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  • Kuusela, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    In this study I consider what kind of perspective on the mind body problem is taken and can be taken by a philosophical position called non-reductive physicalism. Many positions fall under this label. The form of non-reductive physicalism which I discuss is in essential respects the position taken by Donald Davidson (1917-2003) and Georg Henrik von Wright (1916-2003). I defend their positions and discuss the unrecognized similarities between their views. Non-reductive physicalism combines two theses: (a) Everything that exists is physical; (b) Mental phenomena cannot be reduced to the states of the brain. This means that according to non-reductive physicalism the mental aspect of humans (be it a soul, mind, or spirit) is an irreducible part of the human condition. Also Davidson and von Wright claim that, in some important sense, the mental aspect of a human being does not reduce to the physical aspect, that there is a gap between these aspects that cannot be closed. I claim that their arguments for this conclusion are convincing. I also argue that whereas von Wright and Davidson give interesting arguments for the irreducibility of the mental, their physicalism is unwarranted. These philosophers do not give good reasons for believing that reality is thoroughly physical. Notwithstanding the materialistic consensus in the contemporary philosophy of mind the ontology of mind is still an uncharted territory where real breakthroughs are not to be expected until a radically new ontological position is developed. The third main claim of this work is that the problem of mental causation cannot be solved from the Davidsonian - von Wrightian perspective. The problem of mental causation is the problem of how mental phenomena like beliefs can cause physical movements of the body. As I see it, the essential point of non-reductive physicalism - the irreducibility of the mental - and the problem of mental causation are closely related. If mental phenomena do not reduce to causally effective states of the brain, then what justifies the belief that mental phenomena have causal powers? If mental causes do not reduce to physical causes, then how to tell when - or whether - the mental causes in terms of which human actions are explained are actually effective? I argue that this - how to decide when mental causes really are effective - is the real problem of mental causation. The motivation to explore and defend a non-reductive position stems from the belief that reductive physicalism leads to serious ethical problems. My claim is that Davidson's and von Wright's ultimate reason to defend a non-reductive view comes back to their belief that a reductive understanding of human nature would be a narrow and possibly harmful perspective. The final conclusion of my thesis is that von Wright's and Davidson's positions provide a starting point from which the current scientistic philosophy of mind can be critically further explored in the future.
  • Turunen, Rigina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    This dissertation consists of four articles and an introduction. The five parts address the same topic, nonverbal predication in Erzya, from different perspectives. The work is at the same time linguistic typology and Uralic studies. The findings based on a large corpus of empirical Erzya data, which was collected using several different methods and included recordings of the spoken language, made it possible for the present study to apply, then test and finally discuss the previous theories based on cross-linguistic data. Erzya makes use of multiple predication patterns which vary from totally analytic to the morphologically very complex. Nonverbal predicate clause types are classified on the basis of propositional acts in clauses denoting class-membership, identity, property and location. The predicates of these clauses are nouns, adjectives and locational expressions, respectively. The following three predication strategies in Erzya nonverbal predication can be identified: i. the zero-copula construction, ii. the predicative suffix construction and iii. the copula construction. It has been suggested that verbs and nouns cannot be clearly distinguished on morphological grounds when functioning as predicates in Erzya. This study shows that even though predicativity must not be considered a sufficient tool for defining parts of speech in any language, the Erzya lexical classes of adjective, noun and verb can be distinguished from each other also in predicate position. The relative frequency and degree of obligation for using the predicative suffix construction decreases when moving left to right on the scale verb adjective/locative noun ( identificational statement). The predicative suffix is the main pattern in the present tense over the whole domain of nonverbal predication in Standard Erzya, but if it is replaced it is most likely to be with a zero-copula construction in a nominal predication. This study exploits the theory of (a)symmetry for the first time in order to describe verbal vs. nonverbal predication. It is shown that the asymmetry of paradigms and constructions differentiates the lexical classes. Asymmetrical structures are motivated by functional level asymmetry. Variation in predication as such adds to the complexity of the grammar. When symmetric structures are employed, the functional complexity of grammar decreases, even though morphological complexity increases. The genre affects the employment of predication strategies in Erzya. There are differences in the relative frequency of the patterns, and some patterns are totally lacking from some of the data. The clearest difference is that the past tense predicative suffix construction occurs relatively frequently in Standard Erzya, while it occurs infrequently in the other data. Also, the predicative suffixes of the present tense are used more regularly in written Standard Erzya than in any other genre. The genre also affects the incidence of the translative in uľ(ń)ems copula constructions. In translations from Russian to Erzya the translative case is employed relatively frequently in comparison to other data. This study reveals differences between the two Mordvinic languages Erzya and Moksha. The predicative suffixes (bound person markers) of the present tense are used more regularly in Moksha in all kinds of nonverbal predicate clauses compared to Erzya. It should further be observed that identificational statements are encoded with a predicative suffix in Moksha, but seldom in Erzya. Erzya clauses are more frequently encoded using zero-constructions, displaying agreement in number only.
