Resurgence of interest in philosophical vulnerability theory has significantly deepened our understanding of the human condition, both ontologically and in terms of the contingent conditions in which we live our lives and manifest our agency. Moreover, no understanding of the child and childhood can be complete without close attention to the significant vulnerability that shapes and conditions both. It would not be overstating matters to construe vulnerability as the backdrop against which a child’s life unfolds and her agency and autonomy become possible. And, importantly, understanding the child’s vulnerability significantly deepens our appreciation that vulnerability is wrongly conceived of as a necessarily undesirable and negative element of our lives – something from which we must be protected and rescued wherever possible. This chapter explores the contribution of vulnerability theory to clarifying the nature of childhood and the child, as well as the moral obligations generated by recognition of the child’s distinctive vulnerability.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge handbook of the philosophy of childhood and children|
|Editors||Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder, Jurgen De Wispelaere|
|Place of Publication||London and New York|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|