Elinor Hållén

Kort presentation

My main research interests lies in the areas of epistemology, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind and philosophical method, all of which are present in my PhD thesis A Different Kind of Ignorance: Self-Deception as Flight from Self-Knowledge. Another line of research is philosophy of education, which I have explored in a project on "folkbildning" (popular education) as a researcher in the project What Must a Swede Know?


I received my PhD at Uppsala University in May, 2011 when I defended my dissertation, A Different Kind of Ignorance. Self-Deception as Flight From Self-Knowledge. (Opponent: Martin Gustafsson, Professor at Åbo Akademi). My dissertation is an investigation of self-deception in which I critically examine two recent and influential philosophical accounts of self-deception: Donald Davidson’s and Sebastian Gardner’s. Left unsatisfied with the view of self-deception that can be seen in both these accounts – as a rational form of irrationality in which the self-deceiver strategically deceives himself on the basis of having judged that this is the best thing to do, or, in order to achieve something advantageous (in short, the view of self-deception as a lie to oneself) -- I turn to Sigmund Freud and to contemporary philosophers inspired by his work for a different understanding of self-deception (in particular Jonathan Lear, and also, for example, Richard Moran). I argue that self-deception is better understood as motivated lack of self-knowledge and as a flight from anxiety.

My dissertation is electronically published at http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:408360/FULLTEXT01. It was reviewed in Svenska Dagbladet: http://www.svd.se/kultur/understrecket/sjalvbedrageriet-en-svar-not-for-filosoferna_6231192.svd

Between the years 2014-17 I was a working in the field of philosophy of education in a project called "What must a Swede know?", funded by VR (the Swedish Research Council). I studied Swedish "folkbildning" (popular education/liberal education) to examine to what extent it still was -- as the devise "fri- och frivillig", often repeated by politician and public educators alike -- unregulated and non-authoritarian. What effects do the increased number of audits of (the activities of) study associations and folk high schools initiated by the Government have on folkbildning as a form of liberal non-formal education? Moreover, what do the increased number of assignments given to folkbildning do to their self-government? I took a historical perspective on Swedish folkbildning in my work to understand the ideal expressed in the above mentioned devise. By studying governmental bills and evaluations as well as interviews of educators working at folk high schools and study associations, I studied the tension between this ideal and other values and requirements (such as efficiency, cost-effectiveness, state-control).

During the academic year 2018/19 I was Research Fellow at Engaging Vulnerability (EV), a decade-long interdisciplinary research program at Uppsala University. For more information about EV and my research that year, see http://www.engagingvulnerability.se/

I have extensive experience in teaching philosophy at all levels, including supervision of theses at Bachelor and Master-level. My specialities (since I have also done research in these areas) are philosophy of psychology, epistemology, early analytical philosophy, 19th and 20th Century German philosophy and philosophy of mind. Since autumn 2019 I have done extensive work as a supervisor for Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge at Södertörn University, also supervising in philosophy at Master level.


Urval av publikationer

Senaste publikationer

Alla publikationer




Elinor Hållén