This paper uncovers a distinctively social type of injustice that lies in the kinds of wrongs we can do to each other specifically as social beings. In this paper, social injustice is not principally about unfair distributions of socio-economic goods among citizens. Instead, it is about the ways we can violate each other’s fundamental rights to lead socially integrated lives in close proximity and relationship with other people. This paper homes in on a particular type of social injustice, which we can call social contribution injustice. The paper identifies two distinct forms of social contribution injustice. The first form involves compromising a person’s social resources so as to deny her adequate scope to contribute socially. The second form involves unjustly misvaluing a person as a social contributor, usually by not taking her seriously as a social contributor.
Brownlee, Kimberley. The Lonely Heart Breaks: On The Right to Be a Social Contributor
2016, Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):27-48
Added by: Deryn Mair Thomas
Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Comment: This paper offers a unique account of what distinguishes social contribution from other social goods, and makes an interesting defense of contribution as a right. It is especially relevant for discussing the extent to which we have social rights, and determining their scope, or their relationship to basic human rights. It might be useful to offer as further reading for a course on applied ethics, or could be used as a central reading in courses which focus on human rights or social rights. It also puts forward a novel understanding of social injustice which is grounded, not in distribution of goods, but in violation of rights. This aspect of the argument could be relevant to a more general discussion on conceptions of social justice.