Thomas Hartvigsson

Doctoral Student

Philosophy and Logic
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Thomas Hartvigsson


My dissertation focuses on the concept "decision-making competence" and how it relates to issues of autonomy and responsibility, especially in the case of adolescents. Decision-making competence usually functions in the bioethical debate as a demarcation between patients who has a right to make decisions regarding their own medical treatments whereas patients who lack competence should have their decisions made for them by someone else. Most adults are taken to be competent in with regard to most decisions. Other groups such as children, mentally disabled and mentally ill may be competent to make certain decisions but not others. Adolescence is particularly interesting from this perspective since adolescents are somewhere between childhood and adolescence.

There is a strong parallel between autonomy, self-determination, and responsibility. The typical adult is considered to be responsible for their actions whereas members of the previously mentioned groups are not considered to be responsible to the same extent as ordinary adults. This is explained by reference to adults being greater cognitive abilities, which is akin to the reason why adults are considered to have a right to make their own decisions.


2013 - The History of Moral Philosophy

2014 - The Teaching Profession and Theory and Methods of Science for Teachers

Public Engagements

2013-2014 President of the Philosophical Society at the University of Gothenburg

2012 Vice President of the Philosophical Society at the University of Gothenburg

The Philosophical Society arranges popular lectures in philosophy for the interested public. The aim is to present recent philosophical research in an accessible way. Depending on the lecturer our lectures are given in either Swedish or English. After the lectures we have a bar for further discussions. For more information see our website or facebook page.

I have also given several lectures on different philosophical topics i.e. argumentation analysis, ethical reflection, ethical aspects of circumcision and ethical aspects on prenatal diagnosis. These lectures have been given among other Amnesty, RFSU (association for sexual enlightenment), DHR (organization for people with impaired mobility).

I have also, together with Christian Munthe, written a report for the National Board of Health and Welfare about ethical considerations with regard to using children in foster homes as sources of information in order to enhance the quality of foster home placements.

Commissions of trust

2014- Doctoral representative on the Vice Chancellor's Board of Researchers

2014- Chairperson of the doctoral students' group at the department

2013-2014 Doctoral representative on the department board

Have previously held a number of posts as a student representative on department, faculty and university level. As well as being the chairperson for a section of Göta student union.