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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
UCL Principal Supervisor

Undergraduate and postgraduate training in philosophy, followed by a stint of lecturing (Bristol University); time away from the ivory tower teaching philosophy in prisons and in adult and community education; a period spent (co)directing two government funded research centres working on adult learning; presently teaching philosophy, at UCL IOE, UCL philosophy department, and, in my spare time, HMP Wormwood Scrubs.   

Research Summary

Areas of interest: applied ethics; political philosophy; disability and special educational needs; human rights; degrading treatment and punishment.

Principal research interest: moral status, respect, dignity, dependency, capability, vulnerability - particularly as these concepts apply to people with profound learning difficulties.

Additional research interest: degrading treatment and punishment, as this applies to prisoners and people held in detention centres.  

I have written on: human dignity; respect; equality; citizenship; capability theory; dependency; vulnerability; care; personhood; disability; prisoners' rights; degrading treatment and punishment. 

Current projects:

philosophical study of moral status and disability: exploring the view that all human beings, irrespective of (dis)ability, are fundamentally equal - are one another's equals

collecting testimony about the lives of people with profound learning difficulties from parents, carers, teachers, therapists, psychologists, nurses, musicians, actors, neuro-disability specialists.

making films about young people with profound learning difficulties - how they are included in interactive theatre (with Oily Cart); how they are taught and cared for in special schools. 

dignity and degradation: a study of the role of human dignity in an account of degrading treatment and punishment in the context of international human rights law. 

Teaching Summary

Applied Ethics (UCL)

Profound Cognitive Impairment (UCL)

Dignity, degradation and human rights (UCL)

Rights and Education (IOE)

Rights, Equality and Justice (IOE)

Children with Disabilities (IOE)

Mind and Epistemology (IOE)

Introduction to Philosophical Research (IOE)

10 PhD students; 2 EdD students

I welcome MPhil/PhD applications from students 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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