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The Philosophical Parent

Having and raising a child forces parents to confront questions that can consume even the most dedicated of philosophers. For those for whom it is a choice whether or not to have children, even the question of whether it is right to have a child is perplexing and difficult. And, if you do have a child, then what do you do? What are your obligations as a parent? Should you remain a neutral steward of your child's independent life, or intervene more strongly? How can you interact with your child to best ensure that that child leads a good life, while not going too far to protect her? On the more practical level, what is the ethical parent to do when it comes to issues like circumcision, vaccination, and teaching children about gender? These are a few of the eighteen questions that Jean Kazez considers in The Philosophical Parent. Drawing on personal experience and philosophical insight, Kazez provides a useful and illuminating companion to parenthood by tracing the arc of a child's development, and addressing all the puzzles that arise along the way. Though arguing ardently for a novel view of the bond between child and parent, Kazez adeptly guides her readers to form their own perspectives as well-their own way of becoming philosophical parents.
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About the Author

Jean Kazez teaches philosophy at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She is the author of The Weight of Things: Philosophy and the Good Life and Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals (both Wiley-Blackwell). A columnist, editor, and writer for The Philosophers' Magazine, she has also written articles and reviews for Philosophy Now and Free Inquiry.


[The Philosophical Parent] is a diverse, rich, funny, tragic, as well as analytical adventure in one of life's most challenging journeys. Kazez tackles ancient as well as contemporary questions by resting much on her use of the child as second self. * Metapsychology Reviews Online * In The Philosophical Parent, Jean Kazez tackles many of the philosophical puzzles surrounding parenthood, including the question of whether we should bring further children into this world, what our rights and duties are as parents and why we might want to become parents in the first place. Engagingly and accessibly written, parents especially but also non-parents pondering whether or not to have children and people with a general interest in philosophical questions will find new insights in every chapter of this terrific and important contribution to the philosophy of parenting. * Berit Brogaard, Professor of Philosophy, University of Miami * Philosophy professor [Jean] Kazez uses a mix of philosophical proofs and science to explore a mix of theoretical and practical parenting questions ... Soon-to-be-parents will find thinking through her arguments a good way to engage their minds beyond the immediate practicalities of child-rearing * Publishers Weekly *

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