Being Sure of Each Other


A book launch and conversation with Professor Kimberley Brownlee, author of the book Being Sure of Each Other.

18th March 2021

Should social inclusion be a human right? And if so, what do we need to do to secure it?

Although nobody would deny that interpersonal relationships are essential to the human condition, we are not accustomed to thinking of social interaction as a human right. Why not? What would such a perspective offer? And what would it tell us about the limits of our understanding of human rights?

In her latest book, former ISRF Fellow Kimberley Brownlee argues that social needs are more important to human flourishing than civil, political, and economic needs. Social needs, she argues, are a human right and social deprivation is an injustice. By offering a foundational philosophical account of what it means to belong, Brownlee builds a robust case for the right to sustain others.

Professor Brownlee (University of British Columbia) offers an overview of her book, with responses from Professor Rae Langton (University of Cambridge), a philosopher with a particular interest in speech, speech acts and social justice and author of ‘Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification’, and Dr Martin O’Neill (University of York), Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy and author (with Joe Guinan) of ‘The Case for Community Wealth Building’. A Q&A follows, moderated by Professor Christopher Newfield, ISRF Director of Research.

This is the fourth in the ISRF’s series of Book Launches.