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Considering kids: The nature of children's claims to justice.

King, Katherine Francis (2010) Considering kids: The nature of children's claims to justice. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Children's rapid development and dependency distinguish them from adults and calls for significant additions to and revisions of leading liberal views. Over the course of chapters 2 to 5, I defend the following two views. First, our obligations to children consist in meeting their needs. Specifying what children's needs are is a difficult task that is best met through a two-part strategy. While a liberal state can make use of a general and abstract characterization of children's needs, it must leave the more concrete specification of those needs to carers. The nature of caring relationships is such that the carers must be given space to act on their conception of the child's good. Second, a proper understanding of the way genes and environment co-determine children's development challenges the exclusion of "natural primary goods" from the scope of distributive justice. While genes constrain developmental outcomes, the nature and extent of these constraints can only be established empirically. Consequently, it is not possible to categorically distinguish between the kinds of goods subject to distributive principles on the basis of a supposed origin in a genetic lottery. In the final two chapters, I look at policy challenges raised by children. In Chapter 6, I explore how children's development affects the value of their opportunities for choice through an analysis of a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, and argue for a refined account of Alex Voorhoeve's Potential Value of Opportunities View that can accommodate these considerations. In Chapter 7, I consider the fair distribution of risk between children in light of the Grimes v. the Kennedy Krieger Institute case. I argue that recognizing the importance of risk miligation to children's health necessitates a refined understanding of benefit tha is responsive to the endemic health risks in a child's environment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Public and Social Welfare, Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2203

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