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Parenthood

Edited by Anca Gheaus (University of Sheffield)
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  1. Terrence F. Ackerman (1980). Moral Duties of Parents and Nontherapeutic Clinical Research Procedures Involving Children. Bioethics Quarterly 2 (2):94-111.
    Shared views regarding the moral respect which is owed to children in family life are used as a guide in determining the moral permissibility of nontherapeutic clinical research procedures involving children. The comparison suggests that it is not appropriate to seek assent from the preadolescent child. The analogy with interventions used in family life is similarly employed to specify the permissible limit of risk to which children may be exposed in nontherapeutic research procedures. The analysis indicates that recent writers misconceive (...)
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  2. Abdallah A. Adlan & Henk Amj ten Have (2012). The Dilemma of Revealing Sensitive Information on Paternity Status in Arabian Social and Cultural Contexts. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (4):403-409.
    Telling the truth is one of the most respected virtues in medical history and one of the most emphasized in the code of medical ethics. Health care providers are frequently confronted with the dilemma as to whether or not to tell the truth. This dilemma deepens when both choices are critically vicious: The choice is no longer between “right and right” or “right and wrong,” it is between “wrong and wrong.” In the case presented and discussed in this paper, a (...)
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  3. R. Al-Mubak, R. D. Enright & P. Cardis (1995). Forgiveness Education with Parentally Love-Deprived College Students. Journal of Moral Education 14:427-444.
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  4. Robert Almeder & James Humber (eds.) (1996). Biomedical Ethics Reviews: Reproduction, Technology, and Rights.
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  5. Jami L. Anderson (2014). Discipline and Punishment in Light of Autism. In Selina Doran & Laura Botell (eds.), Reframing Punishment: Making Visible Bodies, Silence and De-humanisation.
    If one can judge a society by how it treats its prisoners, one can surely judge a society by how it treats cognitively- and learning-impaired children. In the United States children with physical and cognitive impairments are subjected to higher rates of corporal punishment than are non-disabled children. Children with disabilities make up just over 13% of the student population in the U.S. yet make up over 18% of those children who receive corporal punishment. Autistic children are among the most (...)
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  6. Jami L. Anderson (2013). A Dash of Autism. In Jami L. Anderson Simon Cushing (ed.), The Philosophy of Autism. Rowman & Littlefield
    In this chapter, I describe my “post-diagnosis” experiences as the parent of an autistic child, those years in which I tried, but failed, to make sense of the overwhelming and often nonsensical information I received about autism. I argue that immediately after being given an autism diagnosis, parents are pressured into making what amounts to a life-long commitment to a therapy program that (they are told) will not only dramatically change their child, but their family’s financial situation and even their (...)
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  7. Judith Andre, Leonard M. Fleck & Thomas Tomlinson (2000). On Being Genetically "Irresponsible". Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 10 (2):129-146.
    : New genetic technologies continue to emerge that allow us to control the genetic endowment of future children. Increasingly the claim is made that it is morally "irresponsible" for parents to fail to use such technologies when they know their possible children are at risk for a serious genetic disorder. We believe such charges are often unwarranted. Our goal in this article is to offer a careful conceptual analysis of the language of irresponsibility in an effort to encourage more care (...)
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  8. David Archard & David Benatar (eds.) (2010). Procreation and Parenthood: The Ethics of Bearing and Rearing Children. Oxford University Press.
    Procreation and Parenthood offers new and original essays by leading philosophers on some of the main ethical issues raised by these activities.
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  9. Richard J. Arneson (1997). Egalitarianism and the Undeserving Poor. Journal of Political Philosophy 5 (4):327–350.
    Recently in the U.S. a near-consensus has formed around the idea that it would be desirable to "end welfare as we know it," in the words of President Bill Clinton.1 In this context, the term "welfare" does not refer to the entire panoply of welfare state provision including government sponsored old age pensions, government provided medical care for the elderly, unemployment benefits for workers who have lost their jobs without being fired for cause, or aid to the disabled. "Welfare" in (...)
