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Summary What makes a child's life go well for her or him? Is childhood wellbeing different from wellbeing during adulthood? How does childhood wellbeing contribute to lifetime wellbeing? What laws and institutions contribute to childhood wellbeing?
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  1. Children’s Rights, Well-Being, and Sexual Agency.Samantha Brennan & Jennifer Epp - forthcoming - In Alexander Bagattini and Colin MacLeod (ed.), The Wellbeing of Children in Theory and Practice.
  2. Creating Carnists.Rachel Fredericks & Jeremy Fischer - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    We argue that individual and institutional caregivers have a defeasible moral duty to provide dependent children with plant-based diets and related education. Notably, our three arguments for this claim do not presuppose any general duty of veganism. Instead, they are grounded in widely shared intuitions about children’s interests and caregivers’ responsibilities, as well as recent empirical research relevant to children’s moral development, autonomy development, and physical health. Together, these arguments constitute a strong cumulative case against inculcating in children the dietary (...)
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  3. Against private surrogacy: a child-centred view.Anca Gheaus - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    Surrogacy involves a private agreement whereby a woman who gestates a child attempts to surrender her (putative) moral right to become the parent of that child such that another person (or persons), of the woman’s choice, can acquire it. Since people lack the normative power to privately transfer custody, attempts to do so are illegitimate, and the law should reflect this fact.
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  4. Children's Human Rights.Anca Gheaus - forthcoming - In Jesse Tomalty & Kerri Woods (eds.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Human Rights. Routledge. Translated by Kerri Woods.
    There is wide agreement that children have human rights, and that their human rights differ from those of adults. What explains this difference which is, at least at first glance, puzzling, given that human rights are meant to be universal? The puzzle can be dispelled by identifying what unites children’s and adults’ rights as human rights. Here I seek to answer the question of children’s human rights – that is, rights they have merely in virtue of being human and of (...)
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  5. El Deber de Adoptar y los Derechos de la Niñez en Chile.Joaquim Giannotti - forthcoming - Revista Iberoamericana.
    Este trabajo titulado " El Deber de Adoptar y los Derechos de la niñez en Chile" será incluido en el Volumen 24. Número 86(2024) de Revista Iberoamericana en la sección Foro de Debate denominada “Infancias Latinoamericanas: desafíos para la garantía de derechos en la región".
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  6. Republican Families?Anca Gheaus - 2024 - In Frank Lovett & Mortimer Sellers (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Republicanism. Oxford University Press.
  7. Enabling children to learn from religions whilst respecting their rights: against monopolies of influence.Anca Gheaus - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 58 (1):120-127.
    John Tillson argues, on grounds of children’s well-being, that it is impermissible to teach them religious views. I defend a practice of pluralistically advocating religious views to children. As long as there are no monopolies of influence over children, and as long as advocates do not use coercion, deceit, or manipulation, children can greatly benefit without having their rational abilities subverted, or incurring undue risk to form false beliefs. This solution should counter, to some extent, both perfectionist and antiperfectionist reasons (...)
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  8. “Let them be children”? Age limits in voting and conceptions of childhood.Anca Gheaus - 2023 - In Greg Bognar & Axel Gosseries (eds.), Ageing Without Ageism: Conceptual Puzzles and Policy Proposals. Oxford University Press.
    This paper explains alternative views about the nature and value of childhood, and how particular conceptions of childhood matter to a practical issue relevant to the topic of the book: children's voting rights. I don't defend any particular view on this matter; rather, I explain how recent accounts of what is uniquely good or bad about being a child bear on arguments for and against enfranchising children. I also explain why children who live in a society in which many adults (...)
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  9. A Project View of the Right to Parent.Benjamin Lange - 2023 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 1:1-23.
    The institution of the family and its importance have recently received considerable attention from political theorists. Leading views maintain that the institution’s justification is grounded, at least in part, in the non-instrumental value of the parent-child relationship itself. Such views face the challenge of identifying a specific good in the parent-child relationship that can account for how adults acquire parental rights over a particular child—as opposed to general parental rights, which need not warrant a claim to parent one’s biological progeny. (...)
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  10. Libertarianism, the Family, and Children.Andrew Jason Cohen & Lauren Hall - 2022 - In Matt Zwolinski & Benjamin Ferguson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism. Routledge. pp. 336-350.
