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Encyclopedia > Paternalism
Image of traditional cultural paternalism: Father Junipero Serra in a modern portrayal at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California
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Image of traditional cultural paternalism: Father Junipero Serra in a modern portrayal at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Paternalism refers usually to an attitude or a policy stemming from the hierarchic pattern of a family based on patriarchy, that is, there is a figurehead (the father, pater in Latin) that makes decisions on behalf of others (the "children") for their own good, even if this is contrary to their opinions. Download high resolution version (1720x2580, 1247 KB)A statue of Father Junipero Serra and a Juaneno Indian boy, on display at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. ... Download high resolution version (1720x2580, 1247 KB)A statue of Father Junipero Serra and a Juaneno Indian boy, on display at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. ... Blessed Junípero Serra (November 24, 1713 - August 28, 1784) was a Spanish Franciscan who founded the California mission chain. ... A view of Mission San Juan Capistrano in April, 2005. ... For the various types of hierarchy, see hierarchy (disambiguation) A hierarchy (in Greek: Ιεραρχία, it is derived from ιερός-hieros, sacred, and άρχω-arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element. ... A family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family is a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships — including domestic partnership, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the Roman Empire). ... Patriarchy (from Greek: patria meaning father and arché meaning rule) is the anthropological term used to define the sociological condition where male members of a society tend to predominate in positions of power; with the more powerful the position, the more likely it is that a male will hold that... Father with child A father is traditionally the male parent of a child. ... It has been suggested that History of the Latin language be merged into this article or section. ...


It is implied that the fatherly figure is wiser than and acts in the best interest of its protected figures. The term is however used derogatorily to stigmatise attitudes or political systems that deprive individuals of freedom, only nominally serving their interests, while in fact pursuing another agenda. Freedom as concept may refer to: Freedom (philosophy) Freedom (political) Freedom (as a proper noun) may refer to: Freedom Magazine, a Scientology publication Freedom newspaper, a British anarchist newspaper Space Station Freedom, the name of a NASA project which later became the International Space Station Freedom Yachts, a company based...

Contents


Forms of Paternalism

Family

Paternalist attitudes in a family are typically used to restrain children from activities the parents perceive to be dangerous, immoral or otherwise inappropriate. These may include punishment of various sorts, such as corporal punishment, curfew, denial of food or money, obligation to carry out certain chores in the house, etc. in order to correct the behaviour of the child.(Elsworth, T aka Gio (2006) To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A curfew can be one of the following: An order by the government for certain persons to return home before a certain time. ... An example of Money. ...


Activities that parents may seek to restrain include suicide, drug abuse, premarital sex, theft, exposure to "bad company", refusal to eat food, etc. Suicide (from Latin sui caedere, to kill oneself) is the act of willfully ending ones own life. ... Drug abuse has a wide range of definitions, all of them relating to the use, misuse or overuse of a psychoactive drug or performance enhancing drug for a non-therapeutic or non-medical effect. ... This article is primarily about religious attitudes to sexual morality. ... Thief redirects to here. ...


Which paternalist attitudes are deemed acceptable varies greatly in different cultures. The activities that the children must avoid varies even more greatly, depending on country, region and on the single family's microculture. Deciding which activities must be restrained and how is a classical cause of disagreements among parents. The word culture, from the Latin colo, -ere, with its root meaning to cultivate, generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ...


In some countries, some forms of paternalistic restraint are illegal, such as corporal punishment in Scandinavian countries. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe named after the Scandinavian Peninsula. ...


Government

Laws that force citizens to conform to a certain set of rules, that are in name thought for their own safety, can be defined paternalistic. Some citizens feel that they can look after themselves, and that the government should not tell them what is best for them; hence the negative stigma that the word "paternalism" has in such a context. Look up stigma on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Laws that can be perceived, to varying degrees, as paternalistic are:

These laws are usually passed by the lawmakers to ensure that a certain behaviour, deemed by the lawmakers to be harmful to society, is banned or reduced. A three-point seat belt. ... Same-sex marriage is marriage between individuals who are of the same legal or biological sex. ... A sodomy law is a law which makes certain sexual acts into sex crimes. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Gun politics. ... Daylight saving time (DST), often referred to as daylight savings time, is a widely used system of adjusting the official local time forward, usually one hour, from its official standard time for the summer months. ... Species Cannabis indica Cannabis ruderalis Cannabis sativa This is one of several related articles about cannabis. ... In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. ... ...


