judgments of Moral Responsibility: A Unified Account”, Society for Philosophy and Psychology, 35th Annual Meeting 2009, available at http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00004633/

    *Björnsson, Gunnar and Persson, Karl, ms: “Explaining Judgments of Moral Responsibility”, manuscript

    *Björnsson, Gunnar, forthcoming: “Joint responsibility without individual control—the Explanation Hypothesis”, forthcoming in Compatibilist Responsibility: beyond free will and determinism, eds. Jeroen van den Hoven , Ibo van de Poel and Nicole Vincent

  • 32.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The Pragmatics of insensitive Assessments2010In: Logic & Language Conference 2010, Northern Institute of Philosophy & Institute of Philosophy, Book of Abstracts, 2010Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 33.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Towards a Radically Pragmatic Theory of If-Conditionals2011In: Making Semantics Pragmatic / [ed] Ken Turner, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011, p. 103-141Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It is generally agreed that constructions of the form “if P, Q” are capable of conveying a number of different relations between antecedent and consequent, with pragmatics playing a central role in determining these relations. Controversy concerns what the conventional contribution of the if-clause is, how it constrains the pragmatic processes, and what those processes are. In this essay, I begin to argue that the conventional contribution of if-clauses to semantics is exhausted by the fact that these clauses introduce a proposition without presenting it as true so that the consequent can be understood in relation to it. Given our cognitive interests in such non-truth-presentational introductions, conditionals will make salient the wide but nevertheless disciplined variety of contents that we naturally attribute to them; no further substantial constraints of the sorts proposed by standard theories of conditionals are needed to explain the phenomena. If this is correct, it provides prima facie evidence for a radically contextualist account of conditionals according to which conditionals have no truth-evaluable or intuitively complete content absent some contextually provided, sufficiently salient relation between antecedent and consequent.

  • 34.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Almér, Alexander
    Institutionen för Filosofi, Lingvistik och Vetenskapsteori.
    Contextualizing Relativism2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, a number of authors, in particular John MacFarlane, have suggested that evidence having to do with disagreement and retractions calls for abandonment of traditional contextualist analyses of some discourses, e.g., epistemic modals and taste judgments. Data, they argue, instead supports a new relativist notion of semantics, embracing that one and the same asserted proposition might vary in truth with context of assessment. We argue essentially two points with pertinence to adjudicate between this notion of relativism and contextualism. First, we point out that data only speaks in favour of relativism given certain general conceptions of semantics. Secondly, we argue that from within a certain well-known naturalistic semantic framework, the evidence suggests contextualist analysis of "true", "false" and cognates. We briefly sketch how such a non-standard contextualism would account for disagreement and retraction data in a way avoiding the objections from the relativist camp.

  • 35.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Almér, Alexander
    Institutionen för Filosofi, Lingvistik och Vetenskapsteori, Göteborgs universitet.
    The Pragmatics of Insensitive Assessments2009In: Abstract online. Context and Levels of Locutionary Content, Lisbon December 2009, 2009Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In assessing the veridicality of utterances, we normally seem to assess the satisfaction of conditions that the speaker had been concerned to get right in making the utterance. However, the debate about assessor-relativism about epistemic modals, predicates of taste, gradable adjectives and conditionals has been largely driven by cases in which seemingly felicitous assessments of utterances are insensitive to aspects of the context of utterance that were highly relevant to the speaker’s choice of words.

    In this paper, we offer an explanation of why certain locutions invite insensitive assessments, focusing primarily on ’tasty’ and ’might’. We spell out some reasons why felicitous insensitive assessments are puzzling and argue briefly that recent attempts to accommodate such assessments (including attempts by John MacFarlane, Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies) all fail to provide more than hints at a solution to the puzzle. In the main part of the paper, we develop an account of felicitous insensitive assessments by identifying a number of pragmatic factors that influence the felicity of assessments. Before closing, we argue that the role of these factors extends beyond cases considered in the debate about assessor-relativism and fits comfortably with standard contextualist analyses of the relevant locutions.

  • 36.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Almér, Alexander
    Göteborgs universitet.
    The Pragmatics of Insensitive Assessments: Understanding The Relativity of Assessments of Judgments of Personal Taste, Epistemic Modals, and More2010In: The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication, ISSN 1944-3676, Vol. 6, p. 1-45Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In assessing the veridicality of utterances, we normally seem to assess the satisfaction of conditions that the speaker had been concerned to get right in making the utterance. However, the debate about assessor-relativism about epistemic modals, predicates of taste, gradable adjectives and conditionals has been largely driven by cases in which seemingly felicitous assessments of utterances are insensitive to aspects of the context of utterance that were highly relevant to the speaker’s choice of words. In this paper, we offer an explanation of why certain locutions invite insensitive assessments, focusing primarily on ’tasty’ and ’might’. We spell out some reasons why felicitous insensitive assessments are puzzling and argue briefly that recent attempts to accommodate such assessments (including attempts by John MacFarlane, Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies) all fail to provide more than hints at a solution to the puzzle. In the main part of the paper, we develop an account of felicitous insensitive assessments by identifying a number of pragmatic factors that influence the felicity of assessments. Before closing, we argue that the role of these factors extend beyond cases considered in the debate about assessor-relativism and fit comfortably with standard contextualist analyses of the relevant locutions.