    We explain libertarian thought about family and children, including controversial issues in need of serious attention. To begin our discussion of marriage, we distinguish between procedural and substantive contractarian approaches to marriage, each endorsed by various libertarians. Advocates of both approaches agree that it is a contract that makes a marriage, not a license, but disagree about whether there are moral limits to the substance of the contract with only advocates of the substantive approach accepting such. Either approach, though, offers (...)
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  11. Childhood after COVID: Children’s Interests in a Flourishing Childhood and a More Communal Childrearing.Anca Gheaus - 2022 - Philosophical Inquiry in Education 29 (1):65–71.
    This article brings into relief two desiderata in childrearing, the importance of which the pandemic has made clearer than ever. The first is to ensure that, in schools as well as outside them, children have ample opportunities to enjoy goods that are particular to childhood: unstructured time, to be spent playing with other children, discovering the world in company or alone, or indeed pursuing any of the creative activities that make children happy and help them learn. I refer to these (...)
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  12. Adultos inacabados y niños defectuosos: sobre la naturaleza y el valor de la infancia.Anca Gheaus & Lourdes Gaitán Muñoz - 2022 - Sociedad e Infancias 6 (1):77-89.
    Defiendo la opinión de que la infancia es intrínsecamente valiosa en lugar de tener valor solo en la medida en que conduce a una buena edad adulta. Ni la visión de los “niños como adultos inacabados” ni la más extravagante de “los adultos como niños defectuosos” son convincentes por sí mismas porque ambas son formas incompletas de contar la historia de la infancia y la edad adulta. Un breve artículo no puede resolver la cuestión del valor relativo de la niñez (...)
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  13. Subjective Theories of Ill-Being.Anthony Kelley - 2022 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 46:109-135.
    According to subjectivism about ill-being, the token states of affairs that are basically bad for you must be suitably connected, under the proper conditions, to your negative attitudes. This article explores the prospects for this family of theories and addresses some of its challenges. This article (i) shows that subjectivism about ill-being can be derived from a more general doctrine that requires a negatively valenced relationship between any welfare subject and the token states that are of basic harm to that (...)
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  14. Children's Prudential Value.Anthony Skelton - 2022 - In Christopher Wareham (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Ethics of Ageing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 38-53.
    Until recently, the nature of children’s well-being or prudential value remained all but unexplored in the literature on well-being. There now exists a small but growing body of work on the topic. In this chapter, I focus on a cluster of under-explored issues relating to children’s well-being. I investigate, in specific, three distinct (and to my mind puzzling) positions about it, namely, that children’s lives cannot on the whole go well or poorly for them, prudentially speaking; that the prudential goods (...)
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  15. Wrongful Influence in Educational Contexts.John Tillson - 2022 - In Kathryn Ann Hytten (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    When and why are coercion, indoctrination, manipulation, deception, and bullshit morally wrongful modes of influence in the context of educating children? Answering this question requires identifying what valid claims different parties have against one another regarding how children are influenced. Most prominently among these, it requires discerning what claims children have regarding whether and how they and their peers are influenced, and against whom they have these claims. The claims they have are grounded in the weighty interests they each equally (...)
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  16. The Best Available Parent and Duties of Justice.Jordan Walters - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 23 (2):304-311.
    I argue that the best available parent view, in its present formulation, struggles to accommodate for our very weighty duty not to perpetuate historical injustices. I offer an alternative view that reconciles this tension.
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  17. Should we delay covid-19 vaccination in children?Lisa Forsberg & Anthony Skelton - 2021 - British Medical Journal 374 (8300):96-97.
    The net benefit of vaccinating children is unclear, and vulnerable people worldwide should be prioritised instead, say Dominic Wilkinson, Ilora Finlay, and Andrew J Pollard. But Lisa Forsberg and Anthony Skelton argue that covid-19 vaccines have been approved for some children and that children should not be disadvantaged because of policy choices that impede global vaccination.
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  18. Teaching Children How to Think: Rational Autonomy as an Aim of Liberal Education.Andrew Franklin-Hall - 2021 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 39 (4):581-596.
  19. The Best Available Parent.Anca Gheaus - 2021 - Ethics 131 (3):431-459.
    There is a broad philosophical consensus that both children’s and prospective parents’ interests are relevant to the justification of a right to parent. Against this view, I argue that it is impermissible to sacrifice children’s interests for the sake of advancing adults’ interest in childrearing. Therefore, the allocation of the moral right to parent should track the child’s, and not the potential parent’s, interest. This revisionary thesis is moderated by two additional qualifications. First, parents lack the moral right to exclude (...)
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  20. Childhood: Value and duties.Anca Gheaus - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (12):e12793.
