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  • 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.
  • Navickaitė-Martinelli, Lina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In an attempt to expand and enrich the existing trends of musical performance studies, as well as exploit the potentials of semiotic analysis, this dissertation offers the theoretical perspective that enables the unfolding of the multiple meanings generated by and communicated through the performer s art. Without denying that musical performance is inevitably associated with the opus, the semiotic approach, it is proposed here, should study performance as encompassing all the exogenic meanings that do not necessarily depend on a musical work. Thus, the focus of the present dissertation is the figure of a classical music performer as a significant part of society, as well as cultural, institutional and personal discourses that both generate the art of music performance and originate from it. The main targets here are mapping the predominant tendencies of the art of musical performance during the twentieth century and proposing a form of semiotic analysis of different representations and self-representations that musical performers, pianists in particular, put into action in their interactions with social and cultural contexts (including different types of performer-listener communication processes, scholarly analyses, the various media through which the art of music performance is disseminated, and aspects related to the marketing and ideologizing of today s performance practices). The dissertation is structured into four parts. Part 1 introduces a semiotic framework for studying musical performance. Part 2 discusses a variety of meanings communicated through the performers art as well as the media in which the art of classical piano music performance is operating. Part 3 positions the performers art within the Western musical canon by examining Beethoven interpretations as played by pianists of various cultural and historical backgrounds. The concluding Part 4 presents novel discourses on the art of musical performance by analyzing 11 personal websites of Lithuanian classical pianists as an important vehicle of contemporary performers for communicating their artistic identities. It is claimed in this dissertation that the combination of semiotic and musicological approaches is relevant and revealing in the study of musical performance art in that it strongly make a case for current musicology to elaborate increasingly interdisciplinary paradigms and modes of investigation.
  • Vuolasto, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The image of Pietism a window to personal spirituality. The teachings of Johann Arndt as the basis of Pietist emblems The Pietist effect on spiritual images has to be scrutinised as a continuum initiating from the teachings of Johann Arndt who created a protestant iconography that defended the status of pictures and images as the foundation of divine revelation. Pietist artworks reveal Arndtian part of secret, eternal world, and God. Even though modern scholars do not regarded him as a founding father of Pietism anymore, his works have been essential for the development of iconography, and the themes of the Pietist images are linked with his works. For Arndt, the starting point is in the affecting love for Christ who suffered for the humankind. The reading experience is personal and the words point directly at the reader and thus appear as evidence of the guilt of the reader as well as of the love of God. Arndt uses bounteous and descriptive language which has partially affected promoting and picturing of many themes. Like Arndt, Philipp Jakob Spener also emphasised the heart that believes. The Pietist movement was born to oppose detached faith and the lack of the Holy Ghost. Christians touched by the teachings of Arndt and Spener began to create images out of metaphors presented by Arndt. As those people were part of the intelligentsia, it was natural that the fashionable emblematics of the 17th century was moulded for the personal needs. For Arndt, the human heart is manifested as a symbol of soul, personal faith or unbelief as well as an allegory of the burning love for Jesus. Due to this fact, heart emblems were gradually widely used and linked with the love of Christ. In the Nordic countries, the introduction of emblems emanated from the gentry s connections to the Central Europe where emblems were exploited in order to decorate books, artefacts, interiors, and buildings as well as visual/literal trademarks of the intelligentsia. Emblematic paintings in the churches of the castles of Venngarn (1665) and Läckö (1668), owned by Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, are one of the most central interior paintings preserved in the Nordic countries, and they emphasise personal righteous life. Nonetheless, it was the books by Arndt and the Poet s Society in Nurnberg that bound the Swedish gentry and the scholars of the Pietist movement together. The Finnish gentry had no castles or castle churches so they supported county churches, both in building and in maintenance. As the churches were not private, their iconography could not be private either. Instead, people used Pietist symbols such as Agnus Dei, Cor ardens, an open book, beams, king David, frankincense, wood themes and Virtues. In the Pietist images made for public spaces, the attention is focused on pedagogical, metaphorical, and meaningful presentation as well as concealed statements.
  • Huuskonen, Kari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    From The Dark Side: Experiences On Modernisation In The Narrative Community Of Visually Impaired People My study describes the experiences on modernisation among the first generations of the organised visually impaired people in the narrative context of the end of the 19:th century and the first decades of the 20:th century. My research material includes oral and written descriptions, photographs, and various objects that describe the thoughts and experiences of people in the past. The oldest data I found has been developed simultaneously with the formation of the publicity institution in Finland. This data includes both my main source the magazines of blind people and the minutes of blind people s associations. They have been supplemented by biographical interviews. The eldest interviewees have been among the founders of blind people s own magazines and associations in the beginning of the 20:th century. It has been an essential goal of my study to bring these thoughts and experiences of the past into the current discussion going on in the academic disability research: which/what kind of social changes connected with modernisation have increased the exclusion of disabled citizens from society, and which have promoted their integration. In the 19:th century, an institutional philosophy was adopted from other European countries to the Finnish education of disabled children. According to my study, this did not exclude the visually impaired from society. Most of the narrators included in the study lost the daily contact into their close communities when they started at the schools for the blind. Yet because of the huge effort that the society forced them to make, most of them developed into independent and self-supporting citizens. The study also shows that the schools of the blind were not closed institutional communities. Institutions for the blind were meeting points of several generations as well as of different thoughts and philosophies. For a long time, they functioned as the main arenas for the organisational life and social action of the visually impaired, where the community-based culture of activity gradually developed from the satisfaction of basic needs into social forms and a common strategy of survival.
