Browsing by Subject "death"

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  • University of Helsinki, Swedish School of Social Science Subunit; Sillander, Kenneth; Couderc, Pascal; (NIAS press,, 2012)
    NIAS studies in Asian topics
  • Pihkala, Panu Petteri (2018)
    In order to fare better amidst a growing environmental crisis, we need to face death and mortality in more profound ways. Recent psychosocial research on environmental themes has provided crucial insights. People have trouble dealing with mortality, and because environmental threats remind them (often unconsciously) of death, they tend to escape into non-sustainable behavior. In this article, I present key insights from this interdisciplinary research and explore its relevance for practicing theologians.
  • Radomska, Marietta (2020)
    In the contemporary context of environmental crises and the degradation of resources, certain habitats become unliveable, leading to the death of individuals and species extinction. Whilst bioscience emphasises interdependency and relationality as crucial characteristics of life shared by all organisms, Western cultural imaginaries tend to draw a thick dividing line between humans and nonhumans, particularly evident in the context of death. On the one hand, death appears as a process common to all forms of life; on the other, as an event that distinguishes human from other organisms. Against this background, this article explores how contemporary art-in particular, the series of worksThe Absence of Alice(2008-2011) by Australian new-media and bioartist Svenja Kratz-challenges the normative and human-exceptionalist concept of death. By employingqueerfeminist biophilosophyas a strategy that focuses on relations, processes and transformations instead of 'essences', the article examines the ways Kratz's worksdeterritorialisethe conventional concept of death. In this way, it hopes to attend to the intimacies between materialities of a human and nonhuman kind that form part of the processes of death and dying, and what follows, to reframe ethico-ontology of death as material and processual ecologies of the non/living.
  • Cailleret, Maxime; Dakos, Vasilis; Jansen, Steven; Robert, Elisabeth M.R.; Aakala, Tuomas; Amoroso, Mariano M.; Antos, Joe A.; Bigler, Christof; Bugmann, Harald; Caccianaga, Marco; Camarero, Jesus-Julio; Cherubini, Paolo; Goeya, Marie R.; Cufar, Katarina; Das, Adrian J.; Davi, Hendrik; Gea-Izquierdo, Guillermo; Gillner, Sten; Haavik, Laurel J.; Hartmann, Henrik; Heres, Ana-Maria; Hultine, Kevin R.; Janda, Pavel; Kane, Jeffrey M.; Kharuk, Vlachelsav I.; Kitzberger, Thomas; Klein, Tamir; Levanic, Tom; Linares, Juan-Carlos; Lombardi, Fabio; Mäkinen, Harri; Meszaros, Ilona; Metsaranta, Juha M.; Oberhuber, Walter; Papadopoulos, Andreas; Petritan, Any Mary; Rohner, Brigitte; Sanguesa-Barreda, Gabriel; Smith, Jeremy M.; Stan, Amanda B.; Stojanovic, Dejan B.; Laura Suarez, Maria; Svoboda, Miroslav; Trotsiuk, Volodymyr; Villalba, Ricardo; Westwood, Alana R.; Wyckoff, Peter H.; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi (2019)
    Tree mortality is a key driver of forest dynamics and its occurrence is projected to increase in the future due to climate change. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the physiological mechanisms leading to death, we still lack robust indicators of mortality risk that could be applied at the individual tree scale. Here, we build on a previous contribution exploring the differences in growth level between trees that died and survived a given mortality event to assess whether changes in temporal autocorrelation, variance, and synchrony in time-series of annual radial growth data can be used as early warning signals of mortality risk. Taking advantage of a unique global ring-width database of 3065 dead trees and 4389 living trees growing together at 198 sites (belonging to 36 gymnosperm and angiosperm species), we analyzed temporal changes in autocorrelation, variance, and synchrony before tree death (diachronic analysis), and also compared these metrics between trees that died and trees that survived a given mortality event (synchronic analysis). Changes in autocorrelation were a poor indicator of mortality risk. However, we found a gradual increase in inter- annual growth variability and a decrease in growth synchrony in the last similar to 20 years before mortality of gymnosperms, irrespective of the cause of mortality. These changes could be associated with drought-induced alterations in carbon economy and allocation patterns. In angiosperms, we did not find any consistent changes in any metric. Such lack of any signal might be explained by the relatively high capacity of angiosperms to recover after a stress-induced growth decline. Our analysis provides a robust method for estimating early-warning signals of tree mortality based on annual growth data. In addition to the frequently reported decrease in growth rates, an increase in inter-annual growth variability and a decrease in growth synchrony may be powerful predictors of gymnosperm mortality risk, but not necessarily so for angiosperms.
