Marie Oldfield
University of Glasgow
This paper discusses Claytons theory on Comprehensive enrolment of children by their parents. This paper supports Claytons view that we should not enrol children. However, Cameron raises objections which cause problems for the application of this framework. Namely, the cost of giving up a belief, choices made for us in childhood and the application of the PRR (Public Reason Restriction) to the way the parent-child relationship should function. Some modifications to Clayton’s framework and further debate is required to fully address these issues. The conclusion is that we should be able to enrol children in activities that would be of low future cost if rejected but we should not enrol children in activities of high future rejection cost. This enrolment is tempered by the statement “the fundamental motivation of parents should be to conform with public reason i.e. to treat their children in accordance with norms that are capable of acceptance by any free and equal person”. As Clayton states: “I am not ruling out the imposition of a comprehensive doctrine on the child. I am rejecting its imposition in the absence of an argument from public reason”. The structure of this essay is as follows: In Section One I explore Clayton’s theories of end state autonomy and autonomy as a precondition, I then look at the plausible relationship between the state-citizen and child-parent relationships. The Public Reason Restriction is then examined in connection with comprehensive enrolment. In the next section, I look at objections to Clayton’s view from Cameron and any subsequent replies to this from Clayton. I then conclude by discussing the differences between the two views and add my own view to this.
Keywords State  Parental  Power
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