Oxford Seminars in Jurisprudence: Kimberley Brownlee (UBC)

by | Jul 27, 2020


The Oxford Seminars in Jurisprudence online series is welcoming Kimberley Brownlee (UBC) on Monday 3rd August, at 5pm (BST) to present her paper about homelessness and the right to a home.

What a Home Does, co-authored with David Jenkins

Analytic philosophy has largely neglected the topic of homelessness. The few notable exceptions, including work by Jeremy Waldron and Christopher Essert, focus on our interests in shelter, housing, and property rights, but ignore the key social functions that a home performs as a place in which we are welcomed, accepted, and respected. This paper identifies a ladder of home-related concepts which begins with the minimal notion of temporary shelter, then moves to persistent shelter and housing, and finally to the rich notion of a home which focuses on meeting our social needs including, specifically, our needs to belong and to have meaningful control over our social environment. This concept-ladder enables us to distinguish the shelterless from the sheltered; the unhoused from the housed; and the unhomed from the homed. It also enables us to decouple the concept of a home from property rights, which reveals potential complications in people’s living arrangements. For instance, a person could be sheltered but unhoused, housed but homeless, or, indeed, unhoused but homed. We show that we should reserve the concept of home to capture the rich idea of a place of belonging in which our core social needs are met.

More details and registration information is available here (registration is free and open to all).


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