Law, Ethics and Philosophy 3:205-219 (2015)

Luara Ferracioli
University of Sydney
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 that the set of interests Brighouse and Swift identify as necessary for the justification of the family fails to account for the different stages and the different cultural settings that mark the parent-child relationship. In particular, I ague that their justification of the family fails to satisfy the following two desiderata: (i) that the justification for the parent-child relationship should ideally track the good-making feature(s) of the relationship that extend across its entire history, and (ii) such justification should ideally explain what is valuable about the parent-child relationship in both liberal and non-liberal family contexts. In light of my critique, I sketch an alternative account of family values, one that appeals directly to the special mode of caring we see in the parent-child relationship, a form of caring that is certainly present in non-liberal societies and that typically extends across a lifetime.
Keywords family  children  parents  love  autonomy  Brighouse  Swift
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References found in this work BETA

The Right to Parent One's Biological Baby.Anca Gheaus - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (4):432-455.
What’s Love Got to Do with It? Why a Child Does Not Have a Right to Be Loved.Mhairi Cowden - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (3):325-345.

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The Real Value of Child-Parent Vulnerability.Mianna Lotz - 2019 - Ethics and Social Welfare 13 (3):244-260.

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