  • Nummivuori, Petri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Tuure Junnila, PhD (1910-1999) was one of Finland's most renowned conservative politicians of the post-war period. Junnila is remembered primarily as a persistent opponent of Urho Kekkonen, a long-term Member of Parliament, a conspicuous opposition member and a prolific political writer. Junnila's ideologies and political views were conservative, and he is one of the most outstanding figures in the history of the National Coalition Party. Junnila also made an extensive career outside of politics, first as an economist and then as an executive of Finland's leading commercial bank Kansallis-Osake-Pankki. The Young Conservative is a partial biography written using traditional historical research methods, which examines Junnila's personal history and his activity in public life up to 1956. The study begins by investigating Junnila's background through his childhood, school years, university studies and early professional career. It also looks at Junnila's work as an economist and practical banker. Particular attention is paid to Junnila's political work, constantly focusing on the following five often overlapping areas: (1) economic policy, (2) domestic policy, (3) foreign and security policy, (4) Junnila and Urho Kekkonen, (5) Junnila, the Coalition Party and Finnish conservatism. In his economic policy, Junnila emphasised the importance of economic stability, opposed socialisation and the growth of public expenditure, defended the free market system and private entrepreneurship, and demanded tax cuts. This policy was very popular within the Coalition Party during the early 1950s, making Junnila the leading conservative economic politician of the time. In terms of domestic policy, Junnila demanded as early as the 1940s that a "third force" should be established in Finland to counterbalance the agrarian and labour parties by uniting conservative and liberal ideologies under the same roof. Foreign and security policy is the area of Junnila's political activity which is most clearly situated after the mid-1950s. However, Junnila's early speeches and writings already show a striving towards the unconditional neutrality modelled by Switzerland and Sweden and a strong emphasis on Finland's right to internal self-determination. Junnila, as did the Coalition Party as a whole, adopted a consistently critical approach towards Urho Kekkonen between 1951 and 1956, but this attitude was not as bluntly negative and all-round antagonistic as many previous studies have implied. Junnila was one of the leading Finnish conservatives of the early 1950s and in all essence his views were analogous to the general alignment of the Coalition Party at the time: conservative in ideology and general policy, and liberal in economic policy.
  • Rusanen, Anna-Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    One task of cognitive science is to explain the information processing capacities of cognitive systems, and to provide a scientific account of how cognitive systems produce the adaptive and systematic intelligent behavior that they do. However, there are several disputes and controversies among cognitive scientists about almost every aspect of the question of how to fulfill this task. Some of these disputes originate from the fundamental issue of how to explain cognitive phenomena. In recent years, a growing number of philosophers have proposed that explanations of cognitive phenomena could be seen as instances of mechanistic explanation. In this dissertation, my aim is to examine to what extent the mechanistic account of explanation can be applied to explanations of complex cognitive phenomena, such as conceptual change. The dissertation is composed of five related research articles, which explore different aspects of mechanistic explanations. The first two articles explore the question, whether explanations of cognitive phenomena are mechanistic in the standard sense. The third and fourth articles focus on two widely shared assumptions concerning the mechanistic account of explanatory models: that (i) explanatory models represent, describe, correspond to or are similar to mechanisms in the world and that (ii) in order to be explanatory a model must represent the relevant causal or constitutive organization of a mechanism in the world. Finally, in the fifth article a sketch of a mechanistic explanation of conceptual change is outlined. The main conclusions of this dissertation can be summarized as four distinct, but related claims: (i) I argue that the standard mechanistic account of explanation can be applied to such cognitive explanations which track dependencies at the performance level. Those explanations refer to mechanisms which sustain or perform cognitive activity. However, (ii) if mechanistic explanations are extended to cover so-called computational or competence level explanations as well, a more liberal interpretation of the term mechanism may be needed (Rusanen and Lappi 2007; Lappi abd Rusanen 2011). Moreover (iii) it is also argued that computational or competence level explanations are genuinely explanatory, and that they are more than mere descriptions of computational tasks. Rather than describing the causal basis of certain performances of the target system, or how that system can have certain capacities or competences, they explain why and how certain principles govern the possible behavior or processes of the target system. Finally, (iv) I propose that the information semantic account of representational character of scientific models can offer a naturalist account of how models depict can depict their targets, and offer also an objective account of how explanatory models can depict the relevant properties of their target systems (Rusanen and Lappi 2012; Rusanen under review).