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  10. Jane S. Attanucci * (2004). Questioning Honor: A Parent–Teacher Conflict Over Excellence and Diversity in a USA Urban High School. Journal of Moral Education 33 (1):57-69.
    Parent?teacher relations are often characterized as highly conflictual in the educational literature, with scant empirical evidence of how the disagreements occur in everyday talk. Close analysis of a teacher's account of an intense conflict with a student's mother over the National Honor Society grounds the abstract discourses of merit and difference in the worlds of parents, teachers and students. Narrating primarily through reported speech, in a ?she said, I said? fashion, the teacher recreates her conversations about the National Honor Society (...)
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  11. Jane Attanucci (1991). Changing Subjects: Growing Up and Growing Older. Journal of Moral Education 20 (3):317-328.
    Abstract Following a review of the changing uses of narrative in moral development research, a personal narrative from an interview with a secondary teacher, who is also a parent of an adolescent is analyzed. Without standard question interruptions, the narrator crafts an ironic tale of contradictory feelings and actions. Trust is proposed as both an affective and evidential/proof dimension of the relationship between adolescents and adults, as well as among all concerned about moral development and education.
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  12. Michael W. Austin (2004). The Failure of Biological Accounts of Parenthood. Journal of Value Inquiry 38 (4):499-510.
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  13. M. B. (1957). The Challenge of Children. Review of Metaphysics 11 (1):170-170.
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  14. Isaac D. Balbus (2002). Having and Raising Children: Unconventional Families, Hard Choices, Social Good (Review). Hypatia 17 (2):162-165.
  15. Linda Barclay (2013). Liberal Daddy Quotas: Why Men Should Take Care of the Children, and How Liberals Can Get Them to Do It. Hypatia 28 (1):163-178.
    The gendered division of labor is the major cause of gender inequality with respect to the broad spectrum of resources, occupations, and roles. Although many feminists aspire to an equality of outcome where there are no significant patterns of gender difference across these dimensions, many have also argued that liberal theories of social justice do not have the conceptual tools to justify a direct attack on the gendered division of labor. Indeed, many critics argue that liberalism positively condones it, presuming (...)
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  16. Daniela Barni, Sonia Ranieri, Eugenia Scabini & Rosa Rosnati (2011). Value Transmission in the Family: Do Adolescents Accept the Values Their Parents Want to Transmit? Journal of Moral Education 40 (1):105-121.
    This study focused on value transmission in the family and assessed adolescents? acceptance of the values their parents want to transmit to them (socialisation values), identifying some factors that may affect the level of acceptance. Specifically, actual value agreement between parents, parental agreement as perceived by adolescents, parent?child closeness and promotion of child?s volitional functioning, were considered as predictors. Participants were 381 family triads (father, mother and adolescent child) from northern Italy; the adolescents (46.2% male) were all high?school students from (...)
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  17. Gary Bartlett (2010). An Argument Against Spanking. Public Affairs Quarterly 24 (1):65-78.
    I sketch a non-rights-based grounding for the impermissibility of spanking. Even if children have no right against being spanked, I contend that spanking can be seen to be impermissible without appeal to such a right. My approach is primarily consequentialist but also has affinities with virtue ethics, for it emphasizes the moral importance of avoiding bad habits in one’s behavior toward one’s children.
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  18. David Benatar (2006). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. New York ;Oxford University Press.
    Better Never to Have Been argues for a number of related, highly provocative, views: (1) Coming into existence is always a serious harm. (2) It is always wrong to have children. (3) It is wrong not to abort fetuses at the earlier stages of gestation. (4) It would be better if, as a result of there being no new people, humanity became extinct. These views may sound unbelievable--but anyone who reads Benatar will be obliged to take them seriously.
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  19. David Benatar (1999). The Unbearable Lightness of Bringing Into Being. Journal of Applied Philosophy 16 (2):173–180.
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  20. Miriam Ben‐Peretz & Lya Kremer (1982). Value Education as Perceived by Parents, Teachers and Pupils in Israel. Journal of Moral Education 11 (4):259-265.
