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Gheaus, Anca. The Right to Parent and Duties Concerning Future Generations
2016, Journal of Political Philosophy 24(1): Early Online.
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Added by: Carl Fox

Introduction: The argument, in a nutshell, is:

  • P1: Each child has a right, against all, to adequate life prospects.
  • P2: For each child who has the potential, as an adult, to be an adequate parent, adequate life prospects require enough resources to justly raise children.
  • C1: Thus, each child who has the potential to be an adequate parent has a right, against all, to enough resources to justly raise children.
  • P3: The right to enough resources to justly raise children includes the right to enough resources to provide one’s children with enough resources to justly raise children.
  • C2: Thus, each child who has the potential, as an adult, to be an adequate parent has a right, against all, to enough resources to provide their children with enough resources to justly raise children.

The argument continues ad infinitum because P3 is recurrent—it can be reiterated for any number of future generations.

  • C3: Thus, each child who has the potential, as an adult, to be an adequate parent has a right, against all, to enough resources to provide an indefinite number of successors with enough resources to justly raise children.

Comment: Novel approach to climate change and intergenerational justice. Article argues that we owe it to future generations to ensure that they have access to sufficient resources to realise their right to parent by providing an adequate life for their children. Would make interesting reading in a module on either environmental justice or on the family.

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Kuhse, Hoyt, Singer, Peter. Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants
1985, Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: Few subjects have generated so many newspaper headlines and such heated controversy as the treatment, or non-treatment, of handicapped newborns. In 1982, the case of Baby Doe, a child born with Down’s syndrome, stirred up a national debate in the United States, while in Britain a year earlier, Dr. Leonard Arthur stood trial for his decision to allow a baby with Down’s syndrome to die. Government intervention and these recent legal battles accentuate the need for a reassessment of the complex issues involved. This volume–by two authorities on medical ethics–presents a philosophical analysis of the subject based on particular case studies. Addressing the doctrine of the absolute sanctity of life, Singer and Kuhse examine some actual cases where decisions have been reached; consider the criteria for making these decisions; investigate the differences between killing and letting die; compare Western attitudes and practices with those of other cultures; and conclude by proposing a decision-making framework that offers a rational alternative to the polemics and confusion generated by this highly controversial topic.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Lone, Jana Mohr. Philosophical Inquiry in Childhood
2018, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: Children begin speculating about philosophical questions early in their lives. Almost as soon as they can formulate them, most children start asking what we call “big questions.” Walk into any kindergarten class, and you-ll see children eager to explore almost any facet of their lives. Virtually every parent is familiar with the experience of listening to “why” questions—question after question—from young children, to whom the world, a familiar blur to adults in the rush of everything on our minds, is a series of fresh and vivid encounters. Brimming with curiosity about aspects of life most adults take for granted, children demonstrate an interest in exploring the most basic elements of the human condition. Philosophy for Children takes as a starting point young peopl’-s inclinations to question the meaning of such concepts as truth, knowledge, identity, fairness, justice, morality, art, and beauty.

Comment: A brief introduction to philosophy for children or pre-college philosophy.

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Olsaretti, Serena. Children as Public Goods?
2013, Philosophy and Public Affairs 41(3): 226-258.
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Added by: Carl Fox

Content: Olsaretti is interested in the question of whether nonparents in a just society have a duty to share some of the costs of raising children with those people who choose to be parents. She considers the main argument in favour of that claim, that children are public goods. Although she sees some merit in the public goods approach, she develops an alternative socialised goods argument, which she holds to be ultimately stronger.

Comment: Helpful for examining issues around children, parents, non-parents and distributive justice, and also for thinking about individuals bearing responsibility for choices more generally. Could be a specialised required reading or further reading.

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Sterwart, Georgina. Kaupapa Māori, Philosophy and Schools
2014, In: Educational Philosophy and Theory Volume 46, Issue 11: Special Issue: Philosophy in Schools. pp 1-6
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Added by: Barbara Cohn, Contributed by: Georgina Stewart

Abstract: Goals for adding philosophy to the school curriculum centre on the perceived need to improve the general quality of critical thinking found in society. School philosophy also provides a means for asking questions of value and purpose about curriculum content across and between subjects, and, furthermore, it affirms the capability of children to think philosophically. Two main routes suggested are the introduction of philosophy as a subject, and processes of facilitating philosophical discussions as a way of establishing classroom ‘communities of inquiry’. This article analyses the place of philosophy in the school curriculum, drawing on three relevant examples of school curriculum reform: social studies, philosophy of science and Kura Kaupapa Māori.

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