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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Disability: Its nature and significance Event

09:30 - 17:00
17 May 2016
Avenue Campus, University of Southampton, Highfield Road, Southampton. SO17 1BF.

For more information regarding this event, please email Rachel Jones at .

Event details

This workshop will focus on two broad issues:


First, how should we understand the nature of disability? Is there some defining feature that all disabilities have in common? Are disabilities socially constructed? Are disabilities a departure from health, and if so, what distinguishes them from other unhealthy conditions? Can disabilities be defined in a value-neutral manner?

Second, what is the evaluative significance of disability? Is it bad for you to be disabled, and if so, how? Are there benefits of being disabled, and if so, what are they? Is the evaluative significance of disability intrinsic or environmentally mediated? To what extent is the evaluative significance of disability the result of societal choices and/or attitudes, and to what extent do those choices and attitudes need revision?

This workshop is gratefully sponsored by the Southampton Ethics Centre.


Professor Lorella Terzi (Roehampton)

Professor Simo Vehmas (Helsinki)

Professor John Vorhaus (Institute of Education)

Dr Alex Gregory (Southampton)


9.30-10.00 Coffee and Welcome

10.00-11.15 Professor Simo Vehmas (Helsinki) - Five Puzzles of the Ontology of Disability

11.15-11.30 Coffee Break

11.30-12.45 Professor Lorella Terzi (Roehampton) - Title TBC

12.45-2.00 Lunch 

2.00-3.15 Professor John Vorhaus (Institute of Education) - Title TBC

3.15-3.30 Coffee Break

3.30-4.45 Dr Alex Gregory (Southampton) - Disability as Inability

7.00 - Dinner (Location TBC)


Registration costs £5 (non-refundable) and includes lunch and tea/coffee. 

Please click here to book. Registration closes on 3rd May 2016. 


Accessibility: The event is wheelchair accessible, and an induction loop (or Roger Pen) will be available. Free spaces are also available for support workers. We are able to book Sign Language Interpreters and Electronic Note-takers, but we can only guarantee availability if requests have been received by 17th April 2016. These and other requirements should be entered on the registration page, as directed. Do email Rachel Jones ( if anything is unclear.

Childcare: If you would like to attend but childcare duties render your attendance difficult, please contact the organisers (as far in advance as possible).



Parking: Parking is available on site at the Avenue Campus. Permits will be issued at the Avenue Campus Reception Desk, free of charge. 

For other enquiries, contact Dr Alex Gregory (

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