  • Pareyon, Gabriel (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Self-similarity, a concept taken from mathematics, is gradually becoming a keyword in musicology. Although a polysemic term, self-similarity often refers to the multi-scalar feature repetition in a set of relationships, and it is commonly valued as an indication for musical coherence and consistency . This investigation provides a theory of musical meaning formation in the context of intersemiosis, that is, the translation of meaning from one cognitive domain to another cognitive domain (e.g. from mathematics to music, or to speech or graphic forms). From this perspective, the degree of coherence of a musical system relies on a synecdochic intersemiosis: a system of related signs within other comparable and correlated systems. This research analyzes the modalities of such correlations, exploring their general and particular traits, and their operational bounds. Looking forward in this direction, the notion of analogy is used as a rich concept through its two definitions quoted by the Classical literature: proportion and paradigm, enormously valuable in establishing measurement, likeness and affinity criteria. Using quantitative qualitative methods, evidence is presented to justify a parallel study of different modalities of musical self-similarity. For this purpose, original arguments by Benoît B. Mandelbrot are revised, alongside a systematic critique of the literature on the subject. Furthermore, connecting Charles S. Peirce s synechism with Mandelbrot s fractality is one of the main developments of the present study. This study provides elements for explaining Bolognesi s (1983) conjecture, that states that the most primitive, intuitive and basic musical device is self-reference, extending its functions and operations to self-similar surfaces. In this sense, this research suggests that, with various modalities of self-similarity, synecdochic intersemiosis acts as system of systems in coordination with greater or lesser development of structural consistency, and with a greater or lesser contextual dependence.
  • Kivelä, Jyrki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    In this study the author discusses the historical and philosophical connections between David Hume (1711-1776) and Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). Kierkegaard mainly encountered Humean ideas through the writings of Johann Georg Hamann (1730-1788) and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819). Hamann's and Jacobi's interpretations of Hume were at least among the influences when Kierkegaard developed his idea of paradoxical Christianity and his criticism of "Speculation". Because Hume's discussion of miracles is a classic in the philosophy of religion and Kierkegaard is known for his idea of the absolute paradox as the object of faith and because of Kierkegaard's knowledge of the conclusion of Hume's "Of Miracles", I have found it worthwhile to compare these two terms. The idea of a miracle expressed explicitly in terms of violation of the laws or order of nature is not important to Kierkegaard. I claim that the unavoidable doubtfulness of all historical knowledge and the non-immediate meaning of personal experience are the most important philosophical reasons for Kierkegaard's tangential interest in the concept of a miracle as a philosophical problem. The author argues that Kierkegaard's notion of ordinary belief as the opposite of doubt is at least partly analogous to Hume's notion of belief as a lively conception. Kierkegaard's belief is a terminator of doubt. Hume's custom-based belief acts in the same role when it disregards the uncertainty inherent in the conclusions drawn from our immediate experience. The author further argues that just like the ancient fiction of substance for Hume, the notions of pure being and an absolute beginning in a logical system for Climacus refer to fictional conceptual structures. Kierkegaard argues that there can be no system of life and Hume argues that the philosophical system solving the important problem of perception yields a fictitious solution. Humean notions of true and false philosophy are discussed in this connection. The thesis concludes with the suggestion that there is an affinity between the revocation of the Postscript and the conclusion of the first book of the Treatise. Finally, the author concludes that Kierkegaard was perhaps even profoundly inspired by the ideas present in Hume s thought. He, unlike Hume, embraced the idea of nearly miraculous personal transformation and believing in the most improbable thing. However, they shared the idea that at some basic level we are all nevertheless natural believers. They also understood the lure of abstract thought and saw the dangers of thinking in a sense too highly of philosophical enterprise itself, and agreed on the idea that it is not in fact that tautological or redundant to say that philosophers, too, are human beings.
