The Harm Principle and Parental Licensing

Social Theory and Practice 43 (4):825-849 (2017)
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Hugh LaFollette proposed parental licensing in 1980 (and 2010)--not as a requirement for pregnancy, but for raising a child. If you have a baby, are not licensed, and do not get licensed, the baby would be put up for adoption. Despite the intervention required in an extremely personal area of life, I argue that those who endorse the harm principle ought to endorse parental licensing of this sort. Put differently, I show how the harm principle strengthens the case for parental licensing.

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Andrew Jason Cohen
Georgia State University


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