Lennart Nordenfelt, is Professor of Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care. He studied philosophy, history of ideas, history of religion and Slavonic languages at Uppsala University. As a graduate student he spent a year, 1969, at the university of Oxford, under the supervision of professor John Mackie, where he started preparing his doctoral dissertation on Explanation of Human Actions, which he defended at Uppsala in 1974. After a year as a secretary at the Office of the Chancellor of the Swedish Universities he was in 1975 appointed a lecturer in Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Stockholm. From 1978 and onwards Nordenfelt has devoted himself to studies and research in the philosophy of medicine and health care. The new research interest prompted him to apply for a position as Associate Professor at the then newly founded transdisciplinary faculty of themes at Linköping University in 1982. He initiated there a research program under the title Theory, Ethics and Ideology of Health Care, which is still running. Twenty persons have so far taken their PhDs within this program. He became a full professor in 1987.
Nordenfelt’s monographs include Explanation of Human Actions (1974), Events, Actions, and Ordinary Language (1977), Causes of Death (1983), On the Nature of Health (1987; second revised, edition 1995), On Crime, Punishment and Psychiatric Care (1992), Quality of Life, Health, and Happiness (1993), Action, Ability, and Health (2000), Health, Science and Ordinary Language (2001), Animal and Human health and Welfare: A Philosophical Comparison (2006) Rationality and Compulsion (2007), On the Concept of Work Ability (2008) and Dignity in Care for Older People (2009). Together with B.Ingemar B. Lindahl he edited Health, Disease and Causal Explanations in Medicine (1984). This book was the academic result of the First Nordic Symposium on the Philosophy of Medicine, held in Stockholm 1982. He is the editor of Concepts and Measurements of Quality of Life in Health Care (1994). Nordenfelt is also the author of around 10 monographs and textbooks in Swedish.
He has contributed to several journals, including Theoria; Theoretical Medicine; The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy; Health Care Analysis; Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology; International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, and Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine. He was a research fellow at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, in 1976, and at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Edinburgh University, Scotland, in 1989. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Warwick, England, in 1998/1999 and Research Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (SCAS) at Uppsala, Sweden, in 2006/2007. He has made presentations to philosophical as well as medical gatherings in all the Scandinavian countries, several European countries as well as in the United States and Canada. He was between 1999 and 2004 President of the European Society of the Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care (ESPMH). Nordenfelt was the dean of the faculty of Tema between 1990 and 1993. He was between 1994 and 2000 a member of the board of Linköping University.
Nordenfelt has made contributions to philosophical action theory, theory of medicine and the theory of health and welfare, in particular. His theory of health draws upon concepts central to action theory. The concept of health itself is in his theory defined in terms of the subject’s ability to realize her or his vital goals. In the field of medical ethics Nordenfelt has particularly focused on the idea of human dignity and he has constructed a model for the analysis of different dignity concepts.
Some recent publications by Lennart Nordenfelt
Varieties of Dignity, Health Care Analysis, 12, 69-81, 2004.
The four notions of dignity, Quality in Aging: Policy, Practice and Research, 6:1, 17-21, 2005.
Dignity and the Older European: Policy Recommendations, Quality in Aging: Policy, Practice and Research, 6:2, 17-20, 2005.
Om kronisk sjukdom och livskvalitet, i Richt B. och Tegern G. (red.) Sjukdomsvärldar: Om människans erfarenheter av kroppslig ohälsa, Studentlitteratur, Lund, pp. 305- 322, 2005.
Animal and Human Health and Welfare: A Comparative Philosophical Analysis, CABI Publishers, Oxford, 2006.
Ethical and Methodological Issues in Interviewing Persons with Dementia; together with Ingrid Hellström, Ulla Lundh and Mark Nolan, Nursing Ethics, 14, 608-619, 2007.
Rationality and Compulsion: Applying Action Theory to Psychiatry, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007.
Three Nursing Home Residents Speak About Meaning at the End of Life; together with Lise-Lotte Dwyer and Britt-Marie Ternestedt, Nursing Ethics, 15, 88-100, 2008.
The Concept of Work Ability, Peter Lang Publishers, Brussel, 2008.
Hemmets värden: Om hälsa, livskvalitet och autonomi, i G.Silfverberg (red.) Hemmets vårdetik: Om vård av äldre i livets slutskede, Studentlitteratur Lund, pp. 67-89, 2007.
Om mänsklig värdighet, i G. Silfverberg (red.) Hemmets vårdetik: Om vård av äldre i livets slutskede, Studentlitteratur, Lund, pp. 119-134, 2007.
Dignity as experienced by nursing home staff (together with L-L. Dwyer, B. Andershed and B.M. Ternestedt) International Journal of Older People Nursing, 4, 185-193, 2009.
Dignity in Care for Older People (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
Värdighet i vården av äldre personer, Studentlitteratur, 2010.
Ability, Competence and Qualification: Fundamental Concepts in the Philosophy of Disability, in DC. Ralston and J. Ho (eds.) Philosophical Reflections on Disability, Philosophy and Medicine Series 104, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 37-54, 2010.
Name: Lennart Nordenfelt
Department: Medical and Health Sciences
Division: Health and Society
Telephone: +46 13 282213
Fax no: +46 13 282995
Division of Health and Society
Department och Medical and Health Sciences
581 83 LINKÖPING
Last updated: 2012-01-26