Thinking on Housing: Words, Memories, Use, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Thinking on Housing

Words, Memories, Use, 1st Edition

By Peter King


58 pages

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Hardback: 9781138293847
pub: 2017-02-21
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If we do stop to think on housing, what do we see? What is housing and what does it do? These seem deceptively simple questions, but they are often left unanswered. The reason for this is that a lot of discourse on housing is really a concern for policy-making and the critical evaluation of existing policies. Discourse, is not, properly speaking, on housing at all. It is concerned with provision, distribution and access, but this thinking on housing stops at the front door. It is only concerned with what is actually external to housing.

But for most people, housing already exists and they have access to it. Housing is not then about policy, but about how we can use what is a complex object in a manner that allows us to live well. Housing, for most of us, is about what we do when the front door is firmly shut and we are free from the external world.

These essays explore this idea of housing as an object that exists for use. Housing is pictured as an object that contains activity. These pieces look at what we do with housing once we have it and so provides a necessary underpinning for any understanding of why housing is important.

A further purpose of these pieces is to present different ways of thinking and writing on housing. It is an attempt to show that housing is a suitable topic for philosophical discourse. It is suggested that we can and should seek to establish a philosophy of housing, rather than just relying on the traditional social sciences.

Table of Contents


1. Thinking on housing

2. Housing is

3. Care-full use

4. Misuse

5. The consequences of use

6. What housing does

A note on sources

About the Author

Peter King is a writer and thinker on housing issues. He has consistently used philosophical concepts to draw out the meaning of housing. He is the author of 20 books including A Social Philosophy of Housing (2003), Private Dwelling (2004) and The Principles of Housing (2016). Peter is currently Reader in Social Thought at De Montfort University.

About the Series

Routledge Focus on Housing and Philosophy

Routledge Focus offers both established and early-career academics the flexibility to publish cutting-edge commentary on topical issues, policy-focused research, analytical or theoretical innovations, in-depth case studies, or short topics for specialized audiences. The format and speed to market is distinctive. Routledge Focus are 20,000 to 50,000 words and will be published as eBooks, and in Hardback as print on demand.

This book series seeks to develop the links between housing and philosophy. It seeks proposals from academics and policy makers on any aspect of philosophy and its relation to housing. This might include ethics, political and social philosophy, aesthetics, as well as logic, epistemology and metaphysics. All proposals would be expected to apply philosophical rigour to the exploration of housing phenomena, whether this be the policy making process, design, or the manner in which individuals and communities relate to housing. The series seeks an international and comparative focus and is particularly keen to include innovative and distinctly new approaches to the study of housing.

Please contact Peter King ( and Helen Taylor ( with ideas for book proposal or for further details.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Construction / General