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Evaluating Parental PowerAn Exercise in Pluralist Political Theory$
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Allyn Fives

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784994327

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784994327.001.0001

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Children’s agency

Children’s agency

(p.81) 4 Children’s agency
Evaluating Parental Power

Allyn Fives

Manchester University Press

Even when parents exercise their power in a paternalistic fashion so as to make up for children’s deficits, parents can be faced with moral dilemmas, conflicts which call into question the legitimacy of parents’ exercise of power even in these instances. This is the case, I shall argue in this chapter, because a number of different moral considerations are relevant when we consider children’s agency, and they can pull in different directions and make incompatible demands when we evaluate parents’ power. In particular, we address the following question: how do we evaluate situations where, while promoting children’s positive freedom, parents violate the rights that protect children’s negative freedom?

Keywords:   Negative freedom, positive freedom, Isaiah Berlin, children’s agency

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