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Bäckström, S. (2023). Spontaneous expression and intentional action. Inquiry, 66(10), 1841-1860
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spontaneous expression and intentional action
2023 (English)In: Inquiry, ISSN 0020-174X, E-ISSN 1502-3923, Vol. 66, no 10, p. 1841-1860Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When spontaneous expressions such as smiling or crying have been at issue in Anglophone philosophy of action, the touchstone has been Donald Davidson’s belief-desire account of action. In this essay, I take a different approach. I use Elizabeth Anscombe’s formal conception of intentional action to capture the distinction and unity between intentional action and spontaneous expression. Anscombe’s strategy is to restrict her inquiry to the class of acts to which a certain sense of the question ‘Why?’ has application. Applying Anscombe’s strategy to an area she did not consider other than by contrast, I argue that spontaneous expressions are subject to a different but intimately related why-question. Both questions elicit non-observational knowledge. But where the question posed to intentional actions opens up a means-end order (an order of practical reasoning) this is not true of the corresponding question for spontaneous expressions. Our explanations of our own spontaneous expressions have conceptual and normative dimensions, but they do not display an inferential order. Anscombe, taking a formulation from Aquinas, describes practical knowledge as the cause of what it understands. I conclude by arguing that this formulation also holds true of our understanding of our own smiles and episodes of crying. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023
Keywords
Anscombe, expression, form, Intentional action, practical reasoning, understanding
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-42117 (URN)10.1080/0020174X.2020.1822910 (DOI)000579289900001 ()2-s2.0-85092225578 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Academy of Finland
Note

This work was supported by Kone Foundation and the Academy of Finland.

