The study of the cultural Cold War and East–West interaction outside diplomacy and high politics has emerged as an important research field during the last two decades. With a few exceptions, however, scholarly interaction has been overshadowed by other forms of interaction. Existing research has mostly paid attention to technological exchange and to espionage, which was at times connected with scientific exchanges across the Iron Curtain. This article discusses scholarly exchanges in the human sciences between Finland and the Soviet Union. (...) Even though Finland was a western-style democracy with a market economy, it had close political ties with the Soviet Union, which allowed for the development of active scholarly connections between the countries. This article discusses the emergence of such connections in the human sciences and the reasons for their rapid expansion in the 1970s. (shrink)
Global climate change has been characterised as the crisis of reason, imagination and language, to mention some. The 'everything change', as Margaret Atwood calls it, arguably also impacts on how we aesthetically perceive, interpret and appreciate nature. This article looks at philosophical theories of nature appreciation against global environmental change. The article examines how human-induced global climate change affects the 'scientific' approaches to nature appreciation which base aesthetic judgment on scientific knowledge and the competing 'non-scientific' approaches which emphasise the role (...) of emotions, imagination and stories in the aesthetic understanding of environment. The author claims that both approaches are threatened by global climate change and cannot continue as usual. In particular, he explores aesthetic imagination in contemporary times when our visions about environment are thoroughly coloured by worry and uncertainty and there seems to be little room for awe and wonder, which have traditionally characterised the aesthetic experience of nature. Finally, he proposes that art could stimulate environmental imagining in this age of uncertainty. (shrink)
The debate on the cognitive value of literature is undergoing a change. On the one hand, several philosophers recommend an epistemological move from “knowledge” to “understanding” in describing the cognitive benefits of literature. On the other hand, skeptics call for methodological discussion and demand evidence for the claim that readers actually learn from literature. These two ideas, the notion of understanding and the demand for evidence, seem initially inconsistent, for the notion of understanding implies that the cognitive benefits of literature (...) are ultimately nonverbal and thus inarticulate. In this article, I defend both the move from knowledge to understanding and the demand for evidence. After proposing that the cognitive value of literature is best construed in terms of enhancing the reader's understanding, I argue that the place to look for evidence for the cognitive benefits of literature is not the laboratory but the practice of literature. (shrink)
A key dispute in environmental aesthetics concerns the role of scientific knowledge in our aesthetic appreciation of the natural environment. In this article, I will explore this debate by focusing on the aesthetic experience of forests. I intend to question reductive forms of the scientific approach and support the role of imagination and stories in nature appreciation.
Can literary fictions convey significant philosophical views, understood in terms of propositional knowledge? This study addresses the philosophical value of literature by examining how literary works impart philosophy truth and knowledge and to what extent the works should be approached as communications of their authors. Beginning with theories of fiction, it examines the case against the prevailing ‘pretence’ and ‘make-believe’ theories of fiction hostile to propositional theories of literary truth. Tackling further arguments against the cognitive function and value of literature, (...) this study illustrates how literary works can contribute to knowledge by making assertions and suggestions and by providing hypotheses for the reader to assess. Through clear analysis of the concept of the author, the role of the authorial intention and the different approaches to the ‘meaning’ of a literary work, this study provides an historical survey to the cognitivist—anti-cognitivist dispute, introducing contemporary trends in the discussion before presenting a novel approach to recognizing the cognitive function of literature. An important contribution to philosophical studies of literature and knowledge. (shrink)
This article provides the first historiographical analysis of the origins of Jewish Orthodoxy in Helsinki and describes the development of the rabbinate from the establishment of the congregation in the late 1850s up to the early 1980s. The origins of the Finnish Jewish community lies in the nineteenth-century Russian army. The majority of Jewish soldiers in Helsinki originated from the realm of Lithuanian Jewish culture, that is, mainly non-Hasidic Jewish Orthodoxy that emerged in the late eighteenth century. Initially, the Finnish (...) Jewish religious establishment continued this Orthodox-Litvak tradition. After the independence of Finland, the Helsinki congregation hired academic, Modern Orthodox rabbis educated in Western Europe. Following the devastation of the Shoah and the Second World War, the recruitment of rabbis faced new challenges. Overall, the rabbi recruitments were in congruence with the social and cultural development of the Helsinki community, yet respected its Orthodox roots. (shrink)
