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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

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Identification Number: 10.1093/arisup/akw004

Abstract

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: http://aristoteliansupp.oxfordjournals.org/
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 Apr 2019 01:29
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/66491

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