  • Paavola, Sami (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The purpose of this study is to analyze and develop various forms of abduction as a means of conceptualizing processes of discovery. Abduction was originally presented by Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914) as a "weak", third main mode of inference -- besides deduction and induction -- one which, he proposed, is closely related to many kinds of cognitive processes, such as instincts, perception, practices and mediated activity in general. Both abduction and discovery are controversial issues in philosophy of science. It is often claimed that discovery cannot be a proper subject area for conceptual analysis and, accordingly, abduction cannot serve as a "logic of discovery". I argue, however, that abduction gives essential means for understanding processes of discovery although it cannot give rise to a manual or algorithm for making discoveries. In the first part of the study, I briefly present how the main trend in philosophy of science has, for a long time, been critical towards a systematic account of discovery. Various models have, however, been suggested. I outline a short history of abduction; first Peirce's evolving forms of his theory, and then later developments. Although abduction has not been a major area of research until quite recently, I review some critiques of it and look at the ways it has been analyzed, developed and used in various fields of research. Peirce's own writings and later developments, I argue, leave room for various subsequent interpretations of abduction. The second part of the study consists of six research articles. First I treat "classical" arguments against abduction as a logic of discovery. I show that by developing strategic aspects of abductive inference these arguments can be countered. Nowadays the term 'abduction' is often used as a synonym for the Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) model. I argue, however, that it is useful to distinguish between IBE ("Harmanian abduction") and "Hansonian abduction"; the latter concentrating on analyzing processes of discovery. The distinctions between loveliness and likeliness, and between potential and actual explanations are more fruitful within Hansonian abduction. I clarify the nature of abduction by using Peirce's distinction between three areas of "semeiotic": grammar, critic, and methodeutic. Grammar (emphasizing "Firstnesses" and iconicity) and methodeutic (i.e., a processual approach) especially, give new means for understanding abduction. Peirce himself held a controversial view that new abductive ideas are products of an instinct and an inference at the same time. I maintain that it is beneficial to make a clear distinction between abductive inference and abductive instinct, on the basis of which both can be developed further. Besides these, I analyze abduction as a part of distributed cognition which emphasizes a long-term interaction with the material, social and cultural environment as a source for abductive ideas. This approach suggests a "trialogical" model in which inquirers are fundamentally connected both to other inquirers and to the objects of inquiry. As for the classical Meno paradox about discovery, I show that abduction provides more than one answer. As my main example of abductive methodology, I analyze the process of Ignaz Semmelweis' research on childbed fever. A central basis for abduction is the claim that discovery is not a sequence of events governed only by processes of chance. Abduction treats those processes which both constrain and instigate the search for new ideas; starting from the use of clues as a starting point for discovery, but continuing in considerations like elegance and 'loveliness'. The study then continues a Peircean-Hansonian research programme by developing abduction as a way of analyzing processes of discovery.
  • Svinhufvud, Kimmo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study examines two types of interaction closely connected to the writing of master s thesis: the seminar and the supervisory encounters between the author and the supervisor. The study consists of a summary and four original articles that analyze the thesis interaction from various points of view. The focus is on peer feedback in the seminar, participation in the seminar, and the role of documents in the supervisory encounter. The study uses the method of conversation analysis to analyze encounters videotaped in the seminars and videotaped supervisory encounters. The main research questions are: 1) What do the forms of interaction connected to writing a thesis consist of? 2) How can the seminar and supervision encounters be pedagogically developed? The study analyzes the discussant s text feedback as consisting of three activities, questioning, praise, and the so-called problem-solution feedback. The feedback turn is structurally complicated, because the discussant s feedback has several, partly conflicting goals, and the feedback needs to counter several interactional challenges. Since text feedback is the dominant form of activity in the seminar, discussion and participation face particular challenges. In the supervisory encounters, the study concentrates on the role of written documents in the openings of the encounters. A key observation is that the role of the documents is dominant. Documents are used to topicalize the thesis work, and various kinds of encounter openings are tied to the documents. The results of the study are compared to the literature on university pedagogy and the pedagogy of writing. Some practical suggestions are also given in order to develop supervisory interaction further.
