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The Moral and Political Status of Children$
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David Archard and Colin M. Macleod

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242689

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199242682.001.0001

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Silver Spoons and Golden Genes: Talent Differentials and Distributive Justice

Silver Spoons and Golden Genes: Talent Differentials and Distributive Justice

Chapter:
(p.183) 10 Silver Spoons and Golden Genes: Talent Differentials and Distributive Justice
Source:
The Moral and Political Status of Children
Author(s):

Hillel Steiner (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199242682.003.0010

There is an important distinction between a person's ’initial genetic endowment’ and his ’post‐conception inputs’ such as nutrition and education. From a left‐libertarian perspective that views persons as self‐owning, children have an enforceable claim that parents should provide adequate ’post‐conception’ inputs. Moreover, with the revolution in genetic science, it is now possible to effect genetic changes without altering identity. If so, children can, in principle, claim a right against ’genetic‐disablement’.

Keywords:   children, genetic endowment, genetic science, identity, libertarianism, parents, post‐conception inputs, self‐ownership

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