Currently there is widespread philosophical interest in children's rights, parental rights and duties, and wider issues concerning good parenting and the social organisation of childrearing. Yet to address these topics we need to know what it is to be a child. To know who owes what to children, we need to know something about what distinguishes childhood from adulthood, and about the relative value of childhood and adulthood in the overall life of a human being.
This conference brings together philosophers interested in a cluster of questions that have never been sufficiently discussed, but which are starting to draw philosophical attention: What is childhood? Is childhood good intrinsically, or only as preparation for adulthood? If it is intrinsically good, does it have special value - would it be a loss, from the perspective of an entire human life, to miss out on childhood? Are there any 'intrinsic goods of childhood', and what are they? Do we owe children things that are different in nature from the things owed to adults?
16-17 May 2014, Jessop West Exhibition Space, University of Sheffield
Monika Betzler (Berne) 'Good childhood and the good life'
Samantha Brennan (Western Ontario) 'Trust, time, and play: Three intrinsic goods of childhood'
Matthew Clayton (Warwick) 'Dignity as an ideal for children'
Jurgen De Wispelaere (McGill) 'Political rights for Rugrats: Children in the democratic state'
Timothy Fowler (Bristol) 'Variety is the spice of life?: On the possible significance of there being intrinsic goods of childhood'
Colin Macleod (Victoria) 'Just schools and good fun: Non-preparatory dimensions of educational justice'
Serena Olsaretti (ICREA/Pompeu Fabra) 'Egoism, altruism and the special duties of parents'
Lindsey Porter (Lancaster) 'Paternalism: why is it bad to be treated like a child?'
Norvin Richards (Alabama) 'The intrinsic goods of childhood'
Judith Suissa (London) 'Narrativity, childhood and parenting'
Patrick Tomlin (Reading) 'Saplings or caterpillars?: Trying to understand children'
Daniel Weinstock (McGill) 'On the complementarity of the ages of life: Why we wouldn't want adulthood without childhood, or childhood without adulthood'
Registration fees: £10 for one day or £20 for both, including coffee and lunch. Registration and full program will be available soon. For more details contact the organisers: Anca Gheaus (email@example.com) or Lindsey Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The conference is sponsored by the Society for Applied Philosophy, The Mind Association and The Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.