Samantha Brennan – Ethics at Noon

Ethics at Noon

Ethics and Our Early Years: Making Decisions for Children as if Childhood Really Mattered

Samantha Brennan
Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research
Western University, London, Ontario
Member, Rotman Institute of Philosophy
Follow me on Twitter, @SamJaneB
I also blog at  Fit Is a Feminist Issue and the Feminist Philosophers Blog

What would ethics look like if we took childhood seriously? Philosophy hasn’t always paid much attention to children. Even when children are mentioned, they are often considered simply as the property of their parents. Another, contemporary, way of thinking about children regards them not as property but rather as projects of their parents. But what if children aren’t property or projects? What if they are persons whose moral status matters independently? We can still get it wrong if we only value children on the basis of the adults they’ll become, for this leaves out the moral significance of childhood. It’s an error to include children and evaluate their treatment solely on the basis of the adults they become, by focusing purely on prospective goods. I argue instead that childhood well-being and childhood matters for their own sake.

Wed, Feb 1, 2017
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Room 200, Larkin Building
15 Devonshire Place