David Archard's Children : rights and childhood PDF

By David Archard

ISBN-10: 020331123X

ISBN-13: 9780203311233

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Extra resources for Children : rights and childhood

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JOHN LOCKE’S CHILDREN very least it is ingenuous to trust, as Locke does, to such natural affection as the sole guarantee of a child’s welfare. Locke does not think that parents own their children and are free to dispose of them as they would of any of their property. He seems to think that parental title is or is not held according to whether the duties of the office are properly discharged. However, to think that parents have no special claim over their own children – that is, one stronger than any other adults who would be equally good guardians – is counterintuitive.

In his book A Theory of Justice Rawls employs with respect to ‘justice’ a distinction between a ‘concept’ and a ‘conception’. His purpose in making the distinction is to render consistent the claim that ‘justice’ has an uncontroversial and commonly agreed sense with a recognition that different and perhaps incompatible principles of justice are defended. 6 It is a requirement of the concept of justice that distinctions between individuals not be made arbitrarily, and that the different claims individuals make to a division of social benefits be adjudicated properly.

The end of childhood under one or several of its aspects is simply assumed to be the end under all the others. It can also mean that the boundary of childhood is ‘borrowed’ from the terms of one dimension and applied to another. For instance, the law might select as an upper limit to childhood an age whose significance is non-legal. It is, by way of illustration, an interesting thought that the age of majority may possibly originally have been fixed in the Middle Ages by the capacity of a young boy to bear arms.

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Children : rights and childhood by David Archard


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