The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children

The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children

Edited by  , Edited by  , Edited by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available soon, pre-order now.
When will my order arrive?

71 days to go
Pre-order Add to wishlist


Childhood looms large in our understanding of human life as a phase through which all adults have passed. Childhood is foundational to the development of selfhood, the formation of interests, values and skills and to the lifespan as a whole. Understanding what it is like to be a child, and what differences childhood makes, are thus essential for any broader understanding of the human condition. The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children is an outstanding reference source for the key topics, problems and debates in this crucial and exciting field and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into five parts:

* Being a child

* Childhood and moral status

* Parents and children

* Children in society

* Children and the state.

Questions covered include: What is a child? Is childhood a uniquely valuable state, and if so why? Can we generalize about the goods of childhood? What rights do children have, and are they different from adults' rights? What (if anything) gives people a right to parent? What role, if any, ought biology to play in determining who has the right to parent a particular child? What kind of rights can parents legitimately exercise over their children? What roles do relationships with siblings and friends play in the shaping of childhoods? How should we think about sexuality and disability in childhood, and about racialised children? How should society manage the education of children, and what values should inform such practices? What is a good school? How are children's lives affected by being taken into social care?

The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of childhood, political philosophy and ethics as well as those in related disciplines such as education, psychology, sociology, social policy, law, social work, youth work, neuroscience and anthropology.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 428 pages
  • 171 x 248mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138915971
  • 9781138915978

Table of contents

List of contributors

Introduction to The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Childhood and Children

Anca Gheaus



Being a child

Epistemology: knowledge in childhood

Fabrice Clement and Melissa Koenig

2. Language and communication: evidence from studying children

M. J. Cain

3. The science of the adolescent brain and its cultural implications

Suparna Choudhury and Nancy Ferranti

4. Art and creativity

Jonathan Fineberg

5. Children doing philosophy

Jana Mohr Lone




Childhood and moral status

6. The moral status of children

Agnieszka Jaworska and Julie Tannenbaum

7. The value of childhood

Patrick Tomlin

8. Childhood and well-being

Anthony Skelton

9. Children's rights

Robert Noggle

10. Childhood and autonomy

Sarah Hannan

11. Paternalism towards children

Kalle Grill

12. The age of consent

David Archard



Parents and children

13. Reasons to have children - or not

Christine Overall

14. The right to parent

Anca Gheaus

15. The good parent

Colin Macleod

16. Parental partiality

Jonathan Seglow

17. The composition of the family

Daniela Cutas

18. Parental licensing and discrimination

Carolyn McLeod and Andrew Botterell

19. Ethical challenges for adoption regimes

Jurgen De Wispelaere and Daniel Weinstock

20. Gender and the family

Amy Mullin

21. Filial duties

Diane Jeske




Children in society

22. Childhood and race

Albert Atkin

23. Childhood and disability

Gideon Calder and Amy Mullin

24. Childhood and sexuality

Samantha Brennan and Jennifer Epp

25. Children and animals

Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka

26. What's wrong with child labor?

Phillip Cook

27. The vulnerable child

Mianna Lotz




Children and the state

28. Childhood and the metric of justice

Lars Lindblom

29. Children and political neutrality

Matthew Clayton

30. The costs of children

Serena Olsaretti

31. Schooling

Gina Schouten

32. Children and the care system

Gideon Calder

33. Children and health

Havi Carel, Gene Feder and Gita Gyorffy

34. Children and the right to vote

Ludvig Beckman

35. Children, crime and punishment

Christopher Bennett

36. Children and war

Cecile Fabre


show more

Review quote

"An excellent and timely collection. Individually the 36 chapters are authoritative and state of the art.ã Together they provide a comprehensive overview of the huge amount of recent philosophical work onã children."

Adam Swift, University of Warwick, UK.

"This volume provides an extraordinarily helpful starting point for philosophically informed conversations about children and childhood. The five sections are easily navigable, and the 36 original essays cover a remarkably broad domain of questions. Anyone teaching or writing on children will find this book to be an essential resource."

Tamar Schapiro, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
show more

About Jurgen De Wispelaere

Anca Gheaus is a Ramon y Cajal researcher at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. She published numerous articles on childrearing and gender justice and has recently edited a special issue of the Journal of Applied Philosophy on the nature and value of childhood.

Gideon Calder is Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences and Social Policy at Swansea University, UK. He is author or editor of ten books, most recently How Inequality Runs in Families (Policy Press, 2016), and co-edits the Routledge journal Ethics and Social Welfare.

Jurgen De Wispelaere is a Political Economy Research Fellow with the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) and a Policy Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, UK. His research interests are in the intersection of political theory and public policy.
show more