“From a Taking Children Seriously standpoint others are never approached as means to one’s ends, but always as autonomous sources of ends.”
– Tracy H.
From the archives: The original post was posted on 11th November 1996
Taking Children Seriously does not “condone… the imposition of one’s will upon the behavior of one’s children under certain conditions.” Such a view entails looking at other people (and thus their behavior) as systematically instrumental to some end of one’s own. From a Taking Children Seriously standpoint others are never approached as means to one’s ends, but always as autonomous sources of ends.
This entails making a distinction between cooperation and manipulation, a distinction which is prominently (and suspiciously) missing from Galbraith’s approach. To refuse to allow this distinction is a decision which severely limits what can be done with regard to Taking Children Seriously. In short, so long as this distinction is kept at a distance, Taking Children Seriously can at most be waiting in the wings; it cannot be addressed directly. And insofar as this distinction is denied, Taking Children Seriously is rejected. If Galbraith never gets around to wrestling with the qualitative differences between cooperation and coercion his work cannot imply the conclusion you offer, for Taking Children Seriously cannot be cogently considered without that.
- How do you raise a child to believe in freedom?
- Noticing I am pushing against a blind spot
- Equal relationships with our children?! How are parents and children are equals?!