Children as Projects and Persons: A Liberal Antinomy

Social Theory and Practice 35 (4):555-576 (2009)
Abstract
A liberal antinomy of parenting exists: strong liberal intuitions militate in favor of both denying special resources to parenting projects (on grounds of project-neutrality) and granting them (on grounds of respect for personhood). I show that we can reconcile these two claims by rejecting a premise common to both--viz. that liberalism is necessarily committed to extensive procreative liberties--and limiting procreation and subsequent parenting to adults who meet certain psychological and especially financial criteria. I also defend this argument, which provides a Kantian complement to utilitarian arguments for restricting procreation, against a variety of objections.
Keywords antinomy  Immanuel Kant  children  neutrality  procreation  parental licensing  John Stuart Mill
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Ryan Reed (2013). Are the Kids Alright? Rawls, Adoption, and Gay Parents. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):969-982.
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