  • Pajunen, T.; Vuori, E.; Lunetta, P. (2018)
    Background: Post-mortem (PM) ethanol production may hamper the interpretation of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in victims of drowning. Different exclusion criteria (e.g. cases with low BAC or with protracted interval between death and toxicological analysis) have been proposed with no factual figures to reduce the potential bias due to PM ethanol production when examining the prevalence rates for alcohol-related drowning. The aim of this study is to verify the extent to which PM alcohol production may affect the accuracy of studies on drowning and alcohol. Findings: Unintentional fatal drowning cases (n = 967) for which a full medico-legal autopsy and toxicological analysis was performed, in Finland, from 2000 to 2013, and relevant variables (demographic data of the victims, month of incident, PM submersion time, blood alcohol concentration, urine alcohol concentration (UAC), vitreous humour alcohol concentration (VAC) were available. Overall, out of 967 unintentional drownings, 623 (64.4%) were positive for alcohol (BAC > 0 mg/dL), 595 (61.5%) had a BAC ≥ 50 mg/dL, and 567 (58.6%) a BAC ≥ 100 mg/dL. Simultaneous measurements, in each victim, of BAC, UAC, and VAC revealed PM ethanol production in only 4 victims (BAC: 25 mg/dL – 48 mg/dL). These false positive cases represented 0.4% of drownings with BAC > 0 mg/dL and 14.3% of drownings with BAC > 0 mg/dL and <50 mg/dL. Conclusions: The present study suggests that PM ethanol production has a limited impact on research addressing the prevalence rate for alcohol-related drowning and that the use of too rigorous exclusion criteria, such as those previously recommended, may led to a significant underestimation of actual alcohol-positive drowning cases. © 2018, The Author(s).
  • Airaksinen, Timo (2021)
    I present a new interpretation of Heraclitus' ideas of stepping into a river twice etc: it refers to death and resurrection. I provide a context for this idea.
  • Voutilainen, Veera (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    This thesis joins the eternal process of reaching for the unreachable, mysterious space of non-existence. Instead of defining anything or offering any answers, it makes portraits of a particular phenomenon: the question of remembrance and death in a context of today. What kind of scenarios have been offered for our digital afterlife? How do we want to be remembered after death as our lives become more difficult to grasp physically? We will meet a man who travels around the world with an uncanny robot, and listen to an artist in the process of inventing an interactive form for expressing grief through metaphysical dialogue. We will explore ideas of an entrepreneur who offers you a chance to live (symbolically) forever as an avatar, and we will focus on a hybrid eternity project, transforming rituals of memorising into forms that may speak more accurately to the mortals of the digital world. We will imagine a never-ending conversation between two lovers. Behind this curiosity towards the immortal enigma, there lies a wider question of whether our ’less physical’ lives could make us re-imagine, and possibly even notice changes in our beliefs and thoughts about death and remembering. The methodology of this work trusts in the power of human conversation. Through semi-structured, qualitative interviews with a limited amount of people, the thesis searches for scenarios of alternative futures for the culturally shifting rites of passage. Inspired by narrative approach to research and life, stories are valued as ever-changing material through which we construct our realities – and ourselves. What kind of narratives do the present-day technologies encourage us to create? How might our increasingly digital lives be changing the way we memorise and mourn? This work offers a speculative theoretical meditation to a few alternative futures of remembering: apocalyptic self-narratives that make the border between fiction and fact seem obscure. 
