Deprivation and Freedom
A Philosophical Enquiry
Routledge – 2007 – 162 pages
Deprivation and Freedom investigates the key issue of social deprivation. It looks at how serious that issue is, what we should do about it and how we might motivate people to respond to it. It covers core areas in moral and political philosophy in new and interesting ways, presents the topical example of disability as a form of social deprivation, shows that we are not doing nearly enough for certain sections of our communities and encourages that we think differently about how we should best organize our societies in the future.
The book develops a comprehensive yet accessible account of human freedom, which shows how the ability to realise our freedom is partly definitive of freedom itself. That account conclusively illustrates how many deprivations represent remediable inequalities of important and very basic human freedoms, posing the question as to why societies continue to do so little about them. In answering that question, Richard J. Hull shows how the idea of social exclusion is misleading and, instead, tackles the far more pertinent and challenging issue of societies' failure to include. The moral seriousness of non-inclusion, the failure to provide for freedom, is evaluated via critical discussion of a variety of central themes and distinctions in ethical and political theory. The author shows how such themes and distinctions comprise a framework for evaluating a raft of social issues, in turn providing a unique resource for students of moral, political and applied philosophy. The book concludes with an innovative, challenging and effective combination of analytic and continental styles, so to address the critical question of how we might actually motivate constructive social change. In doing so, it shows how a variety of approaches can work successfully together to provide an emphatic case for greater social inclusion.
Deprivation and Freedom shows how even fairly modest claims about social provision illustrate that we should be doing a lot more about social deprivation than we are now. It should be of interest to anyone who is concerned with questions about the type of society in which they live, what it says about us to continue as we are – and how we might motivate realistically achievable social change.