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Title: Parental Rights in Education
Authors: Moschella, Melissa
Advisors: George, Robert P
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: Aristotle
conscience rights
free exercise
parental authority
parental rights
Subjects: Political Science
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: My dissertation challenges predominant liberal views on education by defending a robust theory of parents' rights against the state to direct the education of their children, especially on moral and religious matters. While most contemporary authors take an interest-based approach to this topic, my argument shifts the perspective to a focus on obligations. I seek to offer a deeper grounding for parental rights by basing them on the obligations inherent in the parental role, defined through an analysis of biological parenthood. Drawing on an Aristotelian conception of the person in which the body is essential to personal identity, I argue that the biological tie between parent and child gives parents a unique obligation to care for their children, and makes them uniquely competent to do so. This obligation, in turn, grounds parental rights, which I conceptualize as consisting in a sphere of sovereignty that provides the moral space within which parents can fulfill their obligations in accordance with the dictates of their conscience. After laying out my own account of the basis and scope of parental rights, I respond to some of the strongest objections to my view from contemporary liberal theorists, and conclude with a discussion of particular cases and potential policy implications.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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