The family: gender and childrearing

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Course Description: 

This course introduces students to the main philosophical challenges surrounding the existence of the family: Is it a justified institution, and why? How does it disrupt gender justice, as well as, more generally, distributive justice amongst children and adults? What are the objections to the gendered division of labour within the family? Is procreation permissible, and, if so, what are the duties of procreators? What are the normative issues raised by the fact that we all start life as children? How can the family be reformed in order to minimise disruptions to justice? The course is open to all MA students, but it is highly recommended that you have some background in analytical practical philosophy (i.e., that you have already taken courses in ethics or political philosophy taught in the analytical tradition.) Notions such as “permissible”, morally prohibited”, “morally required”, “rights”, “duties” and “reasons” will be frequently used and should be familiar to those taking the course for credit. If you are unsure about the suitability of this course, you can get a sense of it by reading Seana Shiffrin’s article in the required readings list (Week 5).