Available from: 2020-10-21 Created: 2020-10-21 Last updated: 2023-11-24Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. (2021). Att upprätta mänsklighet i närvaron av våld. In: Jonna Hjertström Lappalainen (Ed.), Aspiranten och erfarenheten: polisers praktisk kunskap (pp. 151-178). Huddinge: Södertörns högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att upprätta mänsklighet i närvaron av våld
2021 (Swedish)In: Aspiranten och erfarenheten: polisers praktisk kunskap / [ed] Jonna Hjertström Lappalainen, Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2021, p. 151-178Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2021
Series
Södertörn Studies in Practical Knowledge ; 11
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-46256 (URN)978-91-89109-65-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-08-19 Created: 2021-08-19 Last updated: 2021-08-19Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. (2021). Must Expression Be Instrumental?. Organon F, 28(2), 282-302
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Must Expression Be Instrumental?
2021 (English)In: Organon F, ISSN 1335-0668, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 282-302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article engages critically with the theory of expression proposed by Mitchell Green in his Self-Expression (2007). In this book, Green argues that expressions are signals designed to convey information about mental states. By putting pressure on one of the examples Green uses in his book, I will challenge this thesis. I will then deepen this challenge by developing a contrast between two philosophical perspectives on expression, which I name the 'instrumental' and the `descriptive'. I take Green's theory of expression to be an exemplar of the instrumental perspective. Expression, in the instrumental perspective, is a means for transmitting information about mental states from organism to organism. The descriptive perspective I articulate with the help of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Ludwig Wittgenstein. On the descriptive view, expression is (at least a part of) an answer to the question what it is so much as to have mental states and a living body. I suggest at the end of the article that if we remain within the instrumental perspective, we will not be able to use expression to satisfactorily answer this question.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vydavatel'stvo Slovenskej Akademie Vied Veda, 2021
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-46064 (URN)10.31577/orgf.2021.28202 (DOI)000659173800002 ()2-s2.0-85108450961 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-07-02 Created: 2021-07-02 Last updated: 2021-07-15Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. (2020). A dogma of speech act theory. Inquiry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A dogma of speech act theory
2020 (English)In: Inquiry, ISSN 0020-174X, E-ISSN 1502-3923Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this article I argue that the distinction between illocutionary and perlocutionary acts needs examination, not just in its details but in its philosophical standing. We need to consider whether the distinction is motivated by (sometimes unwittingly) assumed problematic philosophical assumptions concerning the nature of our dependence on the words of others and the rationality of speech reception. Working with an example of the act of telling, I argue against the idea that the distinction is self-evident or easy to draw. By developing an analogy with perception, I argue further that defending the distinction requires one to engage in an argumentative dialectic with powerful alternative positions. I end by suggesting that taking the challenge further would require us to look more closely at how passivity and rationality might be reconciled in the reception of speech.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020
Keywords
Telling, illocution, perlocution, rationality
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-40358 (URN)10.1080/0020174X.2020.1724563 (DOI)000519319300001 ()2-s2.0-85081301147 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Academy of Finland
Available from: 2020-03-10 Created: 2020-03-10 Last updated: 2021-07-02Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. (Ed.). (2020). Bankdosor, skam och sms-poesi: Essäer om bibliotekens arbete med digitalisering. Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bankdosor, skam och sms-poesi: Essäer om bibliotekens arbete med digitalisering
2020 (Swedish)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Bibliotekspersonal från hela landet belyser digitaliseringen utifrån sina yrkesroller. I nio essäer får vi följa deras komplexa arbete som inbegriper både känslor och värderingar. Dessutom bidrar tre forskare vid Södertörns högskola med sina perspektiv på detta samhällsfenomen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket, 2020. p. 48
Keywords
bibliotek, digitalisering, internet
National Category
Other Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-46253 (URN)9789170004261 (ISBN)9789170004278 (ISBN)
Projects
Digitalt först med användaren i fokus
Available from: 2021-08-19 Created: 2021-08-19 Last updated: 2021-08-19Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. (2020). Vårt behov av ambivalens: om språk och omdöme i bibliotekens arbete med digitalisering. In: Stina Bäckström (Ed.), Bankdosor, skam och sms-poesi: Essäer om bibliotekens arbete med digitalisering (pp. 75-96). Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vårt behov av ambivalens: om språk och omdöme i bibliotekens arbete med digitalisering
2020 (Swedish)In: Bankdosor, skam och sms-poesi: Essäer om bibliotekens arbete med digitalisering / [ed] Stina Bäckström, Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket , 2020, p. 75-96Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket, 2020
National Category
Other Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-46254 (URN)9789170004261 (ISBN)9789170004278 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-08-19 Created: 2021-08-19 Last updated: 2021-08-20Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. (2019). Vad är mat och vad är annat?: Cavell, skepticism, erkännande och komedi. Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift, 54(4), 220-231
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vad är mat och vad är annat?: Cavell, skepticism, erkännande och komedi
2019 (Swedish)In: Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift, ISSN 0029-1943, E-ISSN 1504-2901, Vol. 54, no 4, p. 220-231Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Genom en diskussion av en sketch ur en komediföreställning kommer jag att lyfta fram humorns och komedins relation till skepticismen som tema i Stanley Cavells filosofi. I The Claim of Reason utvecklar Cavell ett samband mellan skepticism och tragedi. Kopplingen mellan komedi och skepticism förblir mer antydd, och då i termer av ett slags symmetri med tragedi. Jag menar att när vi låter humor och komedin ta plats i relation till den skeptiska problematiken så kommer en asymmetri att visa sig mellan tragedi och komedi. Detta har att göra med komedin och humorns förmåga att innefatta och erkänna den smärta som finns i det tragiska. Jag diskuterar Cavells begrepp om erkännande (acknowledgment) och hävdar att begreppet behöver modifieras när vi talar om det slags erkännande som finns i en viss typ av humor.