The arguments of opponents of such laws are usually about the inherent reduction in the citizens' freedom caused by such laws; the citizens should, in the view of the critics, be responsible of their own actions. However, it is possible that citizens are indeed ignorant of some danger, and a law imposing a certain conduct is beneficial to society: in many countries, seatbelts were not much used in cars until they became compulsive by law. In other cases, such as smoking, the single citizen's conduct (smoking in public places) is negatively affecting others.


One of the most famous examples of paternalistic legislation is the era of Prohibition in the United States, when alcohol was deemed an illegal substance. Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol. ... In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. ...


Economy

Paternalism can be found also in an economic context. A large corporation may make decisions that have large social costs—such as pollution—in the neighborhoods of its operations and worldwide. The corporation may argue that the benefits of corporate activities, including the polluting ones, will lead to net benefits for those affected, that the benefits will trickle down to others, etc. An externality is the effect of a transaction between two individuals and a third party who is not concerned to, or played any role in the carrying out of that transaction (Milton Friedman). ... Water pollution Pollution is the release of environmental contaminants. ... It has been suggested that Trickle-down theory be merged into this article or section. ...


Employers can use paternalistic arguments to justify rules and restrictions on their employees' activities. International institutions such as the International Monetary Fund are perceived by some to be paternalistic when they suggest some course of action to certain governments, even if that could lead to negative short-term consequences, suggesting it will result in long-term benefits. The logo of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the international organization entrusted with overseeing the global financial system by monitoring exchange rates and balance of payments, as well as offering technical and financial assistance when asked. ...


Philosophical Background

Among many family-state paradigms in traditional cultures, that expressed in some Greek philosophy is particularly familiar in the West. The family as a model for the organization of the State is an idea in political philosophy that originated in the Socratic-Platonic principle of Macrocosm/microcosm, which states that lower levels of reality mirror upper levels of reality and vice versa. In particular, monarchists have argued that the state mirrors the patriarchal family, with the subjects obeying the king as children obey their father. Classical (or early) Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... The family as a model for the organization of the state is a theory in political philosophy. ... Political philosophy is the study of the fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, property, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should... This article is about the ancient Greek philosopher. ... Plato ( Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, wide, broad-shouldered) (c. ... Macrocosm and microcosm is an ancient Greek schema of seeing the same patterns reproduced in all levels of reality. ... Places where monarchies maintain rule appear in blue. ... Patriarchy (from Greek: patria meaning father and arché meaning rule) is the anthropological term used to define the sociological condition where male members of a society tend to predominate in positions of power; with the more powerful the position, the more likely it is that a male will hold that... Look up monarch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The family-state paradigm was often expressed as a form of justification for aristocratic rule as justified in observations of the cosmos.-1... This article belongs in one or more categories. ...


Plutarch records a laconic saying of the Dorians attributed to Lycurgus. Asked why he did not establish a democracy in Lacedaemon (Sparta), Lycurgus responded, "Begin, friend, and set it up in your family". The Doric Greeks of Sparta seemed to mirror the family institution and organization in their form of government[1]. Plutarch Mestrius Plutarchus (c. ... In Ancient Greece and/or Greek mythology, the name Lycurgus/Lykurgus can refer to: An alternate name for Lycomedes. ... Lacedaemon, or Lakedaimon, Grk. ... Sparta (Doric: Σπάρτα, Attic (and Koine): Σπάρτη) was a state in ancient Greece, whose territory included, in Classical times, all Laconia and Messenia, and which was the most powerful state of the Peloponnesus. ... This article or section should include material from Dorian invasion The Dorians were one of the ancient Hellenic (Greek) races. ...


Aristotle argued that the schema of authority and subordination exists in the whole of nature. He gave examples such as man and animal (domestic), man and wife, slaves and children. Further, he claimed that it is found in any animal, as the relationship he believed to exist between soul and body, "which the former is by nature the ruling and the later subject factor" [2]. Aristotle further claimed that "the government of a household is a monarchy since every house is governed by a single ruler"[3]. Later, he said that husbands exercise a republican government over their wives and monarchical government over their children, and that they exhibit political office over slaves and royal office over the family in general[4]. Aristotle (Ancient Greek: Aristotélēs 384–March 7 322 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Phyla Subregnum Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subregnum Agnotozoa Placozoa (trichoplax) Orthonectida (orthonectids) Rhombozoa (dicyemids) Subregnum Eumetazoa Radiata (unranked) (radial symmetry) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anemones) Bilateria (unranked) (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Orthonectida (parasitic to flatworms, echinoderms, etc. ... Marriage is a relationship that plays a key role in the definition of many families. ... It has been suggested that Chattel slavery be merged into this article or section. ... In a broad definition a republic is a state or country that is led by people who do not base their political power on any principle beyond the control of the people of that state or country. ...


