Making the family functional: The case for legalized same-sex domestic partnerships

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (2):231-247 (1999)
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This essay argues that "the family" should be understood in functional terms:whatever functions as a family should have the legal status of a family. Theauthor's argument thus avoids two extreme positions. The first is the position ofthe hard-line "platonic" essentialists who, on grounds of nature, supernature, orcultural history, argue that a family unit must comprise heterosexual partners.The second is the position of the radical relativist, who argues that there are noessences whatsoever or that essences are purely arbitrary. Treating the family infunctionalist terms, the author argues, would have positive consequences thatwould strengthen the social fabric.



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Larry Hickman
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

References found in this work

The Sentiment of Rationality.William James - 1879 - Mind 4 (15):317-346.

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