Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships by Harry Brighouse

By Harry Brighouse

The relatives is hotly contested ideological terrain. a few shield the conventional two-parent heterosexual relatives whereas others welcome its loss of life. evaluations range approximately how a lot keep watch over mom and dad must have over their children’s upbringing. kinfolk Values presents an immense new theoretical account of the morality and politics of the family members, telling us why the relatives is efficacious, who has definitely the right to dad or mum, and what rights mom and dad should—and should still not—have over their children.

Harry Brighouse and Adam rapid argue that parent-child relationships produce the “familial courting items” that folks have to flourish. Children’s fit improvement is dependent upon intimate relationships with authoritative adults, whereas the precise joys and demanding situations of parenting are a part of a satisfying lifestyles for adults. but the relationships that make those items attainable have little to do with biology, and don't require the broad rights that folks at present take pleasure in. not easy a few of our most typically held ideals concerning the relatives, Brighouse and rapid clarify why a child’s curiosity in autonomy critically limits mom and dad’ correct to form their children’s values, and why mom and dad haven't any basic correct to confer wealth or virtue on their children.

Family Values reaffirms the important value of the family members as a social establishment whereas demanding its position within the replica of social inequality and thoroughly balancing the pursuits of folks and youngsters.

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Sample text

Children are adult ‘works in progress’.  . ”22 Children’s developmental needs are not exclusively, or even primarily, cognitive. Liberalism’s neglect of this should be thought of as a blind spot, and one that our theory attempts to bring clearly into view. Rights and Duties The second objection worries about liberalism’s tendency to conceive familial relationships in terms of the rights and duties that individual family members have with respect to one another. If the family is the realm of intimacy and affection, these concepts are inappropriate.

When it comes to politics, in our role as citizens making the rules that govern us, we have to consider the extent to which the state may properly limit individuals’ pursuit of their own interests and constrain their actions in ways that will contribute to the good of others. Compared to the unbridled pursuit of egoistic satisfaction, the family appears as a realm of altruism and self-­sacrifice. Familial relationships are constituted by responsibilities and obligations. To parent a child is to be committed to supporting her at considerable cost to oneself.

On the whole, people have children because they want to, and believe—­we think rightly—­that doing so will make their own lives go better. ”4 If the project of parenting a child contributes to the value of one’s own life, why isn’t it properly conceived as furthering one’s own interests rather than limiting their pursuit for the sake of others? There is certainly something distinctive about a project the content of which involves furthering the interests of other people—­even where those others are one’s own children.

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