The book contains contributions from thirteen distinguished moral and political philosophers on the subject of children. These are new essays and are devoted to a subject that until recently has not been extensively discussed by philosophers. Too often philosophers restrict themselves to the consideration only of the relations between adults. Yet the topic of children is an important one for moral and political philosophy. Recent years have seen an increased concern
with the needs and interests of young people. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which accords a wide range of fundamental rights to children was adopted in 1989 and many states have subsequently ratified the Convention.
In this context it is timely and appropriate to ask various questions. If children do not have rights what exactly is their moral status? If they do have rights do they have all the rights that adults have? What rights if any do parents have over children and what is their justification? What duties do parents have towards their own children and towards others in society? How should we educate those who will be the future citizens and workers of our society? What values and what dispositions
of character is it appropriate to instil in children? Is the family an obstacle to the realisation of full social justice? Can we in pursuit of justice contemplate the abolition of the family? The book covers the themes of children's rights, parental rights and duties, the family and justice, and
Introduction ; I. CHILDREN AND RIGHTS ; Do Children Have Rights? ; What Rights (If Any) Do Children Have? ; Children's Choices of Children's Interests: Which Do Their Rights Protect? ; Being versus Becoming: A Critical Analysis of the Child in Liberal Theory ; II. AUTONOMY AND EDUCATION ; Special Agents: Children's Autonomy and Parental Authority ; Autonomy, Child Rearing, and Good Lives ; Children, Multiculturalism, and Education ; Answering Susan: Liberalism, Civic Education, and the Status of Younger Persons ; III. CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND JUSTICE ; Silver Spoons and Golden Genes: Talent Differentials and Distributive Justice ; Equality and the Duties of Procreators ; Liberal Equality and the Affective Family ; What Children Really Need: Towards a Critical Theory of Family Structure ; Family, Choice, and Distributive Justice