  • 37.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Finlay, Stephen
    School of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
    Ethics Discussions at PEA Soup: Gunnar Björnsson and Stephen Finlay, "Metaethical Contextualism Defended2010Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    We are pleased to announce the next installment of our collaboration withEthics, in which we host a discussion of one article from each issue of the journal.  The article selected from Volume 121, Issue 1 is Gunnar Björnssonand Stephen Finlay, "Metaethical Contextualism Defended."  We are very pleased that Ralph Wedgwood will be providing a précis of the article to introduce the discussion.

    Professor Wedgwood's précis will appear, and discussion of the article will begin, on Monday, December 13.  The open-access version of Björnsson and Finlay's article is here.  Abstract:

    We defend a contextualist account of normative judgments as relativized both to (i) information and to (ii) standards or ends against recent objections that turn on practices of normative disagreement. Niko Kolodny and John MacFarlane argue that information-relative contextualism cannot accommodate the connection between deliberation and advice. In response, we suggest that they misidentify the basic concerns of deliberating agents, which are not to settle the truth of particular propositions but to promote certain values. For pragmatic reasons, semantic assessments of normative claims sometimes are evaluations of propositions other than those asserted. Other writers have raised parallel objections to standard-relative contextualism, particularly about moral claims; we argue for a parallel solution.

     

  • 38.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Finlay, Stephen
    School of Philosophy, University of Southern California.
    Metaethical Contextualism Defended2010In: Ethics, ISSN 0014-1704, Vol. 121, p. 7-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We defend a contextualist account of normative judgments as relativized both to (i) information and to (ii) standards or ends against recent objections that turn on practices of normative disagreement. Niko Kolodny and John MacFarlane argue that information-relative contextualism cannot accommodate the connection between deliberation and advice. In response, we suggest that they misidentify the basic concerns of deliberating agents, which are not to settle the truth of particular propositions but to promote certain values. For pragmatic reasons, semantic assessments of normative claims sometimes are evaluations of propositions other than those asserted. Other writers have raised parallel objections to standard-relative contextualism, particularly about moral claims; we argue for a parallel solution

  • 39.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Kihlbom, Ulrik
    entre for Research Ethics & Bioethics, Uppsala universitet.
    Ullholm, Anders
    Södertörns högskola.
    Argumentationsanalys: Färdigheter för kritiskt tänkande2009 (ed. 2)Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Ny reviderad utgåva.Att tänka kritiskt är att självständigt ta ställning till rimligheten i påståenden och argument. Det är en ovärderlig förmåga när vi ställs inför frågor där svaren är många och motstridiga och argumentationen pekar i olika riktningar. I sådana situationer kan det vara svårt att skaffa sig överblick över argumenten, ta ställning till deras styrka och göra en samlad bedömning av alternativen. Lyckligtvis är detta svårigheter som går att hantera med just sådana verktyg som Argumentationsanalys erbjuder. Genom att använda dem förbättrar vi vår förmåga att både identifiera argument i text och tal och bedöma deras beviskraft. Den som själv behöver skriva en argumenterande text eller göra ett argumenterande framförande har dessutom god hjälp av bokens metod att åskådliggöra hur olika argument i en viss fråga förhåller sig till varandra. Argumentationsanalys är en teoretisk och praktisk handledning med övningar. Boken riktar sig till studenter i humanistiska och samhällsvetenskapliga ämnen, men också till alla andra som konfronteras med komplicerade argumentationer.