    Abstract The perplexity that characterizes moral education was the motive for undertaking this study. A field selection of terminal and instrumental values served as its frame of reference. Two questions were posed by the investigators: Is there any difference in the degree of importance which parents, teachers and pupils attach to these values? Do different schools rate these values differently? A sample consisting of 531 pupils, 251 parents and 38 teachers, randomly selected from five Israeli high schools, were asked to (...)
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  21. Marvin Berkowitz & John Grych (1998). Fostering Goodness: Teaching Parents to Facilitate Children's Moral Development. Journal of Moral Education 27 (3):371-391.
    Although moral development of children has long been ascribed predominantly to the effects of parenting, there has been little systematic examination of the specific nature of this relation. In this paper, we identify four foundational components of children's moral development (social orientation, self?control, compliance, self?esteem) and four central aspects of moral functioning (empathy, conscience, moral reasoning, altruism). The parenting roots of each of these eight psychological characteristics are examined, and five core parenting processes (induction, nurturance, demandingness, modelling, democratic family process) (...)
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  22. Jeffrey Blustein (2012). Doing the Best for One's Child: Satisficing Versus Optimizing Parentalism. [REVIEW] Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 33 (3):199-205.
    The maxim “parents should do what is in the best interests of their child” seems like an unassailable truth, and yet, as I argue here, there are serious problems with it when it is taken seriously. One problem concerns the sort of demands such a principle places on parents; the other concerns its larger social implications when conceived as part of a national policy for the rearing of children. The theory of parenting that creates these problems I call “optimizing parentalism.” (...)
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  23. Jeffrey Blustein (1988). Morality and Parenting: An Ethical Framework for Decisions About the Treatment of Imperiled Newborns. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 9 (1).
    This essay is written in the belief that questions relating to the treatment of impaired and imperiled newborns cannot be adequately resolved in the absence of a general moral theory of parent-child relations. The rationale for treatment decisions in these cases should be consistent with principles that ought to govern the normal work of parenting. The first section of this paper briefly examines the social contract theory elaborated by John Rawls in his renowned book A Theory of Justice and extracts (...)
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  24. Jeffrey Blustein (1985). Parents and Children: The Ethics of the Family. Journal of Philosophy 82 (6):330-332.
  25. Lisa Bortolotti (2009). Do We Have an Obligation to Make Smarter Babies? In T. Takala, P. Herrisone-Kelly & S. Holm (eds.), Cutting Through the Surface. Philosophical Approaches to Bioethics. Rodopi
    In this paper I consider some issues concerning cognitive enhancements and the ethics of enhancing in reproduction and parenting. I argue that there are moral reasons to enhance the cognitive capacities of the children one has, or of the children one is going to have, and that these enhancements should not be seen as an alternative to pursuing important changes in society that might also improve one’s own and one’s children’s life. It has been argued that an emphasis on enhancing (...)
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  26. Lisa Bortolotti & Daniela Cutas (2009). Reproductive and Parental Autonomy: An Argument for Compulsory Parental Education. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 19 (ethics suppl.):5-14.
    In this paper we argue that society should make available reliable information about parenting to everybody from an early age. The reason why parental education is important (when offered in a comprehensive and systematic way) is that it can help young people understand better the responsibilities associated with reproduction, and the skills required for parenting. This would allow them to make more informed life-choices about reproduction and parenting, and exercise their autonomy with respect to these choices. We do not believe (...)
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  27. Andrew Botterell & Carolyn McLeod (2015). Licensing Parents in International Contract Pregnancies. Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (1):n/a-n/a.
    The Hague Conference on Private International Law currently has a Parentage/Surrogacy Project, which evaluates the legal status of children in cross-border situations, including situations involving international contract pregnancy. Should a convention focusing on international contract pregnancy emerge from this project, it will need to be consistent with the Hague convention on Intercountry Adoption. The latter convention prohibits adoptions unless, among other things, ‘the competent authorities of the receiving State have determined that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to (...)
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  28. Paul Bou‐Habib & Serena Olsaretti (2013). Equality, Autonomy, and the Price of Parenting. Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (4):420-438.
