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Conceptions of Parenthood (Ashgate Studies in Applied Ethics) Hardcover – August 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0754658382 ISBN-10: 0754658384

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Product Details

  • Series: Ashgate Studies in Applied Ethics
  • Hardcover: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing (August 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754658384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754658382
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,937,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael W. Austin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, USA.

More About the Author

I am a philosopher at Eastern Kentucky University, with interests in ethics, philosophy of the family, philosophy of sport, and philosophy of religion. Most of my books are intended to make philosophy accessible to a wide audience. I think at its best philosophical thought can be applied in ways that lead to a wise, good, beautiful, and well-lived life. The result is a life with meaning and purpose that also ends up being deeply satisfying.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Omelianchuk on March 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Everyone knows what a parent is, right? Well, not exactly. For example, while many people believe biology is the determining factor in establishing parental rights and obligations, it absolutely fails-so says Austin. Why? Well when you start asking what exactly it is in biology that determines parenthood things get murky. Is it carrying a child? If so, then are surrogate mothers parents of the children they give out to adoption? What about the sources of egg and sperm? Do donors have the rights to the children they inevitably produce? Or could it be genetic make up? But then, does a father's identical twin brother get a say in how to raise the child? Some think the causal sex act ought to be binding to a parental role, yet no one would want a rapist to be a father of their children.

In the book, Austin argues for a pluralistic understanding parenthood organized around the motif of stewardship. Broadly speaking, this means parents are specially invested in the care-taking and guidance of a young person into adulthood. Imagining the child as a potential adult, a parent is to be primarily interested in the child's well-being and is obligated to nurture and raise the child into a responsible adult capable of his or her own independence. Both parental consent and causal factors play a part in determining whether one is a parent or not. If a couple consents to raise a child, they can achieve parental status by way of adoption. Biological parents who forsake their children forfeit their parental rights, though they cannot annul their obligation to see to it that their children are placed in an environment of caring parental stewardship.
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