Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield (1988)

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Abstract
This is a review of Laurence Houlgate's "Family and State: the Philosophy of Family Law. It takes a look at the moral theory from which Houlgate begins and raises questions about is correctness and appropriateness, but it finds more to agree with with respect to his middle-level principles. It considers his definition of "family" in the context of contemporary political controversy over such definitions. It looks at his consequentialist justification for the family, agrees with it, and suggests additional supplementary arguments, primarily from Brigitte and Peter Berger, to give additional support for Houlgate's argument. It looks at his justification for family law and agrees with his principle of optimum communal benefit. It seeks to place Houlgate's views within the context of contemporary political debate about being "pro-family" or "anti-family". It then goes on to look briefly at some of the specific issues of family law that Houlgate considers, taking time to raise a few questions about some of them, and concludes by dealing in a more extensive way with the question of what the extent and limits of state interference in the family should be, agreeing with Houlgate's basic position, but considering further its application to specific issues.
Keywords family law, children's rights, parental rights, marriage, contracts, surrogacy, custody, limits of state power
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ISBN(s) 0847675882
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