  • Rahikainen, Agneta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The Poet And Her Apostles A biomythographical analysis of the image of Edith Södergran This dissertation is about the constructions and biographical interpretations of the life of the poet Edith Södergran that have emerged since her death in 1923. I investigate what lies behind the agendas and approaches of biographers and scholars, the sources and authorities on which they base their findings and the sources and authorities they have chosen to ignore, and if so, why. I also explore the ways in which they have interpreted her work and placed it in a literary canon. To support my analysis I have made use of Michael Benton's study Literary Biography. An Introduction (2009). Benton employs the concept of biomythography to signify a biography that reflects the dependence of facts on the manner in which they are produced, as well as on cultural context and change. My biomythographical analysis examines these aspects with reference to the ways in which the various interpretations of Södergran are constructed. As a method I have also used parts of a model from Petra Broomans dissertation Jag vill vara mig själv . Stina Aronson (1892 1956), ett litteraturhistoriskt öde (1999), which she based on Hayden White's theory of narrative linguistic expressions in historical research, as expressed in his book Meta History: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1973). I focus on those aspects of Södergran's life that are relevant to the way in which the myths surrounding her emerged, her linguistic and cultural background, her social contacts, medical history, financial situation, ideological interests, position and attitude in literary politics, and the environments in which she lived. I also describe the contemporary reception of her work and the images that it created. Hagar Olsson and Elmer Diktonius are important actors in the early constructions of Södergran s image. The work of her biographer Gunnar Tideström and the scholar Olof Enckell were to a large extent influenced by Hagar Olsson s interpretation of Södergran as it was later manifested in her edition of the poet s letters (Ediths brev, 1955). In the last chapter before the conclusion I describe how the various images of Södergran appear in reference works of literary history, which of the myths about her have survived and which of them have to this day been downplayed.
  • Björk, Ulrika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    In the last thirty years, primarily feminist scholars have drawn attention to and re-evaluated the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir (1908 1986). Her philosophical practice has been described as non-systematic, and her literary writing has been viewed as part of her non-systematic mode of philosophising. This dissertation radically deepens the question concerning Beauvoir s philosophical motivations for turning to literature as a mode to express subjectivity. It explicates the central concepts of Beauvoir s philosophy of existence, which are subjectivity, ambiguity, paradox and temporality, and their background in the modern traditions of existential philosophy and phenomenology. It also clarifies Beauvoir s main reason to turn to literature in order to express subjectivity as both singular and universal: as a specific mode of communication, literature is able to make the universality of existence manifest in the concrete, singular and temporal texture of life. In addition, the thesis gives examples of how Beauvoir s literary works contribute to an understanding of the complexity of subjectivity. I use the expression poetics of subjectivity to refer to the systematic relation between Beauvoir s existential and phenomenological notion of subjectivity and her literary works, and to her articulations of a creative mode of using language, especially in the novel. The thesis is divided into five chapters, of which the first three investigate Beauvoir s philosophy of existence at the intersection of the modern traditions of thought that began with René Descartes and Søren Kierkegaard s intuitions about subjectivity. Chapter 1 interprets Beauvoir s notion of ambiguity, as compared to paradox, and argues that both determine her notion of existence. Chapters 2 and 3 investigate the phenomenological side of Beauvoir s philosophy through a study of her response to early French interpretations of transcendental subjectivity, especially in the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. My analysis shows that Edmund Husserl s distinction between different levels of subjective experience is central to Beauvoir s understanding of subjectivity and to the different ego concepts she uses. Chapter 4 is a study of Beauvoir s reflections on the expression of subjective thought, and, more specifically, her philosophical conceptions of the metaphysical novel and the autobiography as two modes of indirect communication. Chapter 5, finally, compares two modes of investigating concrete subjectivity; Beauvoir s conceptual study of femininity in Le deuxième sexe and her literary expression of subjectivity in the novel L Invitée. My analysis reveals and explicates Beauvoir s original contribution to a comprehensive understanding of the becoming and paradox of human existence: the fundamental insight that these phenomena are sexed, historically as well as imaginatively.