    In philosophy, there are two competitor views about the nature and value of childhood: The first is the traditional, deficiency, view, according to which children are mere unfinished adults. The second is a view that has recently become increasingly popular amongst philosophers, and according to which children, perhaps in virtue of their biological features, have special and valuable capacities, and, more generally, privileged access to some sources of value. This article provides a conceptual map of these views and their possible (...)
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  21. Child-rearing With Minimal Domination: A Republican Account.Anca Gheaus - 2021 - Political Studies 69 (3).
    Parenting involves an extraordinary degree of power over children. Republicans are concerned about domination, which, on one view, is the holding of power that fails to track the interests of those over whom it is exercised. On this account, parenting as we know it is dominating due to the low standards necessary for acquiring and retaining parental rights and the extent of parental power. Domination cannot be fully eliminated from child-rearing without unacceptable loss of value. Most likely, republicanism requires that (...)
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  22. In Search of Just Families. [REVIEW]Robert Morgan - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):448-450.
    In Search of Just Families. By Chhanda Gupta.
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  23. Overriding Adolescent Refusals of Treatment.Anthony Skelton, Lisa Forsberg & Isra Black - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 20 (3):221-247.
    Adolescents are routinely treated differently to adults, even when they possess similar capacities. In this article, we explore the justification for one case of differential treatment of adolescents. We attempt to make philosophical sense of the concurrent consents doctrine in law: adolescents found to have decision-making capacity have the power to consent to—and thereby, all else being equal, permit—their own medical treatment, but they lack the power always to refuse treatment and so render it impermissible. Other parties, that is, individuals (...)
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  24. The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children, Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder and Jurgen de Wispelaere (eds.). Routledge: Abingdon, UK, 2019. 424 pp. ISBN 9781138915978. £190.00 (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Jake Earl - 2020 - Bioethics 34 (7):736-737.
    The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children is an impressive collection of original essays on conceptual and normative issues related to the first (post-natal) phases of human life. As co-editor Anca Gheaus notes in her introduction to the collection, philosophers’ historical inattention to these issues is “puzzling”, given the importance of childhood and children for both individual and societal flourishing (p. 1). Attentive readers will be even more puzzled by this fact, given the variety of interesting, challenging (...)
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  25. How Many Parents Should There Be in a Family?Kalle Grill - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy (3):467-484.
    In this article, I challenge the widespread presumption that a child should have exactly two parents. I consider the pros and cons of various numbers of parents for the people most directly affected – the children themselves and their parents. The number of parents, as well as the ratio of parents to children, may have an impact on what resources are available, what relationships can develop between parents and children, what level of conflict can be expected in the family, as (...)
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  26. Creating ‘family’ in adoption from care.Jenny Krutzinna - 2020 - In Tarja Pösö, Marit Skivenes & June Thoburn (eds.), Adoption from Care. International Perspectives on Children’s Rights, Family Preservation and State Intervention. Research in Social Work. pp. 195-213.
    Adoption may be defined as ‘the legal process through which the state establishes a parental relationship, with all its attendant rights and duties, between a child and a (set of) parent(s) where there exists no previous procreative relationship’ . In adoptions from care, state intervention effectively converts an established, or nascent, adult– child relationship into ‘family’ in the legal sense. From the state’s perspective, adoption thus entails the transfer of parental responsibilities for a child in public care to a private (...)
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  27. Can Inclusion Policies Deliver Educational Justice for Children with Autism? An ethical analysis.Michael Merry - 2020 - Journal of School Choice 14 (1):9-25.
    In this essay I ask what educational justice might require for children with autism in educational settings where “inclusion” entails not only meaningful access, but also where the educational setting is able to facilitate a sense of belonging and further is conducive to well-being. I argue when we attempt to answer the question “do inclusion policies deliver educational justice?” that we pay close attention to the specific dimensions of well-being for children with autism. Whatever the specifics of individual cases, both (...)
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  28. Mandating Vaccination.Anthony Skelton & Lisa Forsberg - 2020 - In Meredith Celene Schwartz (ed.), The Ethics of Pandemics. Peterborough, CA: Broadview Press. pp. 131-134.
    A short piece exploring some arguments for mandating vaccination for Covid-19.
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  29. Children’s moral rights and UK school exclusions.John Tillson & Laura Oxley - 2020 - Theory and Research in Education 18 (4).
