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Biography

Uffe Juul Jensen is Professor of Philosophy (Philosophy of science and practice-philosophy) in the Department of Philosophy and History of Ideas, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark.  

He is the Director of Health, Humanity and Culture,  Centre for Interdisciplinary Humanistic Health Research at Aarhus University. As a professor of philosophy and director of the centre, Uffe has developed an extensive international research network comprising a number of international scholars.

He was, for many years, in charge of courses in epistemology and ethics of the health sciences at Aarhus University (comprising bio-medicine, odontology, public health and sports science).

Research

Uffe’s research focuses on transformations of medicine and health-oriented practices within the welfare state (primarily the Nordic countries and Great Britain).

His work includes:

  • analysis of conceptual and methodological changes (eg changing concepts of disease and illness relating to the emergence of clinical epidemiology; changing standards of rationality and quality of cure and care [related to the work of Alvin Feinstein and Archie Cochrane])
  • the rise and spread of the bio-psycho-social model and changing relations between clinical practice, biology and social science (related to the work of Canguilhem, Foucault and Nikolas Rose)

Uffe’s recent and planned research focuses on conceptual implications of the challenge of the medical hegemony over the last 30 years and the shift to ‘the health society’ ie a society ‘that is characterised by two major social processes: expansion of the territory of health and expansion of the reflexivity of health' (Illona Kickbusch).

This research comprises three interrelated fields:

  1. conceptual, methodological and ethico-political dimension of user-involvement in health-related research and health practices (especially rehabilitation and mental health)
  2. research in the interrelationship between concepts of health and well-being (in particular in relation to Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum’s capability approach)
  3. research in conceptual issues in epidemiology especially related to social epidemiology and ecological approaches to epidemiology and medical and social research in general

These three research fields are part of Uffe’s comprehensive project for the coming years, 'A healthy society. Utopia or concrete possibilities of a user-centred social medicine with global aspirations?'