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Jakke Holvas

Jakke Mikael Holvas
Born September 16, 1968, Turku

Master of Arts 1996, PhD 2009 (theoretical philosophy), University of Helsinki

FBC morning TV presenter 2011–13
Host of the FBC Radio Finland current affairs programme Ajantasa and FBC Radio 1 morning programme Ykkösaamu 2008–
Journalist for the TV programme T-Klubi 2006-07, Tarinatalo
Columnist 2004-06, Helsingin Sanomat
Journalist, features and Sunday-edition, 2004-06, Helsingin Sanomat

Member of Lektio, a cooperative specialised in organising lectures and producing articles and columns, 2005–

Photo: Jakke Holvas
Written by Jakke Holvas and Tero Juutilainen (ed.)

Translated by Matthew Billington

In a Doctoral Dissertation you Should Challenge Existing Ideas and Take Risks

I studied for my Master’s degree between 1989 and 1996. I then had a gap of two years, after which I engaged in sporadic periods of postgraduate study between 1998 and 2009. I would have liked to stay at the University forever. The idea of university, the possibility of listening to lectures, reading interesting books and writing about them, was reason enough to be there. You got to stay in the library for years, go to Porthania for coffee every once in a while and return to reading. Could there be anything better? I didn’t want it to end.

As I was studying philosophy, understandably I didn’t have such a great interest in “real” working life. I never understood people who studied at university to get a degree that would make them qualified for a certain profession. Some of the departments of the Historical-Philological Faculty (now the Faculty of the Arts) were ruled by unfortunate power struggles, but as a student I was happy I wasn’t a part of them. I didn’t want a university job because I dreaded the administrative side, the meetings, turning into an Excel guy. I have wondered how many of my friends managed it. Those I studied with are now professors.

This book, Les stratégies fatales by Jean Baudrillard, inspired Jakke Holvas during his studies.

In my postgraduate studies, which I began at the end of the 1990s, I investigated non-economics. Using philosophical classics, I attempted to discover what things did not form a part of economic thinking. The main theoreticians I made reference to in my dissertation were European provocateurs like Nietzsche and Baudrillard. My research was dirty work in the sense that I had to organise the theories the aphoristic Baudrillard himself had not been interested in doing.

Doctoral research is risk-taking. You test out how far you can go in saying things that are against common sense, and whether you can justify it by argumentation and adhering to academic rules. I, for one, always considered that power is in the hands of those who give it, not those who take it. I felt particular satisfaction when I managed to build a steady foundation for what at first looked like a fool’s paradise, a floating idea.

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