  • Korhonen, Seija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Both in Finland and abroad, Finnish basic language skills are usually taught up to level B of the Common European Framework of Reference. The main objective of this study is to bring out the learners view, the perceptions and the competences of educated adults who have studied as far as this level, that is, completed the basic courses in Finnish. The number of informants totals 345. They represent 38 native languages and have studied Finnish as a second or foreign language. To obtain as comprehensive an understanding as possible of the target group s Finnish language learning, the study applies two different research methods: introspection and error analysis. Introspective data was collected with a form from all 345 informants, asking them, i.a., what do they find to be difficult and what easy in the Finnish language. The error analysis material consists of essays written by 20 informants. The basic hypothesis of this study is that socio-cultural factors such as linguistic and cultural background may affect the learners perceptions of the Finnish language and the development of their Finnish language skills. The introspective answers highlight dozens of difficult and easy aspects of the Finnish language. The informants mentioned 50 difficult and 47 easy aspects, more or less an equal amount, that is, with over one-third of the aspects found to be the same. While difficulties are mentioned more frequently, the most commonly brought up aspects come from relatively few informants. Essays conform 85% to the standards of written Finnish, and the medians of the most common types of errors are quite low. The research data points to the Finnish language not being all that difficult at least not after the completion of basic courses. Nevertheless, this study reveals a number of issues related to the learning and teaching of communicative language competences, which deserve to be contemplated to further develop Finnish-language basic courses and integrate courses of different reference levels into a constructive system that provides increasingly better support to goal-oriented learning. The results also show that it is worthwhile listening to learners voices and using introspection to support the planning of instruction: despite individual differences, the perceptions and competences show good statistical correlation. It would seem that the socio-cultural factors I have studied do not have a statistical impact on learners of this advanced level, or one could also say that the socio-cultural factors common to educated informants have a statistically homogenising influence. Keywords: Finnish as a second language, Finnish as a foreign language, perceptions, competences, introspection, error analysis
  • Käkelä-Puumala, Tiina (2007)
    This dissertation analyzes the interrelationship between death, the conditions of (wo)man s social being, and the notion of value as it emerges in the fiction of the American novelist Thomas Pynchon (1937 ). Pynchon s present work includes six novels V. (1963), The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), Gravity s Rainbow (1973), Vineland (1990), Mason & Dixon (1997), Against the Day (2006) and several short stories. Death constitues a central thematic in Pynchon s work, and it emerges through recurrent questions of mortality, suicide, mass destruction, sacrifice, afterlife, entropy, the relationship between the animate and the inanimate, and the limits of representation. In Pynchon, death is never a mere biological given (or event); it is always determined within a certain historical, cultural, and ideological context. Throughout his work, Pynchon questions the strict ontological separation of life and death by showing the relationship between this separation and social power. Conceptual divisions also reflect the relationship between society and its others, and death becomes that through which lines of social demarcation are articulated. Determined as a conceptual and social "other side", death in Pynchon forms a challenge to modern culture, and makes an unexpected return: the dead return to haunt the living, the inanimate and the animate fuse, and technoscientific attempts at overcoming and controlling death result in its re-emergence in mass destruction and ecological damage. The questioning of the ontological line also affects the structuration of Pynchon's prose, where the recurrent narrated and narrative desire to reach the limits of representation is openly associated with death. Textualized, death appears in Pynchon's writing as a sudden rupture within the textual functioning, when the "other side", that is, the bare materiality of the signifier is foregrounded. In this study, Pynchon s cultural criticism and his poetics come together, and I analyze the subversive role of death in his fiction through Jean Baudrillard s genealogy of the modern notion of death from L échange symbolique et la mort (1976). Baudrillard sees an intrinsic bond between the social repression of death in modernity and the emergence of modern political economy, and in his analysis economy and language appear as parallel systems for generating value (exchange value/ sign-value). For Baudrillard, the modern notion of death as negativity in relation to the positivity of life, and the fact that death cannot be given a proper meaning, betray an antagonistic relation between death and the notion of value. As a mode of negativity (that is, non-value), death becomes a moment of rupture in relation to value-based thinking in short, rationalism. Through this rupture emerges a form of thinking Baudrillard labels the symbolic, characterized by ambivalence and the subversion of conceptual opposites.
