A Theory of Filial Obligations

Social Theory and Practice 38 (4):717-737 (2012)
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Despite the fact that many people face pressing questions about what they are morally required to do for their aging parents, surprisingly little has been said in the literature about filial obligations. After considering and rejecting two theories--Gratitude Theory and Special Goods Theory--this paper offers a novel, blended theory of filial obligations, called the Gratitude for Special Goods Theory. On this view, grown children often have extensive obligations to meet their parents’ needs, for doing so serves as an expression of gratitude for the parents’ past provision of goods to the child.



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Brynn Welch
University of Alabama, Birmingham

Citations of this work

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