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  29. Tomislav Bracanović (2012). Parental Licensing Meets Evolutionary Psychology. Ethical Perspectives 19 (2):207-233.
    Hugh LaFollette has proposed that in order to prevent statistically expected harm that many parents inflict on their children prospective parents should be licensed. This article evaluates his proposal by looking at various facts, statistical data and probability estimates related to sex differences in human mating and parenting behaviour provided by evolutionary psychology. It is suggested that these evolutionary considerations create a serious stalemate between certain basic moral principles to which LaFollette subscribes, thus rendering the entire proposal morally impracticable. It (...)
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  30. B. S. Brinchann (1999). When the Home Becomes a Prison: Living with a Severely Disabled Child. Nursing Ethics 6 (2):137-143.
    The aim of this study was to generate knowledge about how parents who have been part of an ethical decision-making process concerning a son or daughter in a neonatal unit experience life with a severely disabled child. A descriptive study design was chosen using 30 hours of field observations and seven in-depth interviews, carried out over a period of five months with parents who had been faced with ethical decisions concerning their own children in a neonatal unit. Strauss and Glaser’s (...)
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  31. Berit Brogaard (forthcoming). Parental Love and the Meaning of Life. In Leo Zaibert (ed.), special festschrift volume for Barry Smith edited by Leo Zaibert.
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  32. M. J. Brueton (1988). Care of the Handicapped Newborn: Parental Responsibility and Medical Responsibility. Journal of Medical Ethics 14 (1):48-49.
  33. A. G. M. Campbell (1986). Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants. Journal of Medical Ethics 12 (4):212-213.
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  34. Daniela Cutas & Lisa Bortolotti (2010). Natural Versus Assisted Reproduction. In Search of Fairness. Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology 4 (1).
    Whilst the choice of becoming a parent in the natural way is unregulated all over Europe (and proposals of regulation raise vehement objections), most European countries have (either legal or professional) regulations imposing criteria that people must satisfy if they wish to gain access to assisted reproduction and parenting. These criteria may include relationship status, age, sexual orientation, financial stability, health, and willingness to attend parenting classes. The existence of regulations in this area is largely accepted, and the objections raised (...)
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  35. Daniela Cutas & Sarah Chan (2012). Families – Beyond the Nuclear Ideal. Bloomsbury Academic.
    This book examines, through a multi-disciplinary lens, the possibilities offered by relationships and family forms that challenge the nuclear family ideal, and some of the arguments that recommend or disqualify these as legitimate units in our societies. That children should be conceived naturally, born to and raised by their two young, heterosexual, married to each other, genetic parents; that this relationship between parents is also the ideal relationship between romantic or sexual partners; and that romance and sexual intimacy ought to (...)
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  36. John Davis (2008). Selecting Potential Children and Unconditional Parental Love. Bioethics 22 (5):258–268.
    For now, the best way to select a child's genes is to select a potential child who has those genes, using genetic testing and either selective abortion, sperm and egg donors, or selecting embryos for implantation. Some people even wish to select against genes that are only mildly undesirable, or to select for superior genes. I call this selection drift– the standard for acceptable children is creeping upwards. The President's Council on Bioethics and others have raised the parental love objection: (...)
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  37. Y. Denier (2010). From Brute Luck to Option Luck? On Genetics, Justice, and Moral Responsibility in Reproduction. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (2):101-129.
    The structure of our ethical experience depends, crucially, on a fundamental distinction between what we are responsible for doing or deciding and what is given to us. As such, the boundary between chance and choice is the spine of our conventional morality, and any serious shift in that boundary is thoroughly dislocating. Against this background, I analyze the way in which techniques of prenatal genetic diagnosis (PGD) pose such a fundamental challenge to our conventional ideas of justice and moral responsibility. (...)
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  38. Ezio Di Nucci (2014). Fathers and Abortion. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (4):444-458.
    I argue that it is possible for prospective mothers to wrong prospective fathers by bearing their child; and that lifting paternal liability for child support does not correct the wrong inflicted to fathers. It is therefore sometimes wrong for prospective mothers to bear a child, or so I argue here. I show that my argument for considering the legitimate interests of prospective fathers is not a unique exception to an obvious right to procreate. It is, rather, part of a growing (...)