  • Mikkonen, Pirjo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study provides a general picture of surnames adopted in Western Finland between 1850 and 1921, the types of names adopted and their backgrounds. They cannot be examined without also including military names, i.e. names given to soldiers in the army in the 18th and especially 19th century. The grounds for the adoption of surnames have not been previously examined, nor have parallels been drawn systematically between civil and military names. In Western Finland, the peasant population was identified by their Christian name and patronymic. House names were used as peasants additional names. In the official documents, such as church registers, the non-landowning peasantry did not have this possibility. Surnames for the Western Finnish peasantry were created starting in the mid-19th century, a process which continued until 1921, when the first Finnish act on names came into force. Western European nationalism reached Finland, too, and Finnish surnames were one way of demonstrating Finnishness. Names were often given by people in positions of authority, clergymen, teachers and foremen. The new phenomenon spread evenly throughout all Western and Southern Finnish parishes. The data for this study is oral data collected in 1986 through a national survey investigating what the Finnish people knew about the motivations and grounds for their own names. Settlement names were the most common grounds for adopting names of which respondents were aware: these accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the data. Even fashionable names were adopted based on place of residence in a notable number of cases: one-fourth of names formed with the suffix -nen and one-fifth of two-syllable names. Western Finnish names consist mainly of words pertaining to nature. Nature-related vocabulary dominates because surnames were often taken from settlement names or modeled after them, and traditional names of places of residence generally described the surrounding nature. The comparative method demonstrates a connection between military names and names adopted without particular grounds or based on models. Finnish military names became more common towards the end of the 19th century. They remained with the families of soldiers as their surnames, and finally many other civilians also adopted them. Both the oral data from 1986 and the archive data on military names provide an opportunity for the first time to delve into the socio-onomastic phenomena of Finnish surnames. The name adoption process of the common population involved a change to a new naming system. By contrast, the new Finnish names of the educated population belonged to the hereditary surname system both before and after they were Finnicized.
  • Moring, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Strange Families targets Finnish rainbow families (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families) in 21st century legislation, media and guidebooks. The research combines theories of gender studies, critical family studies, legal studies, queer studies, and cultural studies. It employs methods of political reading in order to highlight the norms and ideals that are prevalent in public discussions of rainbow families. Through the methodological concept of queerfeminist political reading it focuses on the question of what defines a family when the family is formed in a way that resists the hegemonic norms, ideals, and assumptions of a heteronormative society. The research examines public discussions of rainbow families through three central themes: fatherhood, motherhood and the concept of family. Each theme is analyzed with the specific issues that arise in its relation to rainbow families, and how these issues are discussed. The results show that the recognition of rainbow families raise important issues in relation to norms and ideals of family in 21st century Finland. Legally, recognition of these families requires changes in legislation that ultimately show how law always already falls short in its definitions of family and its attempts to control kinship ties. The attempts to recognize rainbow families expose intrinsic flaws and problems to the law as a system, and by questioning the premises of family legislation, these new structures of recognition also open up possibilities to question the hegemonic status of for example heterosexual marriage as the primary guarantee of legal fatherhood also in the context of heterosexual families. In public discussions of rainbow families, legal recognition and legitimation is lacking. In its absence, parenthood is legitimized through performative acts of parenting. Parenthood is represented as doing, a move which also has some gendered, consequences: Within a system of shared rainbow family parenthood, fatherhood becomes precarious, being mainly conceived of in biogenetic terms - fatherhood as being. Simultaneously motherhood, especially the motherhood of the non-birth-mother, is strengthened and enforced, and perceived as a form of ideal equal parenthood a parenthood that already does what fathers in heterosexual contexts are urged to do. Public discourses related to rainbow families often address the question of male or female role models for children being raised in families with parents of only the other gender. The study finds that this rhetoric hides a form of internalized homophobia. The assumed necessity of a male or a female role model is based on an ideal of normal development, through which the child should be prevented from growing up gay. The research also critically analyses conceptions of the best interest of the child , and finds that it is employed mainly to hide conflicts, heteronormativities or homophobias - both in the families own representations and in other public discourses.
  • Miettunen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study concentrates on three concepts: memory, identity and change. I study the concept of memory in the formation of a communal identity. Individual experiences and emotions are given interpretation and meaning from the basis of the individual's own sphere of knowledge, taught and transmitted by his own culture and society. This memory then becomes the shared idea and ideal of the community, and when transmitted to the next generations it overcomes the boundaries of time. In this process, the memory, therefore, is essentially the factor which at the same time defines and is defined by the community itself. What people call change can be considered to be a constant process of remembering and forgetting. The state of Jordan has created a national identity where the Bedouin past and culture are seen as the promoted symbols of the state. At the same time, the government has worked on the modernization of the Bedouins: the nomads are being sedentarized, secular and religious education, as well as modern technology and health care, are available even in the areas that used to be the most dangerous peripheries in the past. These processes have also influenced the identity of the inhabitants of south Jordan in the last few decades, yet despite all the changes, the most prominent factors in their identity continue to be the tribal heritage and being a Bedouin. I am approaching these concepts from the case of the local saints (Awliyā). In the everyday religion, these holy men and women have gained an important role: people have addressed the saints in order to gain health, wealth, rain, fertility and protection among other things. I have conducted fieldwork in south Jordan and located several holy sites, many of them uncharted until now. Recording folklore and old memories of the sacred places, while also observing the religious practices and everyday life of the local people has been the goal of this work. When studying the local tradition of holy places in South Jordan, it is evident that the old traditions are being forgotten, but what is replacing the old traditions, and how does this change affect the identity of the local people? When such places lose their significance, what effect does it have or perhaps, is it a result of a change that has already taken place in the identity of the people? One topic of special interest is the role of women, as they played a very active part in many of the old traditions and rituals. Another central issue is the tribal integrity and identity, as many of the sacred places were strongly connected to the past of the tribes, with various saints being their ancestors and earlier leaders. Comparing the change in Southern Jordan to the processes that are taking place in other parts of the world has provided a framework for this research. This work is a case study of the change in action, showing on a local level how a community reacts to the new ideas in numerous ways, for example, by returning to its own roots on one hand and embracing the new global scene on the other even to the level of reinventing its own past.
