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Social Theory and Practice

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published on October 1, 2019

Andrew Franklin-Hall

What Parents May Teach Their Children

Many liberals assume that, while children should not be rigidly indoctrinated, parents may raise them according to their own comprehensive values. Matthew Clayton, however, argues that the reasons for embracing antiperfectionism in politics also apply to parental authority. In this paper, I defend the perfectionist conception of childrearing. I claim that we cannot realistically foster a child’s sense of justice without embedding it in a comprehensive doctrine. Furthermore, I argue that since parents cannot avoid bearing some responsibility for their children’s intial orientation to comprehensive doctrines, they are justified in parenting according to their own views of the valuable and true.

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