Reviews of The Philosophical Parent

Nice review from Library Journal!
Library Journal  08/01/2017  Kazez (philosophy, Southern Methodist Univ.; The Weight of Things) begins by summing up the relationship between parenting and philosophy perfectly when she writes "having children turns every parent and parent-to-be into a philosopher." For this reviewer, the parent of two small children, that claim is as valid. The questions that arise for parents and would-be parents are numerous and cover a wide range of topics such as "Is there anything special about having a child?" to "Should parents reinforce gender?" Kazez helps with finding answers or at least showing the complexity of these questions by arranging the topics chronologically by stages of parenting and looking at them through the lens of different philosophical views and parenting experience. Most importantly, these chapters are also short and can be read individually so that parents can focus on topics of interest and actually finish reading them. VERDICT Kazez's combination of philosophy and parenting experience makes this work recommended for parents who are searching for answers to meaningful questions surrounding child-rearing.—Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI
There's also this Publisher's Weekly review, which I appreciate, but I disagree with what the reviewer says about my decision not to cover abortion.
Publishers Weekly  06/05/2017  Philosophy professor Kazez (Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals) uses a mix of philosophical proofs and science to explore a mix of theoretical and practical parenting questions. Questions in the former category include whether babies are lucky to be born and what parents are for; questions in the latter include whether to circumcise or vaccinate and whether to raise children with religious beliefs. She appeals to new parents’ innate sense of logic and ethics as alternatives to parenting experts. Kazez grounds her ideas in the Aristotelian perspective that a biological child is “another self, but separate” in order to understand parents’ intense identification with their children and the obligations conferred by this unique relationship. She picks and chooses her controversies carefully. For example, she explores the idea of when personhood begins while opting out of any discussion of abortion because, in her words, her intended reader is “deliberately pregnant and eager to become a parent,” but then dives into equally irrelevant questions regarding adoption and population control. Sections about how we treat our children later in life fit more into the parent-as-philosopher mode Kazez promises. Though her conclusions are far from groundbreaking, soon-to-be-parents will find thinking through her arguments a good way to engage their minds beyond the immediate practicalities of child-rearing. (July)
Important clarification: the intended reader of the whole book is not "deliberately pregnant and eager to become a parent." Different chapters focus on imaginary readers at different stages of becoming and being parents. In chapter 1, for example, the imaginary reader just wants a child, whether through procreation or adoption. So adoption is relevant there and discussed. In chapters 2-3, the imaginary reader wants a child, but worries about whether it's right or wrong to have one, given various worries, including worries about population. So overpopulation is relevant to the imaginary reader there.

In chapter 5, the chapter this reviewer is quoting from, I do start with the conceit that the reader is finally pregnant and eager to have a child. The chapter is about the developing zygote-embryo-fetus and when it begins to be the individual who will later be born. Abortion could have had some relevance here, for people who want to be parents, but want to end a particular pregnancy, but the literature on the ethics of abortion is vast and complex. This didn't seem like the place to get into it.

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