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Brownlee, Kimberley. Ethical Dilemmas of Sociability
2016, Utilitas 28 (1):54-72
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Added by: Deryn Mair Thomas

There is a tension between our need for associative control and our need for social connections. This tension creates ethical dilemmas that we can call each-we dilemmas of sociability. To resolve these dilemmas, we must prioritize either negative moral rights to dissociate or positive moral rights to social inclusion. This article shows that we must prioritize positive social rights. This has implications both for personal morality and for political theory. As persons, we must attend to each other's basic social needs. As a society, we must adopt a sufficientarian approach to the regulation of social resources.

Comment: This paper presents a unique interpretation of social, moral dilemmas in the context of our rights as social creatures. As such, it could be useful in the context of various social and political philosophical subject areas, including discussions on human rights, the scope of rights and duties, social rights, or alternative perspectives on moral dilemmas. In this sense, it could be used in an introductory moral philosophy course to introduce basic questions about moral dilemmas and the extent to which our social needs can be the subject of those dilemma. It could also be utilised in more advanced courses to examine the nature of socio-economic rights, the extent of our social needs, or to debate the extent to which the satisfaction of social needs constitutes such basic rights as human rights. It is somewhat technical, so introductory-level students may need some extra guidance.

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