  • 40.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Persson, Karl
    Institutionen för Filosofi, Lingvistik och Vetenskapsteori, Göteborgs universitet.
    Judgments of moral responsibility - a unified account2009In: Conferences and Volumes: [2009] Society for Philosophy and Psychology, 35th Annual Meeting (Bloomington, IN; June 12-14) (5), 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent work in experimental philosophy shows that folk intuitions about moral responsibility are sensitive to a surprising variety of factors. Studies by Nichols and Knobe (2007) suggest that whether people take agents to be responsible for their actions in a deterministic scenario depends on whether these actions are described abstractly or concretely, and on how serious moral transgression these actions seem to represent. Studies by Nahmias et. al. (2007) show that the kind of determinism involved affects assignments of responsibility. When deterministic scenarios are described using reductionist explanations of action, subjects were significantly less prone to ascribe responsibility than when the deterministic laws are described as involving ordinary psychological concepts. Finally, a study by Knobe (2003) suggests that people are significantly more inclined to hold an agent responsible for bringing about bad side effects than for bringing about good side effects when the agent just doesn’t care about these side effects. Elsewhere, we have presented an analysis of our everyday concept of moral responsibility that provides a unified explanation of paradigmatic cases of moral responsibility, and accounts for the force of both typical excuses and the most influential skeptical arguments against moral responsibility or for incompatibilism. In this article, we suggest that it also explains the divergent and apparently incoherent set of intuitions revealed by these new studies. If our hypothesis is correct, the surprising variety of judgments stems from a unified concept of moral responsibility. Knobe, J. (2003) Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language. Analysis 63, pp.190–93. Nahmias, E.; Coates, J.; Kvaran. T. (2007) Free will, moral responsibility, and mechanism: experiments on folk intuitions. Midwest studies in Philosophy XXXI Nichols, S.; Knobe, J. (2007) Moral responsibility and determinism: the cognitive science of folk intuitions, Noûs 41:4, 663-685

  • 41.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Persson, Karl
    Institutionen för Filosofi, Lingvistik och Vetenskapsteori, Göteborgs universitet.
    Judgments of moral responsibility –a unified account II2009In: ESPP 2009 Budapest, Book of abstracts, 2009, p. 16-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent work in experimental philosophy shows that folk intuitions about moral responsibility are sensitive to a surprising variety of factors. Whether people take agents to be responsible for their actions in deterministic scenarios depends on whether the deterministic laws are couched in neurological or psychological terms (Nahmias et. al. 2007), on whether actions are described abstractly or concretely, and on how serious moral transgression they seem to represent (Nichols & Knobe 2007). Finally, people are more inclined to hold an agent responsible for bringing about bad than for bringing about good side effects that the agent is indifferent about (Knobe 2003). Elsewhere, we have presented an analysis of the everyday concept of moral responsibility that provides a unified explanation of paradigmatic cases of moral responsibility, and accounts for the force of both typical excuses and the most influential skeptical arguments against moral responsibility or for incompatibilism. In this article, we suggest that it also explains the divergent and apparently incoherent set of intuitions revealed by these new studies. If our hypothesis is correct, the surprising variety of judgments stems from a unified concept of moral responsibility. Knobe, J. (2003) Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language. Analysis 63, pp.190–93. Nahmias, E.; Coates, J.; Kvaran. T. (2007) Free will, moral responsibility, and mechanism: experiments on folk intuitions. Midwest studies in Philosophy XXXI Nichols, S.; Knobe, J. (2007) Moral responsibility and determinism: the cognitive science of folk intuitions, Noûs 41:4, 663-685

  • 42.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Persson, Karl
    Institutionen för Filosofi, Lingvistik och Vetenskapsteori, Göteborgs universitet.
    The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conflicting judgments and intuitions are commonplace in philosophical debates about moral responsibility. Some participants think that if an agent does not fully control a decision, then she has no or little responsibility for that decision; others think that some degrees of luck are entirely compatible with full responsibility. Some think that in order for an agent to be responsible for an action, she must have been capable of doing something else instead; others think that what is important is merely that the action was brought about by the agent in the right way. Some feel quite strongly that responsibility for an action is undermined by determinism; others think that what is relevant is how that action relates to the agent at the time of choice, not how the agent came to be such that she chose the way she did. Many of the arguments supplied in these controversies urge us to focus on one aspect or view of the cases discussed at the expense of others. These arguments seem effective in that various differences in focus do tend to affect intuitions of responsibility, for professional philosophers and laymen alike. The fact that changes of focus affect intuitions of responsibility raises questions: On what factors should we focus our attention? What focus makes for reliable intuitions? It is not clear that such questions can be answered by providing further cases or thought experiments to consider, as reactions to such cases are likely to be subject to the same sort of focus relativity. This paper approaches the problem from a new angle. It would be easier to determine what to think about moral responsibility if we were clearer about why we react the way we do to these arguments, and why our reactions vary. To this end, we will do three things. First, we will present a general model of our judgments of moral responsibility, a model according to which such judgments are, essentially, explanatory judgments. Second, we will explain how this model can account for not only factors that affect the degrees to which we assign moral responsibility in ordinary life, but also the sometimes contradictory judgments that people make about one of the most important thought experiments in the philosophical debate about moral responsibility. Finally, we will argue that this has important methodological consequences for that debate.

  • 43.
    Björnsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Persson, Karl
    University of Gothenburg.
    The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility2012In: Noûs, ISSN 0029-4624, E-ISSN 1468-0068, Vol. 46, no 2, p. 326-354Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we do three things. First, we put forth a novel hypothesis about judgments of moral responsibility according to which such judgments are a species of explanatory judgments. Second, we argue that this hypothesis explains both some general features of everyday thinking about responsibility and the appeal of skeptical arguments against moral responsibility. Finally, we argue that, if correct, the hypothesis provides a defense against these skeptical arguments.

