A picture of me

This is the webpage for Dr Alex Gregory, a lecturer in philosophy at The University of Southampton.

In addition to my research and teaching commitments, I occasionally get the chance to expose the wider world to a bit of philosophy. Amongst other things, I sit on an NHS funding priorities committee, have advised an NHS research ethics committee, and have given numerous talks to the public on various aspects of ethics including on the value of pleasure, the ethics of genetic testing, and on human altruism. I am always happy to hear from anyone who is interested in me or my work.

I work primarily in ethics. My present research divides broadly into two areas:

Preference: Here I am interested primarily in two puzzles. The first is about explanation: a very attractive model of human behaviour explains all our choices as resulting from our preferences (what we want). How can this model be squared with the intuitive thought that we are sometimes moved by our ethical views? The second puzzle is about justification: a very attractive theory of rationality says that rational choices are those that satisfy our preferences. Why do our preferences make a rational difference to what we do? I aim to solve both of these puzzles by developing a theory of preference which treats our preferences as part of our ethical views, rather than as something external to them. More specifically, I defend a version of desire as belief, according to which desires just are beliefs with a particular kind of normative content.

Disability and Wellbeing: Here, one issue that interests me is how we define "disability". For example, many think that obesity and hayfever are not disabilities. Is there any principled basis for this claim? More generally, is there anything that all disabilities have in common, or do our views about disability need to be reformed if they are to be principled? A related interest in this area is on the relationship between disability and wellbeing: Are disabilities by definition bad for people? If not, are they in fact normally bad for people? To what extent are the relevant harms mediated by social choice? I aim to resolve these issues by offering a theory of disability that defines disability with reference to contraints on options, and that connects questions about the harms of disability to broader questions about the value of liberty.

My CV as of April 2017.