LaFollette starts his argument by presenting the fact that “our society normally regulates a certain range of activities” like driving, practicing medicine, law, pharmacy, etc. (182). In addition, the decision to restrict such activities derives from a plausible, but inexplicitly formulated rationale that the restricted activities could be “potentially harmful to others”, “safe performance of the activities require a certain competence”, and “we have a moderately reliable procedure for determining that competence” (183). As a result, it is theoretically desira...
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...to avoid LaFollette’s conclusion is finding special reasons why licensing parents is not theoretically desirable, I have demonstrated that it is actually possible to find such evidence to undermine his conclusion, because he does not consider the distinct nature of parenting. Consequently, licensing parents seems to be LaFollette’s creative approach to look at our society in a non-intuitional perspective. Although this paper does not prove LaFollette’s argument to be false, the deficiencies discussed in this paper could lead to various false interpretations of his argument. Hence, if LaFollette could offer a clearer argument to get rid of the misunderstanding of what he really meant by harm and competence, his argument would harvest more support than objections.
LaFollette, Hugh. 1980. “Licensing Parents.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 9:182-97.
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