Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (S1):11-28 (2018)

This article asks whether being a child is, all things considered, good or bad for children. I defend a predicament view of childhood, which regards childhood as bad overall for children. I argue that four features of childhood make it regrettable: impaired capacity for practical reasoning, lack of an established practical identity, a need to be dominated, and profound and asymmetric vulnerability. I consider recent claims in the literature that childhood is good for children since it allows them to enjoy special goods that aren't available in adulthood, or which are harder to access in adulthood. I raise some difficulties for these claims. Then I argue that whatever version of these views survives my criticism will not establish that childhood is overall good for children. This is because the goods of childhood aren't significant enough to outweigh the bad features associated with being a child. I conclude by suggesting that the badness of childhood for children means that we are likely to owe more to children than to adults.
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DOI 10.1111/japp.12256
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Childhood Bads, Parenting Goods, and the Right to Procreate.Sarah Hannan & R. J. Leland - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 21 (3):366-384.

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