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Lennart Nordenfelt

Vice-Chancellor's Office


Senior Professor


+46 8-555 050 00

Phone 2: +46 76-636 51 59


AdDress: Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College
Box 11189, SE-100 61 Stockholm


Stigbergsgatan 30


Lennart Nordenfelt, was appointed  Professor of Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care at Linköping University 1987. He is Senior Professor at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College since 2012.

Nordenfelt’s monographs include Explanation of Human Actions (1974), Events, Actions, andOrdinary 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).  Nordenfelt is also the author of around 10 monographs and textbooks in Swedish.

He has contributed to several journals, including Theoria; Theoretical Medicine;The Journalof Medicine and Philosophy;Health Care Analysis; Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology; International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, and Scandinavian Journal of SocialMedicine. 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. Nordenfelt was Dean of the Faculty of Tema between 1990 and 1993. He was between 1999 and 2004 President of the European Society of the Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care (ESPMH). He was between 1994 and 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. 


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