    This article argues that uses of exclusion by schools in the United Kingdom (UK) often violate children’s moral rights. It contends that while exclusion is not inherently incompatible with children’s moral rights, current practice must be reformed to align with them. It concludes that as a non-punitive preventive measure, there may be certain circumstances in schools where it is necessary to exclude a child in order to safeguard the weighty interests of others in the school community. However, reform is needed (...)
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  30. Reply to Hawkins, Hassoun, and Arneson.Anna Alexandrova - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (4):537-544.
  31. Précis of A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being.Anna Alexandrova - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (4):509-511.
  32. Children’s well-being and vulnerability.Alexander Bagattini - 2019 - Ethics and Social Welfare 13 (3):211-215.
  33. Well-being, Disability, and Choosing Children.Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):305-328.
    The view that it is better for life to be created free of disability is pervasive in both common sense and philosophy. We cast doubt on this view by focusing on an influential line of thinking that manifests it. That thinking begins with a widely-discussed principle, Procreative Beneficence, and draws conclusions about parental choice and disability. After reconstructing two versions of this argument, we critique the first by exploring the relationship between different understandings of well-being and disability, and the second (...)
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  34. Wronging Future Children.K. Lindsey Chambers - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    The dominant framework for addressing procreative ethics has revolved around the notion of harm, largely due to Derek Parfit’s famous non-identity problem. Focusing exclusively on the question of harm treats what procreators owe their offspring as akin to what they would owe strangers (if they owe them anything at all). Procreators, however, usually expect (and are expected) to parent the persons they create, so we cannot understand what procreators owe their offspring without also appealing to their role as prospective parents. (...)
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  35. Is children’s wellbeing different from adults’ wellbeing?Andrée-Anne Cormier & Mauro Rossi - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1146-1168.
    Call generalism about children’s and adults’ wellbeing the thesis that the same theory of wellbeing applies to both children and adults. Our goal is to examine whether generalism is true. While this question has not received much attention in the past, it has recently been suggested that generalism is likely to be false and that we need to elaborate different theories of children’s and adults’ wellbeing. In this paper, we defend generalism against the main objections it faces and make a (...)
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  36. Carefreeness and Children's Wellbeing.Luara Ferracioli - 2019 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (1):103-117.
    In this paper, I investigate the relationship between carefreeness and the valuable goods that constitute a good childhood. I argue that carefreeness is necessary for children to develop positive affective responses to worthwhile projects and relationships, and so is necessary for children to endorse the valuable goods in their lives. One upshot of my discussion is that a child who is allowed to play, who receives an adequate education, and who has loving parents, but who lacks the psychological disposition of (...)
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  37. More Co-parents, Fewer Children: Multiparenting and Sustainable Population.Anca Gheaus - 2019 - Essays in Philosophy 20 (1):3-23.
    Some philosophers argue that we should limit procreation – for instance, to one child per person or one child per couple – in order to reduce our aggregate carbon footprint. I provide additional support to the claim that population size is a matter of justice, by explaining that we have a duty of justice towards the current generation of children to pass on to them a sustainable population. But instead of, or, more likely, alongside with, having fewer children in in (...)
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  38. Parental Decision Making: The Best Interest Principle, Child Autonomy, and Reasonableness.Ryan Hubbard & Jake Greenblum - 2019 - HEC Forum 31 (3):233-240.
    On what basis should we judge whether a parent’s medical decision for their child is morally acceptable? In a recent article, Johan Bester attempts to answer this question by defending a version of the Best Interest Standard for parental decision making. The purpose of this paper is to identify a number of problems faced by Bester’s version of BIS and to suggest ways to redress these problems. Accordingly, we intend to advance the project of formulating a method for guiding parents’ (...)
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  39. The Problem of the Kantian Line.Samuel Kahn - 2019 - International Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2):193-217.
    In this paper I discuss the problem of the Kantian line. The problem arises because the locus of value in Kantian ethics is rationality, which (counterintuitively) seems to entail that there are no duties to groups of beings like children. I argue that recent attempts to solve this problem by Wood and O’Neill overlook an important aspect of it before posing my own solution.
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  40. The Real Value of Child-Parent Vulnerability.Mianna Lotz - 2019 - Ethics and Social Welfare 13 (3):244-260.
    A troubling paradox of sorts may be thought to lie at the heart of the child–parent relationship. This supposed paradox consists in an apparent incompatibility of the goods afforded by that relatio...
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  41. Paradoxes of Children’s Vulnerability.Colin Macleod - 2019 - Ethics and Social Welfare 13 (3):261-271.