  • Brandt, Tatjana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This article-based dissertation is an investigation of the early poetry of Agneta Enckell and Ann Jäderlund. The guiding hypothesis is that Enckell and Jäderlund enact and probe some of the central post-modern ideas about language and the subject dominating the intellectual context of the time. In particular, both poets are heavily influenced by Julia Kristeva s theories. The basic figure of thought functioning as a backdrop for their poetry is that we live in a male-dominated language, which determines our possibilities of expression. Hence, it becomes a crucial poetic task to resist the power of tradition and to carve out a free space in which new forms of personal female expression become possible. The five articles of the thesis investigate, through detailed close readings, how this constellation manifests itself in Enckell s and Jäderlund s poems. In the first article I read Jäderlund s poetry book Som en gång varit äng (1988) as centrally occupied with metapoetical issues that are played in a Narcissus scenario. The second article focuses on Jäderlund s poetry book Snart går jag i sommaren ut (1990). I employ Mikhail Bakhtin s theory of the carnival to shed light on Jäderlund s poetic effort to unsettle and transform traditional symbolic and linguistic structures. Moreover, I use of Kristeva s concept of the chora to elucidate Jäderlund s frequent use of words signifying empty spaces and hollow objects. The third article offers an analysis of the first three poetry books by Enckell: Förvandlingar mot morgonen (1983), rum; berättelser (1987), and Falla (Eurydike) (1991). Arguing that Enckell is guided by a vision of the emancipatory possibilities of poetry similar to that of Kristeva, I focus on Enckell s consistent use of spacings and caesuras in the text as signs of the privations of language that poetry hopes to articulate. The fourth article is an extended reading of Enckell s forth poetry book åter (1994). Here I employ Kristeva s theory of the abject to clarify the book s continuous effort to articulate experiences both appalling and sublime of the unsayable void, which simultaneously transcends and constitutes our language. The fifth article focuses on Jäderlund s first poetry book Vimpelstaden (1985). Drawing on Kristeva and Slavoj i ek, I analyze the disgust and horror that the I expresses in relation to language in general and especially in relation to its own voice.
  • Aarniosuo, Mauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Assuming that living is not always categorically good or categorically bad for the life’s subject, ‘wellbeing’ must be a value that is measured on a non-ratio scale. This entails that there is no significant zero point on the wellbeing level scale. The arbitrary zero point on a non-ratio scale does not signify a lack. Thus, the states of living and non-living are incomparable from the perspective of wellbeing-related interests, for a subject does not have any wellbeing level while not alive. A similar argument was put forward already by Epicurus and Lucretius. The concepts of ‘a life worth living’ and ‘a life not worth living’ are flawed. Birth and death, as coming into existence and ceasing to exist, can never either harm or benefit a life’s subject wellbeing-wise. This is true a priori. As wellbeing levels are non-ratio values, they do not cumulate. Hence, it makes little sense in trying to compare the wellbeing values of wholes, like complete lives, especially if they are of different duration. The thesis starts from a premise of ‘wellbeing’ relating to moments of time, this being the undisputed part of the different interpretations of the term. Only after carefully examining the concept of a ‘wellbeing level’ and its features, a theory is built to address the question of how to compare values of temporal wholes. In the process, all of the possible symmetrical and asymmetrical theories of the personal value of birth and death are laid out, and their relationship with the concept of ‘wellbeing’ is analyzed. The term ‘biosignificantism’ is introduced to refer to a theory according to which birth and death may both be either beneficial or detrimental to a subject from a wellbeing-point-of-view. The claims of biosignificantism are refuted by demonstrating why a significant zero point on a non-ratio scale cannot be defined. The type of non- cumulative wellbeing that a non-ratio scale entails is logically combined with features that pose some limitations on how wellbeing may be affected either causally or non-causally. These limitations are outlined. Finally, the broad implications of a theory that is named ‘bioindifferentism’ and that reduces personal value on non-ratio wellbeing are formulated. The relevant literature that is utilized in the research is largely divided: mostly separate fields of research have been devoted to the relationship of birth and wellbeing, and, on the other hand, the relationship of death and wellbeing. This master’s thesis brings the issues together. Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons (1984) and Ben Bradley’s Well-Being & Death (2009) are central references. Past research has been largely conducted in terms of moral philosophy which seems to have led to a lot of confusions. The thesis’s axiological focus is intended to bring the discussion back to the atom level to lay down the groundwork for also ethics.