Emotions are the focus of intense debate both in contemporary philosophy and psychology, and increasingly also in the history of ideas. Simo Knuuttila presents a comprehensive survey of philosophical theories of emotion from Plato to Renaissance times, combining rigorous philosophical analysis with careful historical reconstruction. The first part of the book covers the conceptions of Plato and Aristotle and later ancient views from Stoicism to Neoplatonism and, in addition, their reception and transformation by early Christian thinkers from Clement and (...) Origen to Augustine and Cassian. Knuuttila then proceeds to a discussion of ancient themes in medieval thought, and of new medieval conceptions, codified in the so-called faculty psychology from Avicenna to Aquinas, in thirteenth century taxonomies, and in the voluntarist approach of Duns Scotus, William Ockham, and their followers. Philosophers, classicists, historians of philosophy, historians of psychology, and anyone interested in emotion will find much to stimulate them in this fascinating book. (shrink)
In analytic aesthetics, a popular ‘cognitivist’ line of thought maintains that literary works of fictional kind may ‘imply’ or ‘suggest’ truths. Nevertheless, so-called anti-cognitivists have considered the concepts of implication and suggestion both problematic. For instance, cognitivists’s use of the word ‘implication’ seems to differ from all philosophical conceptions of implication, and ‘suggestion’ is generally left unanalysed in their theories. This paper discusses the role, kinds and conception of implication or suggestion in literature, issues which have received little attention in (...) contemporary literary aesthetics. In the first part, the author shall examine classic views on implication in literature and introduce objections to the views. In the latter part, in turn, the author shall propose a definition of the ‘literary suggestion’ and discuss issues related to its interpretation. (shrink)
The article defends the no-harm principle as an intuitively plausible and a common-sense way to justify individual emitters’ duties to take more radical steps in the fight against climate change. The appearance of climate change as requiring large-scale collective action should not lead us astray with respect to the fundamental moral nature of the problem: individual emitters who knowingly sustain and foster the carbon intensive ways of acting also bear personal moral responsibility for the foreseeable climate-related harm and acquire in (...) line with the no-harm principle a direct personal duty to contribute to the efforts of preventing the harm. The article examines more closely the so-called collectivistic approach, according to which emitters’ responsibilities are primarily collective, and argues that without individualistic grounds of emitters’ personal moral responsibility for the harm the collectivistic approach fails to provide unstructured emitters with sufficient reason to act together and fulfil their correlative duty of effective harm prevention. The article argues that since an emitter's personal moral responsibility warrants others to expect her personal engagement in the efforts of effective harm prevention and can justify blame if she fails, identifications of personal responsibility may also significantly increase unstructured emitters’ collective capability of remedying the climate crisis. (shrink)
This paper discusses whether prospectiveparents ought to find out about their geneticconstitution for reproductive reasons. It isargued that ignoring genetic information can bein line with responsible parenthood or perhapseven recommendable. This is because parenthoodis essentially an unconditional project inwhich parents ought to commit themselves tonurturing any kind of child. Besides, thetraditional reasons offered for theunfortunateness of impairments and the tragicfate of families with disabled children are notconvincing. Other morally problematic outcomesof genetics, such as discrimination againstindividuals with impairments, and limiting freeparental (...) decision making, are alsoconsidered. (shrink)
This paper discusses the issues of deciding to have a child with mental retardation, and of terminating a pregnancy when the future child is known to have the same disability. I discuss these problems by criticizing a utilitarian argument, namely, that one should act in a way that results in less suffering and less limited opportunity in the world. My argument is that future parents ought to assume a strong responsibility towards the well-being of their prospective children when they decide (...) to reproduce. The moral point in cases in which our acts affect the well-being of future children should be expressed strictly in terms of parents' culpability. Future children thus do not have current moral standing but presently living persons have current obligations to consider the presumable effects of their actions on future people. I will also argue that there are morally significant differences between 'selective contraception' and selective abortion. (shrink)
The idea of a higher level phenomenon having a downward causal influence on a lower level process or entity has taken a variety of forms. In order to discuss the relation between emergence and downward causation, the specific variety of the thesis of downward causation (DC) must be identified. Based on some ontological theses about inter-level relations, types of causation and the possibility of reduction, three versions of DC are distinguished. Of these, the `Strong' form of DC is held to (...) be in conflict with contemporary science; the `Medium' version of DC may for instance describe thoughts constraining neurophysiological states, while the `Weak' form of DC is physically acceptable but may not in practice be a feasible description of the mind/brain or the cell/molecule relation. All forms have their specific problems, but the Medium and the Weak version seems to be most promising. (shrink)
In Neither Physics Nor Chemistry, Kostas Gavroglu and Ana Simoes examine the evolution of quantum chemistry into an autonomous discipline, tracing its development from the publication of early papers in the 1920s to the dramatic changes ...
