“Unhoused and Unrecognized:
Thinking Through the Wrong of Homelessness”
with Paul Schofield
March 23, 2023
It is tempting to think homelessness is unjust simply because it involves a grossly inequitable distribution of resources–some have so much while others lack something so basic as a stable dwelling, and this seems unfair. I want to convince you that the wrong of homelessness consists in more than this, however. Those experiencing homelessness aren’t just treated unfairly, but are denied recognition as citizens, as members of civil society, and as persons. As such, the wrong they suffer consists in a kind of exclusion from society. I hope that by thinking through the implications of this, we will gain some insight into our moral relationship with persons who are unhoused and about what sort of policy response is demanded as increasing numbers of people find themselves housing-insecure.
Paul Schofield’s research focuses on moral and political philosophy as well as the philosophy of film. He teaches classes on ethics and politics, the history of philosophy, and the Philosophy of Film. His first book, Duty to Self: Moral, Political, and Legal Self-Relationwas published in 2021 by Oxford University Press.