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Liberalism, Childhood and JusticeEthical Issues in Upbringing$
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Tim Fowler

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529201635

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529201635.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Understanding Perfectionism

Understanding Perfectionism

(p.67) 7 Understanding Perfectionism
Liberalism, Childhood and Justice

Timothy Fowler

Timothy Fowler

Policy Press

In this chapter, I discuss what perfectionism for children entails. In this context, perfectionism refers to the view that the state is empowered to promote people’s welfare by taking actions premised on a contested view of ethics. Whereas previous discussions have been focussed on individual achievements in fields like the arts or sport, I argue this rests on an implausibly narrow view of personal flourishing. In addition, I argue against the view that perfectionism should aim only, or mostly, at the promotion of autonomy. While critical thinking and self-reflection are often central to a good life, they are far from sufficient. Instead, promoting the welfare of children requires them to come to hold ethical beliefs conducive to their flourishing; they must hold a positive and plausible conception of the good.

Keywords:   Autonomy, Flourishing, Perfectionism

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