Dissertation, Georgia State University (2015)
AbstractHugh Lafollette’s theoretical justification of parental licensing hinges upon consideration of the harms associated with raising children. If we understand Lafollette’s stance as one in which the moral status of children is equal to that of other human beings, we must consider what such a commitment might require of social institutions such as the family. Unlike other licensing programs, I argue that Lafollette’s parental licensing program serves as a tool by which fair equality of opportunity can be acquired for those living within a given society. I attempt to demonstrate how the normative views as to the sovereignty of parents serve to discount the moral status of children, thus limiting the protections offered against child maltreatment. I will show how Lafollette’s theoretical justifications align with concerns addressed in John Stuart Mill’s harm principle and Rawlsian views as to the importance of access to fair equality of opportunity.
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References found in this work
Justice as Fairness.John Rawls - 1998 - In James Rachels (ed.), Ethical Theory 2: Theories About How We Should Live. Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism, Cultural Membership, and the Family.Ron Mallon - 1999 - Social Theory and Practice 25 (2):271-297.
The Place of Parenting Within a Liberal Theory of Justice: The Private Parenting Model, Parental Licenses, or Public Parenting Support?Daniel Engster - 2010 - Social Theory and Practice 36 (2):233-262.
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