Autonomy, Child‐Rearing, and Good Lives

Eamonn Callan

in The Moral and Political Status of Children

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780199242689
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598715 | DOI:
 Autonomy, Child‐Rearing, and Good Lives

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Autonomy is important to leading a good life but a common liberal instrumental construal of the way in which it contributes to the leading of a good life is defective. A one‐sided focus on the development of capacities for revision of conceptions of the good should be corrected by attention to the value of developing capacities permitting a rational adherence to a conception of the good. Exposing children to a diverse but shallow secular and consumer culture might not facilitate goodness‐enhancing autonomy in a way that is superior to the more insular strategies of religious minorities whose child‐rearing practices are criticized by liberals.

Keywords: autonomy; children; conception of the good; consumerism; instrumentalism; liberalism; religious minorities; secularism

Chapter.  11599 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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