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Family ValuesThe Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships$
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Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691126913

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691126913.001.0001

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(p.57) Chapter 3 Children
Family Values

Harry Brighouse

Adam Swift

Princeton University Press

The family is justified because it produces certain goods that would otherwise not be available, or, in some cases, would be much more difficult to produce. These goods—familial relationship goods—are enjoyed by children and by the adults who are their parents. This chapter focuses on the goods it produces for children, arguing that their interests are such as to support the claim that children have a right to be raised by parents—in families. First, it defines what we mean by children and childhood. It then explains what interests are, and describes the interests that children may have. Next, it makes the argument that children have a right to a parent, which involves three claims: children have rights; children are appropriate objects of paternalistic care; and for a child's vital interests to be met, she must be cared for, consistently, by only a small number of people. The chapter goes on to discuss how a biological connection between parent and child relates to our account of children's right to a parent, and concludes by looking, briefly, at the implied duty to parent.

Keywords:   family, parent–child relationship, familial relationship goods, children's rights

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