Bengt Brülde

Associate Professor in Practical Philosophy

Introduction and research

I work as an Associate Professor in Practical Philosophy at University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and as an Associate Professor in Philosophy at University West, Sweden. My current research projects include a volume on public health ethics (which I am editing), a book on the meaning of life (with Filip Radovic and Frank Lorentzon), and a book on the ethical market (with Joakim Sandberg). The areas of research on which I have focused previously include quality of life (well-being), happiness and suffering, the concepts of health and disorder, philosophy of psychiatry, bioethics, enhancement (especially mood enhancement), and business ethics.

Academic history

I was an undergraduate student at University of Gothenburg between 1979 and 1986, and I got my BA in 1982. Besides philosophy (7 semesters full-time study), I studied a variety of other subjects, including history (1 semester), literature (2), psychology (2), and physiotherapy (3). My graduate studies also took place at U of G, where I got my Fil. Lic. degree in practical philosophy in 1992, and my Ph.D. in 1998. The title of my dissertation is The Human Good, and it deals with different theories of well-being. I was a visiting Fulbright scholar at Columbia University, New York, during the academic year 1992-93, and I did a “post-doc” at University of Toronto, Canada, during the academic year 1999-2000.

Teaching experience, appointments etc.

I got my first teaching job at the Department of Philosophy, U of G, in 1982, and with a few minor interruptions, I've been teaching here ever since (mostly as a substitute associate professor). The subjects on which I have thought include the good life, the meaning of life, introductory courses in practical philosophy, basic semantics, normative ethics, metaethics, the history of moral philosophy, medical ethics, Aristotle's ethics, aesthetics, theory of rationality, existentialism, modern theoretical philosophy, philosophy of social science, critical theory, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of medicine, and theory of value. I've also had a number of research positions at U of G, the most recent of which was connected to a large project on relativism (2002-2005). Since 2001 I've also been working as an associate professor at University West, formerly known as University Trollhättan/Uddevalla. The subjects on which I have thought there include philosophy of the social sciences, ethics, history of philosophy, and health promotion. I have also given a lot of lectures on a variety of topics and in a variety of contexts over the years, including weekly appearances on the Swedish national radio (roughly for the last twelve years). I have also supervised students in philosophy, psychology, health promotion, cultural studies, and medicine.

Principal publications

My list of publications consists of approximately 50 titles, most of which are in Swedish. Here is a selection:

The Human Good (dissertation). Gothenburg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1998.

On How to Define the Concept of Health: A Loose Comparative Approach. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

305-308, 2000.

More on the looser comparative approach to defining "health": A reply to Nordenfelt's reply. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

313-315, 2000.

Människans handlingsfrihet (On freedom of action). Presens nr 23/24, 2000.

The Goals of Medicine: Towards a Unified Theory. Health Care Analysis Vol

: 1-13, 2001.

Moralfilosofi i vården – någonting att satsa på? (Moral philosophy in the health care system – something worth going for?) Stockholm: Landstingsförbundet, 2002.

Lindrat lidande som den palliativa vårdens huvudmål. (Reduced suffering as the major goal of palliative care.) In: Sandman L. and Woods S. (eds.), God palliativ vård – etiska och filosofiska aspekter. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2003.

Hälsa och sjukdom – en begreppslig utredning (Health and disease – a conceptual analysis; together with Per-Anders Tengland). Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2003.

Teorier om livskvalitet. (Theories of the quality of life.) Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2003.

The Concept of Mental Disorder. Gothenburg: Philosophy department, 2003.

Om den psykoanalytiska behandlingens mål. (The goals of psychoanalysis.) Gothenburg: Philosophy department, 2003.

Långtidsfrisk eller långtidssjukskriven? Del I: översikt och bakgrund. Tänkbara förklaringar och förslag på åtgärder. Högskolan i Trollhättan/Uddevalla, Forskningsrapport 2005:2.

Realism, Relativism, Constructivism, and Natural Kinds. In: Westerståhl D. and Tännsjö T. (eds.). Lectures on Relativism. Preprints from the Relativism Conference, Gothenburg University, September 17-18, 2004.

What is Mental about Mental Disorder? (together with Filip Radovic). Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 13, no. 2, 2006.

Dysfunctions, disabilities and disordered minds. Our response to the commentaries (together with Filip Radovic). Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 13, no. 2, 2006.

Affärsetik (together with Lars Strannegård). Malmö: Liber, 2007.

Happiness and the good life. Introduction and conceptual framework. Journal of Happiness Studies, Vol. 8, No 1, 2007: 1-14.

Happiness theories of the good life. Journal of Happiness Studies, Vol. 8, No 1, 2007: 15-49

Kvalitet, värde och livskvalitet. I: Strannegård, L. (red). Den omätbara kvaliteten. Stockholm: Norstedts Akademiska, 2007: 175-201.

Lycka och lidande: begrepp, metod, förklaring. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2007.

Wakefield’s hybrid account of mental disorder. World Psychiatry, Vol. 6, No. 3, October 2007: 163-164.

Arbetsförmåga: begrepp och etik. I: Vahlne Westerhäll, L. (red.) Arbets(o)förmåga. Ur ett mångdisciplinärt perspektiv. Stockholm: Santérus förlag, 2008: 165-194.

Inequity, inequality, and the distributive goals of public health. International Journal of Public Health, 53 (2008): 5-6.

Mental Disorder and Values. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 14, no. 2, 2007: 93-102.

Art and science, facts and knowledge. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 14, no. 2, 2007: 111-127.

Can successful mood enhancement make us less happy? Philosophica vol. 79, 2007: 39-56.

Lyckoforskning och etisk reflektion. I: A. Barbosa da Silva, I. Berggren, & H. Nunstedt (red.) Omvårdnadshandledning - ur etiskt och tvärdisciplinärt perspektiv. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2009, 145-159.

Lyckans och lidandets etik. Stockholm: Thales, 2009.

On defining “mental disorder”: Purposes and conditions of adequacy. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 31 (2010): 19-33

Hur viktigt är det att vara lycklig? Om lycka, mening och moral. Stockholm: Bonnier Existens, 2010.

Om global rättvisa. Filosofisk tidskrift, 31 (2010), nr 2: 3-18.

Arbete, klass och livstillfredsställelse (together with Åsa Nilsson). I: Oskarson, M. Bengtsson, M. & Berglund, T. (red.) En fråga om klass - levnadsförhållanden, livsstil, politik. Stockholm: Liber.

Other things

Apart from having organized a national conference in philosophy and other "administrative experiences", I have been a referee for journals like Economics and Philosophy, Philosophical Quarterly, Theoria, Journal of Happiness Studies (on a large number of occasions), Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, and Social Science & Medicine. I have also been suggested as referee for Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Since 2002, I'm also on the editorial board of Journal of Happiness Studies, and I've been working as a guest editor for the same journal on two occasions, to put together one special issue on Happiness and the good life and one special issue on Happiness, morality and politics.



Phone: +46 31 786 4180

Fax: +46 31 786 4945

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