Abstract and Keywords
No one would dispute that children should not be treated cruelly, but disagreement persists about the proper limits of parental punishment — whether, for instance, a child may be chastised by a slap. Few would dispute that children should have some say in what happens to them, but the idea that children should have the very same rights of choice as adults is defended as self-evident by some whilst dismissed as evidently mistaken by others. Our understanding of the moral status of the child is crucially influenced by our understanding of the nature and character of childhood. This is not simply a matter of setting boundaries of age, though this is important.
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