  • Ahola, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The present study scrutinizes the outlawry and outlaws that appear in the Icelandic Family Sagas. It provides a thorough description about outlawry on the basis of extant law and saga texts as well as an analysis of referential connotations attached to it. The concept of outlawry was fundamental for the medieval Icelanders conceptions of their past. Indeed, understanding outlawry is essential for understanding many of the Family Sagas. Outlaws appear in saga texts in significant roles. The Icelandic Family Sagas comprise a group of prose narratives that were written down in the 13th and 14th century Iceland. They are based on events and personae that belong to the 10th century Iceland. These narratives introduce many outlaws, out of which some 75 are named. The Family Sagas are studied here as one corpus and special emphasis is given to those narrative features that repetitively appear in connection with outlawry and the outlaw characters. Therefore, the eventual objects of this study are the medieval Icelanders general conceptions of the historical outlawry as well as the variations of these conceptions throughout the period of saga writing. The medieval Icelanders general conceptions about the 10th 11th century, which are reflected in the Family Sagas, are here referred to as the Saga World. The Saga World is the historically based taleworld to which all of the Family Sagas refer. The medieval law texts, which were derived from centuries old legislative traditions, reveal that outlawry meant banishing from the society and being denied all help, and that the outlawed person lost the protection of the law. In practice, outlawry was a death sentence. However, outlaws occupy many differing roles in the saga narratives even in connection with recurrent narrative motifs. These roles reflect the social and spatial structures of the Saga World. The inspection of outlawry within these structures reveals that the definition of outlawry as it appears in the law texts is insufficient for understanding outlawry in the saga texts. The social and spatial structures also provide a basis for the connotations of outlawry. In this study, these connotations are inspected primarily from the referential connections between outlawry in the Family Sagas and corresponding phenomena in other concurrent literature. This is done by studying the implementations of the basic elements of outlawry in the Family Sagas marginalization, banishing, rejection and solitariness within other literary genres and the taleworlds to which they refer. It is argued that these taleworlds reflect the same ideas that were associated with outlawry in the Family Sagas albeit in different forms and that these different forms reciprocally contributed to the conceptions of outlawry. The variety of denotations and connotations of outlawry that is visible in the medieval Icelandic texts reflects the ambiguity of outlawry in the Family Sagas. This ambiguity may shed light to questions such as why an outlaw could be perceived as a hero in a literary genre that predominantly promoted law and order and why the same outlaw could be perceived as a villain on another occasion.
  • Tapanainen, Pasi (Helsingin yliopisto, 1999)
  • Ruutu, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This study examines the position and meaning of Classical mythological plots, themes and characters in the oeuvre of the Russian Modernist poet Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941). The material consists of lyric poems from the collection Posle Rossii (1928) and two longer lyrical tragedies, Ariadna (1924) and Fedra (1927). These works are examined in the context of Russian Modernism and Tsvetaeva s own poetic development, also taking into account the author s biography, namely, her correspondence with Boris Pasternak. Tsvetaeva s appropriations of the myths enter into a dialogue with the Classical tradition and with the earlier Russian and Western literary manifestations of the source material. Her Classical texts are inextricably linked with her own authorial myth, they are used to project both her ideas about poetry as well as the authored self of her poems. An important context for Tsvetaeva s application of the Classical myths is the concept of the Platonic ladder of Eros. This plot evokes the process of transcendence of the mortal subject into the immaterial realm and is applied by the author as an extended metaphor of the poet s birth. Emphasizing the dialectical movement between the earthly and the divine, Tsvetaeva s Classical personae foreground various positions of the individual between these two realms. By means of kaleidoscopic reformulations of similar metaphors and concepts, Tsvetaeva s mythological poems illustrate the poet s position between the material and the immaterial and the various consequences of this dichotomy on the creative mission. At the heart of Tsvetaeva s appropriation of the Sibyl, Phaedra, Eurydice and Ariadne is the tension between the body and disembodiment. The two lyrical tragedies develop the dichotomous worldview further, nevertheless emphasizing the dual perspective of the divine and the earthly realms: immaterial existence is often evaluated from a material perspective and vice versa. The Platonic subtext is central for Ariadna, focussing on Theseus development from an earthly hero to a spiritual one. Fedra concentrates on Phaedra s divinely induced physical passion, which is nevertheless evoked in a creative light.
