Daniel Weyermann defended his doctoral dissertation

We live in a world that is marked by a wide range human outlooks and ways of living. Humans engage in most diverse social practices, worship a plurality of Gods, and pursue all kinds of goods. The human condition, if allowed to flourish, is expressed in most diverse shapes and forms.

A pile of Daniel Weyermann's dissertations
A pile of Daniel Weyermann’s dissertations

The above quote is the opening paragraph in MA Daniel Weyermann’s doctoral dissertation Political Legitimacy and Ethnocultural Justice. Essays on Public Reason, Democratic Citizenship, and the Rights of Cultural Minorities.

Weyermann publicly defended his dissertation on 19 March 2016. The opponent was Professor Sune Lægaard from Roskilde University. Professor Juha Räikkä was the custos.

In his book, Weyermann discusses multicultural politics. He is interested in the rights of indigenous and national minorities. Weyermann argues “that there are public cultural reasons that can underpin public justifications of minority rights of indigenous and national minorities in a constitutional democracy.”

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Daniel Weyermann in his public defence of his doctoral dissertation
Daniel Weyrmann
Daniel Weyermann after his public defence of his doctoral dissertation







Weyermann’s appearance in the defence was relaxed. It seemed that the kindness and warmness of his personality was radiating around him even at the occasion of defending his dissertation.

The dissertation is available in electronic form.

First workshop on the ethics & neuroscience of self-control

The first workshop of the Improving Ourselves as Moral Agents cluster group was held at the Philosophy unit on February 26th. Kickstarting the workshop, Professor Neil Levy (Oxford/Florey) talked about externalist self-control. He argued that the role of willpower in self-control is exaggerated, and that self-controlled behaviour relies more on structuring one’s environment than it does on sheer force of will.

Oisin Deery (University of Arizona), presenting via Skype, talked about compensating for impaired self-control. He argued that an account of free choices as a natural kind can help explain compensation. Sam Sims (Florida State University) argued that ego depletion can decrease the amount of blame deserved for self-control failures.

Tillmann Vierkant (University of Edinburgh) defended “the crazy view” that judgments and evaluations belong to system 1 thinking, instead of system 2, and that therefore there is no deliberative self-control. Finally, Tom Connor (University of Manchester) described the effects of priming on self-control, arguing that imitation and pretence, both intentional and unintentional, can be used to improve agents’ self-control.

Improving Ourselves as Moral Agents cluster group
In the spring of 2016, the philosophy unit at the University of Turku, Finland, hosts unique opportunities for researchers and postgraduate students in the ethics and science of self-control. Our cluster group, “Improving Ourselves as Moral Agents”, explores both the wider conceptual issues in the research of self-control, and questions concerning self-control implied in the current ethical debate on moral enhancement. In addition to a reading group, a series of three interdisciplinary workshops is organized. For more info, visit turkuselfcontrol.wordpress.com.

Eerik Lagerspetzille 60-vuotisjuhlakirja

Professori Eerik Lagerspetz
Professori Eerik Lagerspetz

Käytännöllisen filosofian professori Eerik Lagerspetz täyttää 60 vuotta maaliskuussa 2016. Merkkipäivää juhlistettiin filosofian oppiaineessa järjestetyllä kahvitilaisuudella ja juhlakirjan julkaisulla. Kirjan latinankielinen otsikko kuuluu E PLURIBUS UNUM. Scripta in honorem Eerik Lagerspetz sexagesimum annum complentis. Teoksen sähköiseen versioon voi tutustua Turun yliopiston julkaisuarkistossa.

Kirjan toimittaja Marko Ahteensuu kuvailee teoksen esipuheessa, että se on kollektiivinen onnittelu professori Eerik Lagerspetzille. Ahteensuu tuo esille myös kirjoittajajoukon laajuuden: ”Kirjoittajina toimii Eerikin väitöskirjan ohjaaja, kollegoita, nykyisiä ja entisiä oppilaita, ystäviä sekä lähisukulainen. Onpa mukana yksi tuntematonkin.” Yhteensä kirjoituksia on 20.

Lagerspetz oli ilahtunut selaillessaan juhlakirjaansa. Hän kiitteli puheessaan filosofian työyhteisöä Turun yliopistossa. Lagerspetzin mukaan näiden ihmisten kanssa on mukava työskennellä.

E PLURIBUS UNUM Scripta in honorem Eerik Lagerspetz sexagesimum annum complentis
Scripta in honorem Eerik Lagerspetz sexagesimum annum complentis

Seminar on Conspiracy Theorizing

Lee Basham Kuva: Mika Hämäläinen
Lee Basham. Kuva: Mika Hämäläinen

Philosophers had a workshop that concerned philosophical issues of conspiracy theories. After Juha Räikkä’s brief introduction, Lee Basham (Texas) presented a paper about “toxic stories”. Those stories (or news) are dangerous for the social stability and economy and many people feel that they should not be investigated. Often they are conspiracy theories.

Matthew Dentith (Auckland) pointed out that the question of the definition of “conspiracy theory” is crucial. Conspiracy theories are plausible if “conspiracy theory” refers to type of explation that is plausible. Talking about “types” may be misleading, however, as all conspiracy theories should be evaluated on a case by case basis.