This paper is about the moral status of those human beings with profound intellectual disabilities (PIDs). We hold the common sense view that they have equal status to ‘normal’ human beings, and a higher status than any non-human animal. We start with an admission, however: we don’t know how to give a fully satisfying theoretical account of the grounds of moral status that explains this view. And in fact, not only do we not know how to give such an account, (...) but the most satisfying account of moral status that we know (which we call ‘the standard account’) entails that our view is false. It entails that those with PIDs have a lower status than ordinary human beings and an equal status to non-human animals. Now, in this paper, we do absolutely nothing to try to show where the standard account goes wrong, and we do absolutely nothing to resolve the difficulties we see in developing an alternative account that supports our view. Indeed, we do not give any argument against the standard account or in favour of our own view. Instead, we raise the following question: in order to be justified in continuing to hold our view, are we obliged to give such an account? Our answer will be that we are not. (shrink)
The editors comment that the core of this book is formed by the papers presented as a special session at the Ninth International Congress of Medieval Philosophy, honoring Norman Kretzmann’s contribution to the study of medieval philosophy. They decided to publish these papers with other essays devoted to issues in Aquinas’s moral theory specially commissioned from a group of Kretzmann’s colleagues, friends, and former students. The book, consisting of ten essays and a list of Kretzmann’s publications on Aquinas, is dedicated (...) to Kretzmann, who died just months before the volume appeared. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to fill an interpretive gap in L. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in what has been overlooked by most scholars of the Austrian philosopher. It is the consideration of the possible influences that he would have suffered from the time of Mechanical Engineering studies and that reflected directly in his philosophy, especially those arising from the field of Physics. Due to the extensive restrictions that involve a scientific article, it will not be possible to present here (...) what we believe to be the influences of L. Boltzmann’s thought on the Wittgenstein Tractatus – which will remain for future work. However, we present the influences of H. Hertz’s The Principles of Mechanics on at least three fundamental themes of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: on the ontological formalism of Tractarian objects, on the picture theory of language and on the conception of science of that work. It is expected that such clarifications will serve a new and important understanding of this seminal work of the 20th century, this time from the perspective of the relationship between Philosophy and Physics in Wittgenstein. (shrink)
As proposições condicionais receberam atenção teórica concentrada, embora intermitente, desde a Antiguidade. A atenção durante últimos quarenta anos tem sido intensa. Nesse artigo, apresentaremos os principais desenvolvimentos da análise lógica acerca das proposições condicionais e discutiremos como elas desempenham papel central em muitas teorias filosóficas. Na primeira parte dessas observações introdutórias, mostraremos como os antigos, principalmente as escolas megárica e estoica, envolveram-se com a questão dos condicionais e quão importante isso foi para os posteriores desenvolvimentos da análise lógica dos condicionais (...) no medievo e na Idade Moderna. Por fim, apresentaremos, já na contemporaneidade, C. I. Lewis expondo sua teoria da implicação estrita em franca oposição à doutrina da implicação que ele julgava errada. Espera-se que este trabalho sirva como a apresentação panorâmica de um campo que em lógica ainda é muito frutífero e fecundo para aprofundamentos e novas ideias. (shrink)
The word "modem" in the title of this book refers primarily to post-medieval discussions, but it also hints at those medieval mo dal theories which were considered modem in contradistinction to ancient conceptions and which in different ways influenced philosophical discussions during the early modem period. The me dieval developments are investigated in the opening paper, 'The Foundations of Modality and Conceivability in Descartes and His Predecessors', by Lilli Alanen and Simo Knuuttila. Boethius's works from the early sixth century (...) belonged to the sources from which early medieval thinkers obtained their knowledge of ancient thought. They offered extensive discus sions of traditional modal conceptions the basic forms of which were: (1) the paradigm of possibility as a potency striving to realize itself; (2) the "statistical" interpretation of modal no tions where necessity means actuality in all relevant cases or omnitemporal actuality, possibility means actuality in some rel evant cases or sometimes, and impossibility means omnitemporal non-actuality; and (3) the "logical" definition of possibility as something which, being assumed, results in nothing contradic tory. Boethius accepted the Aristotelian view according to which total possibilities in the first sense must prove their met tle through actualization and possibilities in the third sense are assumed to be realized in our actual history. On these presump tions, all of the above-mentioned ancient paradigms imply the Principle of Plenitude according to which no genuine possibility remains unrealized. (shrink)
