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Prof John Vorhaus
55-59 Gordon Square
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
Tel: 020 7612 6432
  • Professor of Moral and Educational Philosophy
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education

Undergraduate and postgraduate training in analytical philosophy, followed by a stint of lecturing (all at Bristol University). Then some time away from the ivory tower teaching philosophy in prisons, adult and community centres and departments for extra mural studies. Followed by a period spent conducting research for and (co)directing government funded research centres. Then a full time return to studying, writing and teaching philosophy, at the IOE, UCL philosophy department, and, in my spare time, HMPs Wormwood Scrubs and Pentonville.   

Research Summary

I am a moral philosopher working on questions about the moral and political status of groups of vulnerable people - including people with profound cognitive impairments, people with dementia, people seeking assistance to end their lives and people caught up in war and violent conflict. I am also interested in degrading treatment and punishment as this applies to prisoners and other persons in detention. The common themes are human dignity and respect for persons. Areas of interest also include: capability, dependency, personhood, citizenship, moral status, rights and the social model of disability. 

A principal area of research is the moral and political status of people with profound and multiple learning difficulties: there is a practical aspect - learning from and working with teachers, carers and parents involved in special schools - and a theoretical aspect - a series of philosophical questions about children and adults whose cognitive impairments do not allow them to engage in these questions for themselves. 

Teaching Summary

Applied Ethics (UCL)

Profound Cognitive Impairment (UCL)

Rights and Education (IOE)

Rights, Equality and Justice (IOE)

Methods of Enquiry (IOE)

Research Methods (IOE)

Courses on philosophy and disability, and on respect and human dignity, currently in preparation.

10 PhD students; 2 EdD students

I am particularly interested in supervising students who have a degree in philosophy, and who share the interests I spell out in my 'research summary'.

01-OCT-2015 Professor of Moral and Educational Philosophy   UCL IOE, United Kingdom
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