  • Virtanen, Tea (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
  • Berg, Patricia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Throughout history, people have moved between places. One approach of studying the relationship between people and the environment they live within is called a phenomenology of landscape. According to this approach, all landscapes are embedded in the social and individual times of memory and there is a right way to move around in the familiar landscape. In this dissertation I present textual references to mobility and travelling in ancient Egyptian non-literary texts from Deir el-Medina. In other words, I examine in what ways the inhabitants of Deir el-Medina wrote about functionally-bound forms of individual movement. The purpose of this study is primarily to examine mobility as expressed in the written media, rather than the practical aspects of travelling. Deir el-Medina is situated on the West Bank of Thebes (modern Luxor). It was built to house the workmen that were employed by the state to build the royal tombs during the New Kingdom (ca. 1550 1069 BCE), and their families and servants. Due to the nature of the work at least some of the villagers were literate. They thus communicated to some extent in writing, and by doing this, produced a vast textual material of which a part has been preserved until today. Of the large number of non-literary texts originating from Deir el-Medina and its surroundings ca. 4,500 non-literary texts have been made available to scholars through publications. Among these, ca 320 texts include references to mobility and travelling and were incorporated in the corpus of this study. This dissertation is the first comprehensive study of mobility among the inhabitants of Deir el-Medina. Within the corpus, references to mobility and travelling are found in a large variety of text types dating from throughout the New Kingdom. A considerable number of various expressions were used when referring to mobility. However, especially in administrative texts, standardized expressions were also used. One might thus argue that the villagers not only moved in the right way within the familiar landscape, but also wrote about moving within their close environment in a standardized manner. Additionally, in administrative texts references to mobility were in general recorded at the beginning of the text. This would indicate that events related to mobility had a high importance ranking in the documentation system of the necropolis administration.
  • Mattila, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The aim of the dissertation is to explore the idea of philosophy as a path to happiness in classical Arabic philosophy. The starting point is in comparison of two distinct currents between the 10th and early 11th centuries, Peripatetic philosophy, represented by al-Fārābī and Ibn Sīnā, and Ismaili philosophy represented by al-Kirmānī and the Brethren of Purity. They initially offer two contrasting views about philosophy in that the attitude of the Peripatetics is rationalistic and secular in spirit, whereas for the Ismailis philosophy represents the esoteric truth behind revelation. Still, they converge in their view that the ultimate purpose of philosophy lies in its ability to lead man towards happiness. Moreover, they share a common concept of happiness as a contemplative ideal of human perfection, which refers primarily to an otherworldly state of the soul s ascent to the spiritual world. For both the way to happiness consists of two parts: theory and practice. The practical part manifests itself in the idea of the purification of the rational soul from its bodily attachments in order for it to direct its attention fully to the contemplative life. Hence, there appears an ideal of philosophical life with the goal of relative detachment from the worldly life. The regulations of the religious law in this context appear as the primary means for the soul s purification, but for all but al-Kirmānī they are complemented by auxiliary philosophical practices. The ascent to happiness, however, takes place primarily through the acquisition of theoretical knowledge. The saving knowledge consists primarily of the conception of the hierarchy of physical and metaphysical reality, but all of philosophy forms a curriculum through which the soul gradually ascends towards a spiritual state of being along an order that is inverse to the Neoplatonic emanationist hierarchy of creation. For Ismaili philosophy the ascent takes place from the exoteric religious sciences towards the esoteric philosophical knowledge. For Peripatetic philosophers logic performs the function of an instrument enabling the ascent, mathematics is treated either as propaedeutic to philosophy or as a mediator between physical and metaphysical knowledge, whereas physics and metaphysics provide the core of knowledge necessary for the attainment of happiness.