In 1877 Louis Paul Cailletet in France and Raoul Pictet in Switzerland liquefied oxygen in the form of a mist. The liquefaction of the first of the so-called permanent gases heralded the birth of low-temperature research and is often described in the literature as having started a ‘race’ for attaining progressively lower temperatures. In fact, between 1877 and 1908, when helium, the last of the permanent gases, was liquefied, there were many priority disputes—something quite characteristic of the emergence of a (...) new research field. This paper examines Cailletet’s path to the liquefaction of oxygen, as well as a debate between him and the Polish physicist Zygmunt Wróblewski over the latter’s contribution to the liquefaction of gases. (shrink)
Studies in modal notions, such as necessity, possibility or impossibility, have always played an important role in philosophical analysis. The history of these conceptions is a fascinating story of a variety of assumptions which have given shape to one part of rational discourse. A typical modern approach to modality is codified in what is generally known as possible worlds semantics. According to this view, necessity refers to what is actual in any alternative state of affairs, possibility to what is actual (...) in some, and impossibility to what is not actual in any alternative domain. The idea of spelling out the meaning of modal terms with the synchronic alternatives hardly occurred at all in ancient thinkers. They did not draw any sharp distinction between conceptual and real modalities and they were inclined to think that all generic possibilities must prove their mettle through actualization. Why and when did ancient modal conceptions and the modes of thought based on them lose their dominance? The main thesis of this book is that the idea of modality as multiplicity of reference with respect to alternative domains emerged in early medieval discussions and that it was originally influenced by the theological conception of God acting by choice. After a discussion of ancient modal paradigms, the author traces the interplay of old and new modal views in medieval logic and semantics, philosophy and theology. A detailed account is given of late medieval discussions of the new modal paradigms and attempts to apply them to modal logic, epistemic logic, and the logic of norms. These theories show striking similarities to some basic tenets of contemporary approaches to modal matters. This work will thus be of considerable interest to historians of philosophy and ideas, and philosophers of intensional logic and metaphysics. (shrink)
Celem artykułu jest pokazanie możliwości zastosowania J.M. Bocheńskiego koncepcji zabobonu filozoficznego w analizie etycznych ocen i argumentacji. Dla osiągnięcia tego celu koncepcja Bocheńskiego jest najpierw omówiona, następnie wskazane są cechy myślenia etycznego sprzyjające jego podatności na zabobony filozoficzne oraz podjęty jest problem możliwości rozpoznawania i ograniczania zabobonów w refleksji nad moralnością.
This article engages with debates concerning the moral worth of human beings with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMDs). Some argue that those with such disabilities are morally less valuable than so-called normal human beings, whereas others argue that all human beings have equal moral value and so each group of humans ought to be treated with equal concern. We will argue in favor of a reconciliatory view that takes points from opposing camps in the debates about the moral worth (...) of humans with PIMDs. The view in question, roughly, is this: most humans with PIMDs are persons in the morally significant sense and so deserve equal moral consideration to so-called normal human beings. Some humans with PIMD may not, however, be persons, but nevertheless deserve equal moral consideration to persons because they stand in a special relation to persons. (shrink)
Activities protesting against major polluters who cause climate change may cause damage to private property in the process. This paper investigates the case for a more international general basis of moral justification for such protests. Specific reference is made to the Kingsnorth case, which involved a protest by Greenpeace against coal-powered electricity generation in the UK. An appeal is made to Rawlsian fairness arguments, traditionally employed to support the obligation of citizens to their national governments as opposed to their international (...) duties. The argument made here, however, is that there seem to be sufficient reasons for holding that a stable climate is one of the first truly global public goods that is indispensable to acceptable standards of living everywhere. This would suffice to justify international and intergenerational 'atmospheric' political obligations, which in turn may justify protests - even those causing some damage to private property - against the laws and policies that violate the fair terms of cooperation in providing a stable climate. The fairness argument aims also to provide a ground from which Green political theory could integrate accounts of radical forms of citizenship into appeals to state political authority. This leads to justifying acts of civil disobedience on the basis of novel understandings of 'atmospheric' citizenship obligations. (shrink)
This article analyses a New Year’s revue from 1929 by Helsinki-born Jac Weinstein and the image of the Jewish merchant. Many stereotypes concerning ethnicity and gender are at play in the revue and the line between humour, Jewish self-deprecation and antisemitic depiction of the Jew becomes blurred. The questionable business ethics of Jewish merchants is one of the core themes of the revue.The article asks what role ethnic stereotypes played in Jewish humour before the height of National Socialist racial antisemitism, (...) and what purpose such performances served. It examines the various stereotypes found in the couplets, sketches and one-act plays in Weinstein’s kleynkunst performance against the background of transnational Jewish performing arts and current research on Jewish entrepreneurship and antisemitism in Finland. (shrink)