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  39. Ezio Di Nucci (2013). Killing Fetuses and Killing Newborns. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):19-20.
    The argument for the moral permissibility of killing newborns is a challenge to liberal positions on abortion because it can be considered a reductio of their defence of abortion. Here I defend the liberal stance on abortion by arguing that the argument for the moral permissibility of killing newborns on ground of the social, psychological and economic burden on the parents recently put forward by Giubilini and Minerva is not valid; this is because they fail to show that newborns cannot (...)
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  40. F. O. X. Dov (2008). Parental Attention Deficit Disorder. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):246-261.
    abstract This essay considers the moral status of certain practices that aim to enhance offspring traits. I develop an objection to offspring enhancement that draws on an account of the role morality of parents. I work out an account of parental ethics by reference to premises about child development and to observations about parenting culture in the United States. I argue that excellence in parenthood consists in a dual responsibility both to guide children toward the good life and to accept (...)
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  41. Luara Ferracioli (forthcoming). Why the Family? Law, Ethics and Philosophy.
    Among the most pressing philosophical questions occupying those interested in the ethics of the family is why should parents, as opposed to charity workers or state officials, raise children. In their recent Family Values, Brighouse and Swift have further articulated and strengthen their own justification of the parent-child relationship by appealing to its crucial role in enabling the child’s proper development and in allowing parents to play a valuable fiduciary role in the lives of children. In this paper, I argue (...)
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  42. Luara Ferracioli (2014). The State’s Duty to Ensure Children Are Loved. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2):1-19.
    Do children have a right to be loved? An affirmative answer faces two immediate challenges: (i) a child's basic needs can be met without love, therefore a defence of such a right cannot appeal to the role of love in protecting children's most basic needs, and (ii) since love is non-voluntary, it seems that there cannot be a corresponding duty on the part of parents to love their child. In this essay, I defend an affirmative answer that overcomes both of (...)
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  43. Dov Fox (2008). Parental Attention Deficit Disorder. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):246-261.
    This essay considers the moral status of certain practices that aim to enhance offspring traits. I develop an objection to offspring enhancement that draws on an account of the role morality of parents. I work out an account of parental ethics by reference to premises about child development and to observations about parenting culture in the United States. I argue that excellence in parenthood consists in a dual responsibility both to guide children toward the good life and to accept them (...)
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  44. Andrew Franklin-Hall (2012). Norvin Richards, The Ethics of Parenthood. Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):117-121.
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  45. Rachel Fredericks (2013). Review of Christine Overall, Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate. [REVIEW] Hypatia Reviews Online.
  46. Avery W. Gardiner (2000). Reproductive Health: Massachusetts Court Holds Contracts Forcing Parenthood Violate Public Policy. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 28 (2):198-199.
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  47. R. J. Gelles (2007). Children's Rights and Parents' Responsibilities Martin Guggenheim, What's Wrong With Children's Rights. Criminal Justice Ethics 25 (2):40.
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  48. Richard Gelles (2006). Review Essay / Children's Rights and Parents' Responsibilities. Criminal Justice Ethics 25 (2):40-45.
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  49. Anca Gheaus (forthcoming). Is There a Right to Parent? Law, Ethics and Philosophy.
    A short paper discussing the question of whether adults' interest in parenting can play a role in justifying the right to rear children.
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  50. Anca Gheaus (2015). Unfinished Adults and Defective Children: On the Nature and Value of Childhood. Journal for Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (1):1-21.
    Traditionally, most philosophers saw childhood as a state of deficiency and thought that its value was entirely dependent on how successfully it prepares individuals for adulthood. Yet, there are good reasons to think that childhood also has intrinsic value. Children possess certain intrinsically valuable abilities to a higher degree than adults. Moreover, going through a phase when one does not yet have a “self of one’s own,” and experimenting one’s way to a stable self, seems intrinsically valuable. I argue (...)
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