  • 44.
    Bodin, Maja
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Sweden; Humanistiskt Centre, Sweden.
    Stern, Jenny
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Käll, Lisa
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Humanistiskt Centre, Sweden.
    Tyden, Tanja
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Larsson, Margareta
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Coherence of pregnancy planning within couples expecting a child2015In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 31, no 10, p. 973-978Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: joint planning and decision-making within couples have evident effects on the well-being of the family. The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of pregnancy planning among pregnant women and their partners and to compare the coherence of pregnancy planning within the couples. Methods: pregnant women and their partners were recruited from 18 antenatal clinics in seven Swedish counties between October 2011 and April 2012. Participants, 232 pregnant women and 144 partners, filled out a questionnaire with questions about pregnancy planning, lifestyle and relationship satisfaction. 136 couples were identified and the womens and partners answers were compared. Results: more than 75% of the pregnancies were very or rather planned and almost all participants had agreed with their partner to become pregnant There was no significant difference in level of pregnancy planning between women and partners, and coherence within couples was strong. Level of planning was not affected by individual socio-demographic variables. Furthermore, 98 % of women and 94 % of partners had non distressed relationships. Conclusion: one of the most interesting results was the strong coherence between partners concerning their pregnancy and relationship. Approaching these results from a social constructivist perspective brings to light an importance of togetherness and how a sense and impression of unity within a couple might be constructed in different ways. As implications for practice, midwives and other professionals counselling persons in fertile age should enquire about and emphasise the benefits of equality and mutual pregnancy planning for both women and men. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 45.
    Bäcklund, Jimmy Ulf Anti-Krister
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities.
    Reciprok egoism, skeptisk empirism och modern fysikalism: Titelförslag på några principer och diskurs kring dessas korrelation2013Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This paper contains an ontological and epistemic analysis of the implication of a consistently physicalist view of reality. This in polemic contrast with transcendentalist positions as that of T. M. Scanlon. I follow along the lines of a sceptical empiricism that I ascribe to Hume and from which, I argue, consistently follows guidelines as set by for example J. L. Mackie and Galen Strawson on topics of self-referential altruism and realistic physicalism respectively.

  • 46.
    Collste, Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Att upprätta offrens värdighet - om global rättvisa och försoning2016In: Liv i försoning: Om upprättelse i kyrka och samhälle / [ed] C R Bråkenhielm och G Möller, Stockholm: Verbum Forlag, 2016, p. 41-65Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 47.
    Collste, Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Betydelsen av historisk rättvisa efter kolonialismen2012In: Etikk i praksis, ISSN 1890-3991, E-ISSN 1890-4009, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 4-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently,  four Kikuyus and former Kenyan Mau-Mau fighters claimed compensation  for castration, torture and rape committed in the British detention  camps in the 1950s. Also recently, representatives of the Herero  people went to Berlin to bring home skulls that Germans brought  to Berlin after the genocide at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.  The detentions and abuses of Kikuyu and the genocide of the Herero  people are just two examples of offenses carried out by European  nations during colonialism. Do these offenses have any reverberations  today? Should we simply forget about the deeds that happened such  a long time ago or do they raise any legal or moral questions?

    The concept  of justice has two dimensions, distributional and rectificatory.  This article focuses on the meaning and implication of rectificatory  justice for historical wrongs. The simple idea that if A is harming  B, A has to correct her act, i.e. the basic idea of rectificatory justice,  presupposes a line of complicated assumptions when it is applied  to specific historical incidences, for example colonialism.

    A model provides  a basis for an explication of rectificatory justice. It is then  applied to a discussion of rectification after colonialism. The  questions of who can rightly claim rectification and who owes rectification,  if there are temporal limitations to rectification and what rectification  after colonialism would imply are discussed. The article ends with  an explication of the meaning of rectificatory justice, an argumentation  for why rectificatory justice is commendable and an assessment of  the demands of the Mau-Mau-fighters and the Herero.

  • 48.
    Collste, Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Book review: Janusz Salamon (ed). Solidarity Beyond Borders: Ethics in a Globalising World2016In: Ethical Perspectives, ISSN 1370-0049, E-ISSN 1783-1431, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 366-368Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 49.
    Collste, Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Det handlar om människovärde2013In: Dagens NyheterArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 50.
    Collste, Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Därför är vissa mer jämlika än andra: Recension av Per Sundman: Egalitarian liberalism revisited. On the meaning and justification of social justice (Uppsala 2016)2016In: Svenska dagbladet, ISSN 1101-2412, no 25 Nov., p. 1Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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