Family, choice and distributive justice

In David Archard & Colin Macleod (eds.), The Moral and Political Status of Children. Oxford University Press (2002)
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Abstract

Book description:* Contributions from leading scholars in the field * Timely and important contribution to the moral and political debate about the status of children * Hot Topic The book contains contributions from thirteen distinguished moral and political philosophers on the subject of children. These are new essays and are devoted to a subject that until recently has not been extensively discussed by philosophers. Too often philosophers restrict themselves to the consideration only of the relations between adults. Yet the topic of children is an important one for moral and political philosophy. Recent years have seen an increased concern with the needs and interests of young people. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which accords a wide range of fundamental rights to children was adopted in 1989 and many states have subsequently ratified the Convention. In this context it is timely and appropriate to ask various questions. If children do not have rights what exactly is their moral status? If they do have rights do they have all the rights that adults have? What rights if any do parents have over children and what is their justification? What duties do parents have towards their own children and towards others in society? How should we educate those who will be the future citizens and workers of our society? What values and what dispositions of character is it appropriate to instil in children? Is the family an obstacle to the realisation of full social justice? Can we in pursuit of justice contemplate the abolition of the family? The book covers the themes of children's rights, parental rights and duties, the family and justice, and civic education.

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Veronique Munoz-Darde
University College London

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