Liam Livesley

I am a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Southampton, UK.

My research is on the philosophy of disability; namely, what ought we to think of disability as being?

L.A.Livesley [at]
 Twitter |  PhilPapers |  Southampton


My doctoral research asks what disability is, and what it should be. I defend a radical social constructionist account of disability, on which to be disabled is to be subordinated in virtue of being believed to have a defective body. This is set against both the traditional medical and social models of disability, as well as more moderate social constructionist views, and draws on contemporary ameliorative conceptual engineering strategies.

My work is funded by an AHRC Studentship from the South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. I am supervised by Alex Gregory at Southampton and Havi Carel at Bristol.

Since 2022, I've been one of the co-organisers of the SWW DTP Health Humanities Research Cluster.

I'm interested in most aspects of disability, but I also have broader interests across social & political philosophy, including:

  • Conceptual engineering – particularly of socio-political concepts, and the politics of engineering
  • Social ontology & social construction
  • Speech, harm, violence & oppression
  • The political thought of J. S. Mill

  • Talks

    Disability as Subordination
    MANCEPT Disability & Justice Workshop, University of Manchester | Sep '24
    Radical Disability Politics: A Global Dialogue, University of Brighton | Jun '24
    Social Ontology 2023, Stockholm University | Aug '23

    Making Sense of Disability Pride
    Understanding Value XII, University of Sheffield | Jul '24
    LSE Graduate Conference in Political Theory, LSE | May '24

    Justice as a Constraint on Conceptual Engineering
    ASPP Annual Conference, Swansea University | Jul '24
    BPPA Annual Conference, University of York | Oct '23

    Disability, Social Construction, and the Disappearing Body
    CAPPE Interventions in Disability Politics Seminar, University of Brighton | Feb '24

    Reasonable Adjustment, COVID-19, and Crises in Disability Justice
    NNDR 16th Research Conference, Reykjavík | May '23


    In 2023/24 (as in 22/23 & 21/22) I taught on:

  • Southampton PHIL1005: Ethics. Current students: Reading list | Blackboard