• University of Helsinki
    Department of Philosophy (Theoretical Philosophy, Practical Philosophy, Philosophy in Swedish)
    Professor
University of Helsinki
Department of Philosophy (Theoretical Philosophy, Practical Philosophy, Philosophy in Swedish)
PhD, 2008
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
  •  85
    Against Seizing the Day
    Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 11. forthcoming.
    On a widely accepted view, what gives meaning to our lives is success in valuable ground projects. However, philosophers like Kieran Setiya have recently challenged the value of such orientation towards the future, and argued that meaningful living is instead a matter of engaging in atelic activities that are complete in themselves at each moment. This chapter argues that insofar as what is at issue is meaningfulness in its primary existential sense, strongly atelic activities do not suffice for…Read more
  •  98
    In the context of a global pandemic, there is good health-based reason for governments to impose various social distancing measures. However, in addition to health benefits, such measures also cause economic and other harms. In this paper, I look at proposals to make use of existing QALY (quality-adjusted life year) valuations and WELLBYs (wellbeing-adjusted life-years) as the currency for making trade-offs between health and other goods. I argue that both methods are problematic. First, whether…Read more
  •  112
    Relational Imperativism about Affective Valence
    Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 1. forthcoming.
    Affective experiences motivate and rationalize behavior in virtue of feeling good or bad, or their valence. It has become popular to explain such phenomenal character with intentional content. Rejecting evaluativism and extending earlier imperativist accounts of pain, I argue that when experiences feel bad, they both represent things as being in a certain way and tell us to see to it that they will no longer be that way. Such commands have subjective authority by virtue of linking up with a rele…Read more
  •  262
    Who Should Bear the Risk When Self-Driving Vehicles Crash?
    Journal of Applied Philosophy. forthcoming.
    The moral importance of liability to harm has so far been ignored in the lively debate about what self-driving vehicles should be programmed to do when an accident is inevitable. But liability matters a great deal to just distribution of risk of harm. While morality sometimes requires simply minimizing relevant harms, this is not so when one party is liable to harm in virtue of voluntarily engaging in activity that foreseeably creates a risky situation, while having reasonable alternatives. On p…Read more
  •  18
    Mistä puhumme, kun puhumme eriarvoisuudesta?
    Kalevi Sorsan Säätiö. 2020.
    Eriarvoisuuspuheella voidaan viitata moniin eri asioihin. Usein sillä tarkoitetaan hyvien asioiden epätasaista jakautumista. Ei kuitenkaan ole itsessään huono asia, että joillakin menee paremmin kuin toisilla. Silloin kun taloudellinen eriarvoisuus on ongelma, kyse on sen syistä tai seurauksista. On kuitenkin myös itsessään moraalisesti ongelmallinen eriarvoisuuden muoto, jota kutsun erivertaisuudeksi. Siinä on kyse joidenkin herruudesta ja ylivallasta toisiin nähden tai siitä, että joita…Read more
  •  272
    Prudence, Sunk Costs, and the Temporally Extended Self
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 1-24. forthcoming.
    Many find it reasonable to take our past actions into account when making choices for the future. In this paper, I address two important issues regarding taking past investments into account in prudential deliberation. The first is the charge that doing so commits the fallacy of honoring sunk costs. I argue that while it is indeed irrational to care about sunk costs, past investments are not sunk costs when we can change their teleological significance, roughly their contribution to our excellen…Read more
  •  2
    The Rise and Fall of Experimental Philosophy
    In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy: Volume 2, Oxford University Press Usa. 2013.
    This chapter is concerned with the use of conceptual analysis, particularly intuitions, in solving various philosophical problems such as the concepts of knowledge, free will, moral judgment, and intentional action, among others. Experimentalists make use of the Survey Model in conducting their studies since survey feedbacks produce data about which philosophical perspectives can be analyzed. An alternative model is the Dialogue Model of inquiry, which has proven to be more efficient as the phil…Read more
  •  71
    Review of Cheshire Calhoun's Doing Valuable Time (review)
    Philosophical Review. forthcoming.
