This paper presents a discussion of my personal experiences of selling a family farm and analyses those experiences using the layered account form of autoethnographic writing. I describe how the cultural influences from family farming led me, a farmer’s son, to also become a farmer, why farmers may choose to continue in their occupation sometimes against increasingly negative economic pressures, why I continued farming for as long as I did, and the thoughts and feelings associated with my decision to sell (...) my farm and exit the industry. I discuss the emotions that I experienced and place them in a theoretical context that makes them more understandable to others. Because this paper examines the effects from my decision to retire from farming it makes a contribution to the limited literature on farmers’ retirement. (shrink)
Sven Bernecker’s contribution to the ongoing revival in the philosophy of memory offers a consistent vision and analysis of propositional remembering, and covers a range of topics in analytic metaphysics and epistemology. Bernecker defends a methodological externalism, by which memory ‘must be analyzed from a third-person point of view’ (34): so even though conceptual analysis remains the primary method, the ‘linguistic intuitions’ that guide it ‘are not a priori but empirical working hypotheses’ (31). Given the central role of such (...) intuitions in Bernecker’s treatment of many briefly described thought experiments throughout the book, it is strange that he does not defend their use more explicitly in this early section on method, instead leaving it to a later footnote (147, n. 11) to say that ‘trying to defend the use of intuitions in the philosophy of memory would . . . take us too far afield’. Bernecker’s subtitle signals a restricted target audience: this is a book for those analytic philosophers who will enjoy long exegeses on Twin Earth, slow switching or quasi-memory. Psychological results on memory are cited, but only piecemeal, and interactive dialogue with scientific theory is not Bernecker’s aim. (shrink)
In his “On the Metaphysics of Knowledge” (this volume), Sven Bernecker presents a novel ‘identificationist’ account of knowledge. In this paper, I will not directly address the epistemological adequacy of Bernecker’s identificationism. Rather, I want to focus on its substantial metaphysical commitments, especially on the problematic idea that our epistemic reasons identify the truthmaker of our respective belief when we know something. My conclusion will be that being a truthmaker for p is metaphysically more demanding than being an epistemic (...) reason for p. A truthmaker for p must necessitate the truth of p, while an epistemic reason for p must merely indicate the truth of p. Thus, we should not expect that epistemic reasons identify the truthmakers of our knowledge-constituting beliefs in the way Bernecker suggests. (shrink)
In seinem Buch Illusion freier Wille? verfolgt Sven Walter zwei Hauptziele. Das erste besteht in dem detaillierten Nachweis, dass die in den letzten beiden Jahrzehnten öffentlichkeitswirksam vorgetragene kognitions- und neurowissenschaftlich begründete Freiheitsskepsis durch die empirischen Befunde nicht gedeckt sei. Das zweite Hauptziel ist, aufzuzeigen, dass Willensfreiheit bzw. „unsere intuitive Freiheitsgewissheit“ durchaus empirisch erforschbaren Beeinträchtigungen unterliegt, aber anderen als von den Wortführern der neurobiologischen Freiheitskritik angeführten: „Unbewusste situationale Einflüsse“ auf unsere Willens- und Entscheidungsbildung seien zwar nicht per se, wohl aber (...) dann freiheitsbedrohend, „wenn sie dazu führen, dass sich unser Wille nicht mehr unserem rückhaltlosen Urteil darüber fügt, was zu tun richtig wäre“. [...]. (shrink)
This comment on Sven Ove Hansson's article on the history of the journal Theoria elaborates and corrects Hansson's characterisation of the political standpoint of the Finnish philosopher Eino Kaila as "sympathetic towards the German regime". Although not an easy question, particularly considering Kaila's unfortunate publications during the Second World War, it is argued that the characterisation is plainly wrong if it refers to the mid-1930s.
The Ethics of Technology. Methods and Approaches avoids the overly simplistic and individualistic approach to the ethics of technology, which might otherwise mislead the reader into a superficial understanding of the discipline. Too often, the ethics of technology is reduced to an overt and over reliance on professional codes, ethical theories (spelled out in terms of the dichotomy between deontology and utilitarianism) and the application of a prescribed heuristic to what most often are black and white individualistic dilemmas described by (...) case studies. The collection of essays edited by Hansson is thus an important contribution to the growing body of literature on the ethics of technology, as it questions and brings to light the broader purpose of engineering and the conceptual tools required for the responsible practice of the profession if we are to enable engineers to address structural issues. (shrink)
The book under review is a collection of thirteen essays on the nature phenomenal concepts and the ways in which phenomenal concepts figure in debates over physicalism. Phenomenal concepts are of special interest in a number of ways. First, they refer to phenomenal experiences, and the qualitative character of those experiences whose metaphysical status is hotly debated. There are recent arguments, originating in Descartes’ famous conceivability argument, that purport to show that phenomenal experience is irreducibly non-physical. Second, phenomenal concepts are (...) widely thought to be special and unique among concepts. Both the anti-physicalist arguments and physicalist replies to these arguments turn on views about the nature of phenomenal concepts. In this review I survey the many ways in which the essays in this volume are engaged with anti-physicalist arguments and the role phenomenal concepts play in these arguments. (shrink)