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Title:The Morality of Familial Obligation
Author(s):Moulds, Donald Bancroft
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Jeff McMahan
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The task of this dissertation is to examine the morality of familial obligations and to draw conclusions about how they ought to be approached. The work presents a general description of the obligations commonly associated with family membership and a study of possible moral foundations. It also seeks to locate the source of the belief that we have special obligations of partiality to family members. Chapters one and two focus on important definitions and potential objections to the dissertation's central project. The first of those objections is that it is impossible to generalize about familial obligations because the nature and scope of obligations to family is unique to particular families. The second objection is that familial obligations are unique to particular cultures. The third is that feelings of partiality to family are caused by biological drives, and that we mistake them as moral imperatives. Chapters three through five examine particular obligations within the family. Chapter three focuses on possible sources for parental obligations. Typically, tacit consent is viewed as the source of parental obligations. However, the claim in chapter three is that it is more likely that parental obligations are generated by a parent's unique ability to provide specific types of aid to children. Chapter four examines filial obligations, finding that gratitude is the most plausible source for them and discussing the implications of that conclusion. Chapter five examines four possible sources of sibling obligations. Those are the common history and experiences typically shared by siblings, and the reciprocal obligations of gratitude and fair play. Chapter five holds that there is nothing unique about the sibling relation generating special obligations.
Issue Date:2001
Description:229 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023148
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2001

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