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Duties of Children to Their Parents

Duties of Children to Their Parents

In “What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents ”, Jane English goes against traditional values by arguing that grown children have duties to their parents only if they are on friendly terms with them—and even then duties to parents are not stronger than duties to friends. On the other hand, Christina Hoff Sommers mounts a defense of traditional values. Tradition shows us that duties to immediate family members are stronger and more durable than the duties of friendship described by English.


With reference to “What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents ” by Jane English and “Philosophers Against the Family” by Christina Hoff Sommers, argue that duties of grown children to their parents are stronger (i.e., they demand more from us) than duties of friendship. 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:

1. A brief introduction explaining why the topic is important. For example: “While tradition tells us that grown children have special duties to their parents, recent moral philosophy suggests otherwise. Contemporary moral philosophers such as Jane English argue that duties of adult children to their parents are not more demanding than duties to friends. Whether we believe that grown children have duties to their parents that go beyond duties of friendship will have profound effects on the well- being of many older adults.”

2. 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 duties of adult children to their parents are stronger than duties of friendship.”

3. A main argument explaining the logic and evidence that supports your view. Major points should be supported by properly documented quotations from or paraphrases of academic sources (i.e., the readings on this topic that we studied for class).

4. 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.

5. A response to the objection. This is your chance to defend your position by explaining why the objection is not persuasive.

6. A conclusion that reveals the important practical implications of your thesis. A practical implication means the impact of your thesis on our daily lives. For example: “Recognizing that duties of grown children to their parents are stronger than duties of friendship would contribute to better lives for many older adults, because their children would be more present in their lives.”

Please write 1,000-1,500 words in complete and grammatically correct sentences.
Source Documentation Below & Articles Attached!

English, Jane. “What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents ” Aging and Ethics: Philosophical Problems
in Gerontology. Ed. Nancy S. Jecker. New York: Humana Press, 1992. Print.

Hoff-Sommers, Christina. “Philosophers Against the Family.” Morality in Practice. Ed. James P. Sterba.
New York: Wadsworth, 1993. Print.

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