What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents?
In “What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents?”, Jane English rejects traditional family values, concluding that adults have duties to their parents only if they are on friendly terms with them—and even then duties to parents are no different than duties to friends. Christina Hoff Sommers, on the other hand, defends traditional family values. On her view, the duties that adults have to their parents and other immediate family members are special and should as a rule be considered more important than duties to friends.
With reference to “What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents?” by Jane English and “Philosophers Against the Family” by Christina Hoff Sommers, argue either that adults have special duties to their parents, making duties to parents more important than duties to friends, or that duties to parents are no different than duties to friends. Be sure to explain what English meant by duties of friendship and why Hoff Sommers concluded that tradition is a legitimate source of moral obligations.
Your paper should include the following sections:
A brief introduction that explains why the topic is important. For example: “While tradition tells us that adults have special duties to their parents and other immediate family members, recent moral philosophy suggests otherwise. Contemporary moral philosophers such as Jane English argue that duties of adults to their parents are no different than duties to friends. These two views lead to different conclusions about how family members should relate to each other, so it is important to decide which one rests on better arguments.”
A clear and obvious statement of your paper’s thesis. This can be an extension of the introduction. For example: “In this paper, I am going to argue that adults have special duties to their parents.”
A main argument explaining the logic and evidence that supports your view. Key points should be supported by properly documented quotations from or paraphrases of the assigned readings on this topic. You need to show that you are aware of and that you understand the arguments made in the assigned readings.
An objection to your paper’s thesis. Here you should take time to consider the strongest argument that can be made by someone taking the opposite position on this question.
A response to the objection. This is your chance to defend your position by explaining why the objection is not persuasive.
A conclusion that summarizes your argument, explains what your argument has proven and discusses the significance of your conclusions.
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