Liberal Equality and the Affective Family

Colin M. Macleod

in The Moral and Political Status of Children

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780199242689
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598715 | DOI:
 Liberal Equality and the Affective Family

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Inequalities that arise because of the influence of arbitrary factors of social or natural contingency, as opposed to choices, are unjust. But whilst liberals wish to preserve and protect the affective family, parental partiality to their own children can result in an inequality that is unjust on account of it being attributable to arbitrary factors. Children's access to resources and opportunities should not be significantly determined by parental entitlement to resources. Justice requires not the abandonment of the family, but it does impose constraints on the ways in which parents can permissibly express their partiality for their children.

Keywords: affective family; children; choice; contingency; entitlement; inequality; justice; liberalism; opportunity; parental partiality

Chapter.  9093 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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