Utilitarianism, Welfare, Children

In Alexander Bagattini & Colin Macleod (eds.), The Nature of Children's Well-Being: Theory and Practice. Springer. pp. 85-103 (2014)

Abstract

Utilitarianism is the view according to which the only basic requirement of morality is to maximize net aggregate welfare. This position has implications for the ethics of creating and rearing children. Most discussions of these implications focus either on the ethics of procreation and in particular on how many and whom it is right to create, or on whether utilitarianism permits the kind of partiality that child rearing requires. Despite its importance to creating and raising children, there are, by contrast, few sustained discussions of the implications of utilitarian views of welfare for the matter of what makes a child’s life go well. This paper attempts to remedy this deficiency. It has four sections. Section one discusses the purpose of a theory of welfare and its adequacy conditions. Section two evaluates what prominent utilitarian theories of welfare imply about what makes a child’s life go well. Section three provides a sketch of a view about what is prudentially valuable for children. Section four sums things up

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Author's Profile

Anthony Skelton
University of Western Ontario

References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
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Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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Citations of this work

Against Welfare Subjectivism.Eden Lin - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):354-377.
On the Minimal Risk Threshold in Research With Children.Ariella Binik - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (9):3-12.
Children and Well-Being.Anthony Skelton - 2018 - In Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder & Jurgen De Wispelaere (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 90-100.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations