Kimberley BrownleeDec 11, 2020
Being Sure of Each Other
An Essay on Social Rights and Freedoms
Oxford University Press 2020
Kimberley Brownlee, a professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia, has written a monograph addressing her argument in favor a right against social deprivation.
In Being Sure of Each Other: An Essay on Social Rights and Freedoms (Oxford UP, 2020), Professor Brownlee contends that all humans have basic needs for human interaction. Since such needs are fundamental for survival, they should be regarded as a human right. Social interaction is not a right to “love” or “friendship”, but rather a right to basic opportunities to interact with other humans. Although Professor Brownlee’s argument is most easily applicable to institutional settings wherein people are frequently deprived of human interaction, such as solitary confinement in prisons or isolation in hospitals, this right is generally applicable to a wide array of contexts in which people find themselves isolated from others.
Ian J. Drake is Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, Montclair State University.