  • Sarjokari, K.; Hovinen, M.; Seppä-Lassila, L.; Norring, M.; Hurme, T.; Peltoniemi, O.A.T.; Soveri, T.; Rajala-Schultz, P.J. (2018)
    ABSTRACT On-farm death (OFD) of a dairy cow is always a financial loss for a farmer, and potentially a welfare issue that has to be addressed within the dairy industry. The aim of this study was to explore the associations between OFD of dairy cows, housing, and herd management in freestall barns. To achieve the goal, we followed 10,837 cows calving in 2011 in 82 herds. Data were gathered with observations and a structured interview during farm visits and from a national dairy herd improvement database. The hazard of OFD was modeled with a shared frailty survival model, with SAS 9.3 PHREG procedure (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). The study population was 58% Ayrshire and 42% Holstein cows. The median herd size and mean milk yield in the study herds were 116 cows and 9,151 kg of milk per cow per year. The overall probability of OFD was 6.0%; 1.8% of the cows died unassisted and 4.2% were euthanized. Variation in OFD percentage between individual herds was large, from 0 to 16%, accounting for 0 to 58% of all removals in the herds. Keeping close-up dry cows in an own group was associated with higher hazard of OFD [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.37] compared with keeping them in the same pen with far-off dry cows. Higher hazard on OFD was observed when barns had only one kind of calving pens; single (HR = 2.09) or group pens (HR = 1.72), compared with having both of those types. The hazard of OFD was lower if the whole herd was housed in barns or pens that had only 1 type of feed barrier at the feed bunk, namely post-and-rail (HR = 0.51) or a type with barriers between the cow's heads (HR = 0.49), compared with having 2 types. Lower OFD hazard was observed with wider than 340 cm of walking alley next to the feeding table (HR = 0.75), and with housing a whole herd in pens with only 1 type of walking alley surface, specifically slatted (HR = 0.53) or solid (HR = 0.48), compared with having both types. The hazard of OFD was higher with stalls wider than 120 cm (HR = 1.38) compared with narrower stalls. The hazard of OFD was also associated with breed, parity, and calving season. This study identified many factors that contribute to the incidence of OFD of dairy cows. The solutions for reducing on-farm mortality include housing, management, and breeding choices that are most probably herd specific.
  • University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä; University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts; Saramo, Samira; Koskinen-Koivisto, Eerika; Snellman, Hanna; ; (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2019)
    Studia Fennica Ethnologica
    With so much of the global population living on the move, away from their homelands, and in diasporic communities, death and mourning practices are inevitably impacted. Transnational Death brings together eleven cutting-edge articles from the emerging field of transnational death studies. By highlighting European, Asian, North American, and Middle Eastern perspectives, the collection provides timely and fresh analysis and reflection on people’s changing experiences with death in the context of migration over time. First beginning with a thematic assessment of the field of transnational death studies, readers then have the opportunity to delve into case studies that examine experiences with death and mourning at a distance from the viewpoints of Family, Community, and Commemoration. The chapters highlight complicated issues confronting migrants, their families, and communities, including: negotiations of burial preferences and challenges of corpse repatriation; the financial costs of providing end-of-life care, travel at times of death, and arranging culturally appropriate funerals and religious services; as well as the emotional and sociocultural weight of mourning and commemoration from afar. Overall, Transnational Death provides new insights on identity and belonging, community reciprocity, transnational communication, and spaces of mourning and commemoration.
  • Airaksinen, Timo (Brill, 2019)
    Value Inquiry Book Series
    Names: Airaksinen, Timo, 1947- author. Title: Vagaries of desire : a collection of philosophical essays / Timo Airaksinen. Description: Leiden ; Boston : Brill-Rodopi, 2019. | Series: Value inquiry book series, 0929-8436 ; volume 340. Philosophy, literature, and politics | Includes index. | Summary: “Vagaries of Desire is a major collection of new essays by Timo Airaksinen on the philosophy of desire. The first part develops a novel account of the philosophical theory of desire, including Girard. The second part discusses Kafka’s main works, namely The Castle, The Trial, and Amerika, and Thomas Hobbes and the problems of intentionality. The text develops such linguistic tropes as metaphor and metonymy in connection with topics like death and then applies them to Kafka’s texts. The third part makes an effort to understand the mysteries of sadism and masochism in philosophical and rhetorical terms. The last article criticizes Thomas Nagel’s influential account of sexual perversion and develops a viable alternative”--