The Ethics of Homelessness

Philosophical Perspectives


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This book extends the study of homelessness beyond the need of shelter. Philosophical exploration exposes the fragility of human fulfillment in contemporary society. The authors weave the moral fabric of what it means to be human. They show how economic and political values compromise the dignity of homeless persons. They argue for recognition of rights for the homeless, who otherwise would be voiceless and without membership in the moral community. This pioneering contribution instills our moral sensitivity to the homeless condition and justifies our moral responsibility to change that condition.

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G. JOHN M. ABBARNO is Professor of Philosophy at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York. His areas of specialization include ethical theory and applied ethics, particularly in business, nursing, and psychiatry. His several journal publications include “Value and Role Responsibility” in The Journal of Value Inquiry (1991), and he co-authored the book The Corporation in the Moral Community (Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1992). He is past President of the American Society for Value Inquiry (1991), President of the International Society for Value Inquiry (1998-2000), and Vice President of the Conference on Philosophical Societies (1997-1999). He remains active in several other philosophical societies.
Foreword by Anthony J. Steinbock. Acknowledgments. Introduction by G. John M. Abbarno. Part One VERSE AND CONVERSATIONS: HOMELESS PEOPLE. ONE Noah S. BERGER: The Guardian of the Birds. TWO Dennis ROHATYN: Poetic Sounds of Homeless Verse. THREE Robert GINSBERG: Meditations on Homelessness and Being at Home: In the Form of a Dialogue. Part Two THE MIRROR OF HOMELESSNESS: IS IT ESSENTIAL TO HUMANITY? FOUR Pio COLONNELLO: Homelessness as Heimatlosigkeit? FIVE Patricia Anne MURPHY: The Rights of the Homeless: An Examination of the Phenomenology of Place. SIX David E. SCHRADER: Home Is Where the Heart Is: Homelessness and the Denial of Moral Personality. SEVEN Keith BURKUM: Homelessness, Virtue Theory, and the Creation of Community. Part Three: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL HOMELESSNESS IN CHILDREN. EIGHT Michael PARKER: Community, Ethics, and Homelessness. NINE René A.C. HOKSBERGEN: Psychic Homelessness. Photographs by Janice AGATI-ABBARNO. Part Four: NO HOME, NO CITIZENSHIP: MORAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSIONS. TEN Anita M. SUPERSON: The Homeless and the Right to Public Dwelling. ELEVEN Uma NARAYAN: No Shelter Even in the Constitution? Free Speech, Equal Protection, and the Homeless. TWELVE Natalie DANDEKAR: Social Policies, Principles, and Homelessness. THIRTEEN G. John M. ABBARNO: Failed Rights: The Moral Plight of the Mentally Ill Homeless. FOURTEEN Shyli KARIN-FRANK: Homelessness, the Right to Privacy, and the Obligation to Provide a Home. Part Five: TO HAVE A HOME: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE TO BE HOME? FIFTEEN Joseph BETZ: The Homeless Hannah Arendt. SIXTEEN Ron SCAPP: Talking About Those Home Improvement Blues. About the Contributors. Index.

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