The Nature and Value of Childhood

May 16, 2014 - May 17, 2014
University of Sheffield

Jessop West Exhibition Space
United Kingdom


  • Society for Applied Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
  • Mind Association

All speakers:

Monika Betzler
University of Bern
Theresa Blankmeyer Burke
Gallaudet University
Samantha Brennan
University of Western Ontario
Matthew Clayton
University of Warwick
Jurgen De Wispelaere
McGill University
Timothy Fowler
University of Bristol (UK)
Colin MacLeod
University of Victoria
Serena Olsaretti
ICREA - Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Norvin Richards
University of Alabama
Judith Suissa
University of London
Patrick Tomlin
Reading University


Anca Gheaus
University of Sheffield
Lindsey Porter
Lancaster University

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Currently there is widespread philosophical interest in children's rights, parental rights and duties, and wider issues concerning good parenting and the social organisation of childrearing. Yet to address these topics we need to know what it is to be a child.  To know who owes what to children, we need to know something about what distinguishes childhood from adulthood, and about the relative value of childhood and adulthood in the overall life of a human being.

This conference brings together philosophers interested in a cluster of questions that have never been sufficiently discussed, but which are starting to draw philosophical attention: What is childhood? Is childhood good intrinsically, or only as preparation for adulthood? If it is intrinsically good, does it have special value - would it be a loss, from the perspective of an entire human life, to miss out on childhood? Are there any 'intrinsic goods of childhood', and what are they? Do we owe children things that are different in nature from the things owed to adults?

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May 9, 2014, 5:00am BST

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Custom tags:

#Sheffield events; children; childhood