Brenda Almond

in The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284238
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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The family is a ubiquitous social institution, not only in human life, but also in that of other mammals and species. In strictly biological terms, ‘family’ is a concept that centres on the physical coming-together of male and female and on the cluster of offspring that results from that connection. In many species, a pair, once established, continues its relationship while fostering the young to independence. These are such trite and obvious facts that the necessity to set them out arises only because they are currently considered by many people irrelevant to the lives of humans, and also because there is a socio-legal conception of family that may, in some situations, be in conflict with the biological one.

Keywords: family; social institution; coming-together; socio-legal conception; offspring; feminism

Article.  8237 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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