  42. Guidance and Intervention Principles in Pediatrics: The Need for Pluralism.Mark Christopher Navin & Jason Wasserman - 2019 - Journal of Clinical Ethics 30 (3):201-6.
    Two core questions in pediatric ethics concern when and how physicians are ethically permitted to intervene in parental treatment decisions (intervention principles), and the goals or values that should direct physicians’ and parents’ decisions about the care of children (guidance principles). Lainie Friedman Ross argues in this issue of The Journal of Clinical Ethics that constrained parental autonomy (CPA) simultaneously answers both questions: physicians should intervene when parental treatment preferences fail to protect a child’s basic needs or primary goods, and (...)
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  43. Ethics, Poverty and Children’s Vulnerability.Gottfried Schweiger - 2019 - Ethics and Social Welfare 13 (3):288-301.
    This paper is concerned with child poverty from an ethical perspective and applies the normative concept of vulnerability for this purpose. The first part of the paper will briefly outline children’s particular vulnerability and distinguish important aspects of this. Then the concept will be applied to child poverty and it will be shown that child poverty is a corrosive situational vulnerability, with many severe consequences. In this part of the paper normative reasoning and empirical literature will be brought together. Then, (...)
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  44. Pediatric Assent and Treating Children Over Objection.Jason Wasserman, Mark Christopher Navin & John Vercler - 2019 - Pediatrics 144 (5):e20190382.
    More than 20 years ago, the pioneering pediatric ethicist William Bartholome wrote a fiery letter to the editor of this journal because he thought a recently published statement on pediatric assent, from the Committee on Bioethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), showed insufficient respect for children. That AAP statement, like its 2016 update, asserts that pediatric assent should be solicited only when a child’s dissent will be honored. Bartholome objected that pediatricians should always solicit children’s assent and that (...)
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  45. The Burdens of Life.Mark Wells - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1613-1620.
    In this paper, I make the case for risks and burdens of morality and meaning. Recognizing such risks and burdens would require many of us to expand how we think about the imposition of risks and burdens. As I take it, if such an expansion helps us make more sense of relevant cases and helps us clarify or resolve debates for which risks and burdens are relevant, then it is well-motivated. Accordingly, I will demonstrate the relevance of my proposed expansion (...)
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  46. Children and Added Sugar: The Case for Restriction.Theodore Bach - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (S1):105-120.
    It is increasingly clear that children's excessive consumption of products high in added sugar causes obesity and obesity-related health problems like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Less clear is how best to address this problem through public health policy. In contrast to policies that might conflict with adult's right to self-determination — for example sugar taxes and soda bans — this article proposes that children's access to products high in added sugars should be restricted in the same (...)
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  47. Trust as a virtue in education.Laura D’Olimpio - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (2):193-202.
    As social and political beings, we are able to flourish only if we collaborate with others. Trust, understood as a virtue, incorporates appropriate rational emotional dispositions such as compassion as well as action that is contextual, situated in a time and place. We judge responses as appropriate and characters as trustworthy or untrustworthy based on these factors. To be considered worthy of trust, as an individual or an institution, one must do the right thing at the right time for the (...)
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  48. Procreative-parenting, love's reasons and the demands of morality.Luara Ferracioli - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):77-97.
    Many philosophers believe that the relationship between a parent and a child is objectively valuable, but few believe that there is any objective value in first creating a child in order to parent her. But if it is indeed true that all of the objective value of procreative-parenting comes from parenting, then it is hard to see how procreative-parenting can overcome two particularly pressing philosophical challenges. A first challenge is to show that it is morally permissible for prospective parents to (...)
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  49. Children's Vulnerability and Legitimate Authority Over Children.Anca Gheaus - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy:60-75.
    Children's vulnerability gives rise to duties of justice towards children and determines when authority over them is legitimately exercised. I argue for two claims. First, children's general vulnerability to objectionable dependency on their caregivers entails that they have a right not to be subject to monopolies of care, and therefore determines the structure of legitimate authority over them. Second, children's vulnerability to the loss of some special goods of childhood determines the content of legitimate authority over them. My interest is (...)
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  50. Biological Parenthood: Gestational, Not Genetic.Anca Gheaus - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):225-240.
    Common sense morality and legislations around the world ascribe normative relevance to biological connections between parents and children. Procreators who meet a modest standard of parental competence are believed to have a right to rear the children they brought into the world. I explore various attempts to justify this belief and find most of these attempts lacking. I distinguish between two kinds of biological connections between parents and children: the genetic link and the gestational link. I argue that the second (...)
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