    This is a book review of Cheshire Calhoun's 2018 book, Doing Valuable Time.
  •  306
    The World According to Suffering
    In Michael S. Brady, David Bain & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Suffering, Routledge. forthcoming.
    On the face of it, suffering from the loss of a loved one and suffering from intense pain are very different things. What makes them both experiences of suffering? I argue it’s neither their unpleasantness nor the fact that we desire not to have such experiences. Rather, what we suffer from negatively transforms the way our situation as a whole appears to us. To cash this out, I introduce the notion of negative affective construal, which involves practically perceiving our situation as calling f…Read more
  •  83
    Jotta olisimme moraalisesti vastuussa teoistamme, meidän on kyettävä muodostamaan käsityksiä oikeasta ja väärästä ja toimimaan ainakin jossain määrin niiden mukaisesti. Jos olemme täysivaltaisia moraalitoimijoita, myös ymmärrämme miksi jotkin teot ovat väärin, ja kykenemme siten joustavasti mukauttamaan toimintaamme eri tilanteisiin. Esitän, ettei näköpiirissä ole tekoälyjärjestelmiä, jotka kykenisivät aidosti välittämään oikein tekemisestä tai ymmärtämään moraalin vaatimuksia, koska nämä kyvyt …Read more
  •  353
    Essays in Philosophical Moral Psychology
    Dissertation, University of Helsinki. 2008.
    This 183-page introductory part of my dissertation is an overview of some key debates in philosophical moral psychology and its methodology.
  •  629
    In Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind, Joshua May argues successfully that many claims about the causal influence of affect on moral judgment are overblown. But the findings he cites are compatible with many of the key arguments of philosophical sentimentalists. His account of rationalism, in turn, relies on an overly broad notion of inference, and leaves open crucial questions about how we reason to moral conclusions.
  •  183
    Ideals and Idols: On the Nature and Appropriateness of Agential Admiration
    In Alfred Archer & Andre Grahlé (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Admiration, Rowman and Littlefield. 2019.
    When we admire a person, we don’t just have a wow-response towards them, as we might towards a painting or a sunset. Rather, we construe them as realizing an ideal of the person in their lives to a conspicuous degree. To merit admiration, it is not enough simply to do something valuable or to possess desirable character traits. Rather, one’s achievements must manifest commitments and character traits that define a worthwhile ideal. Agential admiration, I argue, is a person-focused attitude like …Read more
  •  329
    Agency, Experience, and Future Bias
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4): 237-245. 2018.
    Most of us are hedonically future-biased: other things being equal, we prefer pains to be in the past and pleasures to be in the future. Recently, various authors have argued that future bias is irrational, and that we should be temporally neutral instead. I argue that instead of temporal neutrality, the putative counterexamples and the rationales offered for them only motivate a more narrow principle I call Only Action Fixes Utility: it is only when you act on the basis of assigning a utility t…Read more
  •  575
    Who's Afraid of Trolleys?
    In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy, . 2019.
    Recent empirical studies of philosophers by Eric Schwitzgebel and others have seriously called into question whether professional ethicists have any useful expertise with thought experiments, given that their intuitions appear to be no more reliable than those of lay subjects. Drawing on such results, sceptics like Edouard Machery argue that normative ethics as it is currently practiced is deeply problematic. In this paper, I present two main arguments in defense of the standard methodology of n…Read more
  •  34
    Methodology and Moral Philosophy (edited book)
    Routledge. 2019.
    Moral philosophy is one of the core areas of philosophy. It is a fruitful research project in which ethicists investigate a range of different kinds of questions from the abstract metaethical puzzles concerning the meaning of moral language to the concrete ethical problems such as how much we should do to help other people. Yet, even if different answers to all these questions are intensively debated in moral philosophy, there is surprising little explicit reflection of what the appropriate ways…Read more
  •  389
    Rationality as the Rule of Reason
    Noûs. forthcoming.
