The Aristotelian Society

The Aristotelian Society

est. 1880

2016 Joint Session

Symposium I

Kimberley Brownlee | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | University of Warwick

the lonely heart breaks: on the right to be a social contributor

kimberley brownlee (warwick)


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.


Kimberley Brownlee is an Associate Professor of Moral and Legal Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Prior to this, she was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester. Her current work focuses on the ethics of sociability, social human rights, and freedom of association. This work includes a monograph (under contract with Oxford University Press) and a series of articles (including in Utilitas; Oxford Journal of Legal Studies; and Philosophical Quarterly). She also has written on conscience, conviction, and civil disobedience; punishment; ideals and virtue; and human rights. She is the author of Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience (OUP 2012).

Laura Valentini | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | University of Warwick

what’s wrong with being lonely? justice, beneficence, and meaningful relationships

laura valentini (lse)


A life without liberty and material resources is not a good life. Equally, a life devoid of meaningful social relationships—such as friendships, family attachments, and romances—is not a good life. From this it is tempting to conclude that just as individuals have rights to liberty and material resources, they also have rights to access meaningful social relationships. I argue that this conclusion can be defended only in a narrow set of cases. “Pure” social-relationship deprivation—i.e., deprivation that is not caused, or accompanied, by deficits in liberties and material resources— mostly generates demands of private beneficence. I suggest that social-relationship deprivation is unjust, hence a rights-violation, only when it is due to factors—e.g., one’s race—that are irrelevant to one’s being a good participant in social relationships. I thus conclude that access to meaningful social relationships is not a fundamental concern for theories of (personal or political) justice.


Laura Valentini is Associate Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Prior to joining the LSE, she was Lecturer in Political Philosophy at UCL. Her work addresses substantive and methodological questions in political philosophy. She is the author of Justice in a Globalized World (OUP, 2011), and has published on topics including justice and charity, human rights, ideal and non-ideal theory, and democratic theory. Her current research focuses on our moral reasons to obey positive (conventional) norms.

further info


Cardiff University

8 - 10 July 2016

School of English, Communication and Philosophy
John Percival Building
Cardiff University
Colum Road
Cardiff CF10 3EU

Local Organisers: Nicholas Shackel

Programme edited by Matthew Soteriou (Warwick)

Visit the Official 2016 Joint Session Website | View the Open & Postgraduate Session CFP| View the Schedules for Future Joint Sessions | Listen to Joint Session Podcasts | Learn about the Supplementary Volume

future joint sessions

2017 joint session:

7 - 9 july 2017

2018 joint session:

july 2018

2019 joint session:

july 2019

supplementary volume

The inaugural address and symposia for the Joint Session are published in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, which is published digitally and in hardcover every June. The Supplementary Volume is sent to subscribing members of the Society in categories 4 and 5.

Members in other categories can purchase the hardcover Supplementary Volume from the Online Shop. Volumes will also be available at the registration desk during the conference.

The hardcover volume is printed in black on an 80gsm white book wove stock accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Binding is in dark blue Arbelave Library Buckram over 2500 micron boards blocked in gold on the spine. This makes for a strong, attractive and durable book with a scuff resistant and wipeable cover.

Subscriptions to the Supplementary Volume also includes online access via Wiley Online Library (please note that one-off purchases of the hardcover volume do not include membership or online access).

Cardiff University Joint Session Call for Papers

past conferences

2015 joint session:

10 - 12 july 2015

2014 joint session:

11 - 13 july 2014

2013 joint session:

12 - 14 july 2013

subscribing memberships

Subscribing members receive online access to the Proceedings from 2000 to the most current issue.

Subscribing members also receive the bound, hardcover volume of the latest Proceedings through the post.