Abstract [en]

In this essay I discuss, by way of an analysis of a scene from a comedy-show, the relation between humor and comedy and the theme of skepticism in the philosophy of Stanley Cavell. In The Claim of Reason, Cavell develops in detail the connection between skepticism and tragedy, but the connection between skepticism and comedy is only touched upon briefly and in terms of a symmetry with tragedy. I want to suggest that when we allow humor and comedy to take center stage in relation to the theme of skepticism, an asymmetry will emerge. In humor and comedy, there is a possibility of acknowledging the pain involved in tragedy. I discuss Cavell’s concept of acknowledgment and argue that it undergoes a modification when we consider certain forms of humor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Universitetsforlaget, 2019
Keywords
Cavell, skepticism, comedy, humor, tragedy, acknowledgment, Cavell, skeptisisme, komedie, humor, tragedie, anerkjennelse
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-40359 (URN)10.18261/issn.1504-2901-2019-04-04 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-03-10 Created: 2020-03-10 Last updated: 2021-07-02Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. (2018). Modes of a “complicated form of life”: Expression and human-animal continuity. In: Kevin M. Cahill, Thomas Raleigh (Ed.), Wittgenstein and Naturalism: (pp. 223-240). New York: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modes of a “complicated form of life”: Expression and human-animal continuity
2018 (English)In: Wittgenstein and Naturalism / [ed] Kevin M. Cahill, Thomas Raleigh, New York: Routledge, 2018, p. 223-240Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

My aim in this paper is to use the later Wittgenstein to argue against what I call the continuity-view of human and animal expression. Further, I will show that skepticism about animal expression is not the only alternative to the continuity-view. The paper has three sections. In the first section, I articulate the central commitments of the continuity-view: 1) There is a significant overlap in expressive behavior between humans and animals 2) Adding new expressive repertoire to include linguistic expression does not fundamentally alter the entire spectrum of expressive behavior. In the second section, I develop some passages in Wittgenstein into an argument against those commitments. Reflections on the temporal dimension of expressions and the interplay between non-verbal and verbal expression are central to this argument. In the third and more tentative section, I turn to how to avoid skepticism about animal expression, specifically in the form of claiming that the word “expression” is ambiguous. I discuss two ways of preserving conceptual unity while avoiding the continuity-view: categorial generality (which I find in John McDowell’s view on the human-animal relation) and family resemblance (which I associate with Wittgenstein).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge, 2018
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34871 (URN)2-s2.0-85044884509 (Scopus ID)9781315301587 (ISBN)9781138236868 (ISBN)
Funder
Academy of Finland
Available from: 2018-04-23 Created: 2018-04-23 Last updated: 2021-07-02Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S., Huitric, M. & Normark, M. (2018). Reflekterande texter om digitala media: Ett forskningskompendium till teaterföreställningen Spegla mig – ett drama av Rebecca Örtman, konstnärlig ledare för RATS Teater. Stockholm: Styx förlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reflekterande texter om digitala media: Ett forskningskompendium till teaterföreställningen Spegla mig – ett drama av Rebecca Örtman, konstnärlig ledare för RATS Teater
2018 (Swedish)Book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Styx förlag, 2018. p. 48
National Category
Philosophy Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37184 (URN)978-91-85747-74-0 (ISBN)
Note

Innehåll:

Stina Bäckström, Den lilla svarta plattan

Miriam Huitric, Tillit

Maria Normark, Gilla, dela, följ

Available from: 2019-01-08 Created: 2019-01-08 Last updated: 2021-07-02Bibliographically approved
Bäckström, S. & Gustafsson, M. (2017). Skill, Drill, and Intelligent Performance: Ryle and Intellectualism. Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, 5(5), 41-55
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skill, Drill, and Intelligent Performance: Ryle and Intellectualism
2017 (English)In: Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, E-ISSN 2159-0303, Vol. 5, no 5, p. 41-55Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New Prairie Press, 2017
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Other research area
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34153 (URN)10.15173/jhap.v5i5.3205 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-01-13 Created: 2018-01-13 Last updated: 2021-07-02Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-1326-4844

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