    The demands of rationality are linked both to our subjective normative perspective (given that rationality is a person-level concept) and to objective reasons or favoring relations (given that rationality is non-contingently authoritative for us). In this paper, I propose a new way of reconciling the tension between these two aspects: roughly, what rationality requires of us is having the attitudes that correspond to our take on reasons in the light of our evidence, but only if it is competent. …Read more
  •  291
    Valuing Anger
    In Myisha Cherry & Owen Flanagan (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Anger, Rowman & Littlefield. 2018.
    It is widely acknowledged that susceptibility to suitable emotional responses is part of what it is to value something. Indeed, the value of at least some things calls for such emotional responses – if we lack them, we don’t respond appropriately to their value. In this paper, I argue that susceptibility to anger is an essential component of valuing other people, ourselves, and our relationships. The main reason is that various modes of valuing, such as respect, self-respect, and love, ground no…Read more
  •  495
    Epistemic Norms and Epistemic Accountability
    Philosophers' Imprint 18. 2018.
    Everyone agrees that not all norms that govern belief and assertion are epistemic. But not enough attention has been paid to distinguishing epistemic norms from others. Norms in general differ from merely evaluative standards in virtue of the fact that it is fitting to hold subjects accountable for violating them, provided they lack an excuse. Different kinds of norm are most readily distinguished by their distinctive mode of accountability. My thesis is roughly that a norm is epistemic if and o…Read more
  •  927
    This paper is an overview of contemporary theories of meaning in life and its relation to well-being.
  •  1044
    A Humean theory of moral intuition
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (3): 360-381. 2013.
    According to the quasi-perceptualist account of philosophical intuitions, they are intellectual appearances that are psychologically and epistemically analogous to perceptual appearances. Moral intuitions share the key characteristics of other intuitions, but can also have a distinctive phenomenology and motivational role. This paper develops the Humean claim that the shared and distinctive features of substantive moral intuitions are best explained by their being constituted by moral emotions. …Read more
  •  383
    Flourishing and Finitude
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2): 1-6. 2014.
    It would be terrible for us if humanity ceased to exist after we all die. But of course, eventually humanity will go out of existence. Does this result in a vicious regress if our flourishing hangs on what happens after us? Mark Johnston thinks so. In this note, I explain how Johnston's objection can be avoided. Briefly, our activities have a meaning horizon that extends for some generations after us. What matters is that we make a positive difference to the lives of those generations, not that …Read more
  •  1952
    Empathy, Emotion Regulation, and Moral Judgment
    In Heidi Maibom (ed.), Empathy and Morality, Oxford University Press. 2014.
    In this paper, my aim is to bring together contemporary psychological literature on emotion regulation and the classical sentimentalism of David Hume and Adam Smith to arrive at a plausible account of empathy's role in explaining patterns of moral judgment. Along the way, I criticize related arguments by Michael Slote, Jesse Prinz, and others
  •  446
    The Narrative Calculus
    Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5. 2015.
    This paper examines systematically which features of a life story (or history) make it good for the subject herself - not aesthetically or morally good, but prudentially good. The tentative narrative calculus presented claims that the prudential narrative value of an event is a function of the extent to which it contributes to her concurrent and non-concurrent goals, the value of those goals, and the degree to which success in reaching the goals is deserved in virtue of exercising agency. The na…Read more
  •  148
    Moral internalism and the brain
    Social Theory and Practice 34 (1): 1-24. 2008.
    In this article, the author discusses the methodology of the internalism debate and the role that neuroscience and related experimental methods can play in it. The author argues that findings in either actual or fictional experimental psychology or neuroscience have little relevance to the debate. He claims that the findings do not provide any independent support pro or con internalism. He also observes that the traditional view of the methodological autonomy of philosophical moral psychology re…Read more