Children and Well-Being

In Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder & Jurgen de Wispelaere (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children. New York: Routledge. pp. 90-100 (2018)
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Abstract

Children are routinely treated paternalistically. There are good reasons for this. Children are quite vulnerable. They are ill-equipped to meet their most basic needs, due, in part, to deficiencies in practical and theoretical reasoning and in executing their wishes. Children’s motivations and perceptions are often not congruent with their best interests. Consequently, raising children involves facilitating their best interests synchronically and diachronically. In practice, this requires caregivers to (in some sense) manage a child’s daily life. If apposite, this management will focus partly on a child’s well-being. To be ably executed, an account of children’s well-being will need to be articulated. This chapter focuses on the nature of children’s well-being. It has five sections. The first section clarifies the focus. The second section examines some hurdles to articulating a view of children’s well-being. The third section evaluates some accounts of children’s well-being. The fourth section addresses the view that children possess features essential to them that make their lives on balance prudentially bad for them. The fifth section sums things up.

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Anthony Skelton
University of Western Ontario

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Welfare, happiness, and ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Well-being and death.Ben Bradley - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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