The moral status of the (nuclear) family

Daniela Cutas, Anna Smajdor


The family is commonly regarded as being an important social institution. In several policy areas, evidence can be found that the family is treated as an entity towards which others can have moral obligations; it has needs and interests that require protection; it can be ill and receive treatment. The interests attributed to the family are not reducible to those of its members – and may even come into conflict with them. Using Warren’s criteria for moral status, we show that, although the family is not explicitly described in terms of moral status, the way in which it is treated implies that it has such status. 


family, childhood, moral status, conceptual entities, infertility

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