Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

What’s wrong with being lonely? Justice, beneficence, and meaningful relationships

Valentini, Laura (2016) What’s wrong with being lonely? Justice, beneficence, and meaningful relationships. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 90 (1). pp. 46-69. ISSN 0309-7013

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (404kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1093/arisup/akw004


A life without liberty and material resources is not a good life. Equally, a life devoid of meaningful social relationships—such as friendships, family attachments, and romances—is not a good life. From this it is tempting to conclude that just as individuals have rights to liberty and material resources, they also have rights to access meaningful social relationships. I argue that this conclusion can be defended only in a narrow set of cases. “Pure” social-relationship deprivation—i.e., deprivation that is not caused, or accompanied, by deficits in liberties and material resources—mostly generates demands of private beneficence. I suggest that social-relationship deprivation is unjust, hence a rights-violation, only when it is due to factors—e.g., one’s race—that are irrelevant to one’s being a good participant in social relationships. I thus conclude that access to meaningful social relationships is not a fundamental concern for theories of (personal or political) justice.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Aristotelian Society
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 15:23
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2019 02:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics