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ERIC Number: EJ1113027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
The Ethics of Conferring Parental Advantage: A Question of Parental Liberty versus Societal Equality
Roberts, J. Kessa
Philosophical Studies in Education, v47 p140-148 2016
In raising their children, parents confer certain advantages upon them. Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift argue that because these parental advantages increase inequality, parents should have the right to confer only advantages that are integral to the core good of the parent-child relationship: building an intimate relationship between parent and child. Inherent in this debate is a tension between family liberty and societal equality and begs the following question: do we prioritize the personal liberty of parents to confer advantages on their children regardless of whether it maintains or even exacerbates inequalities, or do we most value the promotion of societal equality even if it means restricting parents' liberties in the rearing of their children? In order to argue for the limitation of parental advantage, a criterion that is adequate for this intrusion into family life must be used. For such a criterion, the author turns to the arguments that Brighouse and Swift present in their book "Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships." In order to apply Brighouse and Swift's argument, one must consider several factors of the advantage conferral including who confers the advantage, why the advantage is conferred, and where the advantage is conferred. In the author's critique of Brighouse and Swift's position, she considers the implications of each of these three factors in using their argument to limit the advantages parents confer upon their children. Upon evaluating these factors, she finds their argument for the limitation of parental advantage problematic and, therefore, conclude the paper by proposing an alternative solution to reducing societal inequality.
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A