International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):221-235 (2007)
AbstractI argue for a moderate view of the justification and the extent of the moral rights of parents that avoids the extremes of both children’s liberationism and parental absolutism. I claim that parents have rights qua parents, and that these prima facie rights are grounded in certain fundamental interests that both parents and children possess, namely, psychological well-being, intimate relationships, and the freedom to pursue that which brings satisfaction and meaning to life. I also examine several issues related to public policy and the moral dimensions of the family—child abuse, children divorcing their parents, and the religious upbringing of children—and consider what implications the argument has for these issues. I conclude that the argument’s implications with respect to these issues further increases its plausibility.
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