Arius Didymus in Stobaeus, 1st century A. D., wrote that "A primary kind of association (politeia) is the legal union of a man and woman for begetting children and for sharing life". From the collection of households a village is formed and from villages a city, "So just as the household yields for the city the seeds of its formation, thus it yields the constitution (politeia)". Further, he claims that "Connected with the house is a pattern of monarchy, of aristocracy and of democracy. The relationship of parents to children is monarchic, of husbands to wives aristocratic, of children to one another democratic"[5]. Joannes Stobaeus, so called from his native place Stobi in Macedonia, was the compiler of a valuable series of extracts from Greek authors. ...


Modern thinkers have taken the paradigm as a given in societies where hierarchical structures appeared natural.


Louis de Bonald wrote as if the family were a miniature state. In his analysis of the family relationships of father, mother and child, De Bonald related these to the functions of a state: the father is the power, the mother is the minister and the child as subject. As the father is "active and strong" and the child is "passive or weak", the mother is the "median term between the two extremes of this continuous proportion". Like many apologists for family-state paradigm, De Bonald justified his analysis by quoting and interpreting passages from the Bible: Louis Gabriel Ambroise, vicomte de Bonald (October 2, 1754 - November 23, 1840), French philosopher and politician, was born at Le Monna, near Millau in Aveyron. ... Apologetics is the field of study concerned with the systematic defense of a position. ... The Gutenberg bible owned by the U.S. Library of Congress The Bible (Hebrew: תנ״ך tanakh, Greek: η Βίβλος hē biblos) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Work of God, The Word, The Good Book or Scripture), from Greek (τα) βίβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the name used by Jews and Christians for their...

"(It) calls man the reason, the head, the power of woman: Vir caput est mulieris (the man is head of the woman) says St. Paul. It calls woman the helper or minister of man: "Let us make man," says Genesis, "a helper similar to him." It calls the child a subject, since it tells it, in a thousand places, to obey its parents" [6].

Louis de Bonald also sees divorce as the first stage of disorder in the state (the principle of macrocosm/microcosm). He insists that the deconstitution of the family brings about the deconstitution of state, with The Kyklos not far behind [7]. Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin), also called The First Book of Moses, is the first book of Torah (five books of Moses), and is the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of... The Kyklos is a term used by some classical Greek authors to describe what they saw as the political cycle of governments in a society. ...


Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn draws a connection between the family and monarchy. Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (July 31, 1909–May 26, 1999) was an Austrian Catholic aristocrat intellectual. ...

"Due to its inherent patriarchalism, monarchy fits organically into the ecclesiastic and familistic pattern of a Christian society. (Compare the teaching of Pope Leo XIII: 'Likewise the powers of fathers of families preseves expressly a certain image and form of the authority which is in God, from which all paternity in heaven and earth receives its name— Eph 3.15') The relationship between the King as 'father of the fatherland' and the people is one of mutual love"[8].

George Lakoff claims that the left-right distinction in politics reflects a difference between perceived ideals of the family; for right-wing people, the ideal is a patriarchial family based upon absolute morality; for left-wing persons, the ideal is an unconditionally loving family. As a result, Lakoff argues, both sides find each others' views not only immoral, but incomprehensible, since they appear to violate each sides' deeply held beliefs about personal morality in the sphere of the family [9]. Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, as recounted in the New Testament. ... Pope Leo XIII Supreme Pontiff (1878-1903) Leo XIII, né Gioacchino Pecci (March 2, 1810 - July 20, 1903) was Pope from 1878 to 1903. ... George P. Lakoff (, born 1941) is a professor of linguistics (in particular, cognitive linguistics) at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In politics, right-wing, the political right, or simply the right, are terms which refer, with no particular precision, to the segment of the political spectrum in opposition to left-wing politics. ... In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially in the American sense of the word), or with opposition...


Opponents of Paternalism

Opponents of paternalism, such as John Stuart Mill, claim that liberty supersedes safety in terms of actions that only affect oneself. Advocates of paternalistic policies claim that an overarching moral system overrides personal freedom in some circumstances, such as a religious, ethical, or philosophical doctrine, and will argue that while it is not moral to deprive someone of their liberty in a general situation, it is correct in that specific instance. John Stuart Mill (May 20, 1806 – May 8, 1873), an English philosopher and political economist, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. ... Freedom as concept may refer to: Freedom (philosophy) Freedom (political) Freedom (as a proper noun) may refer to: Freedom Magazine, a Scientology publication Freedom newspaper, a British anarchist newspaper Space Station Freedom, the name of a NASA project which later became the International Space Station Freedom Yachts, a company based... Fishers of Men, oil on panel by Adriaen van de Venne (1614) Various religious symbols Religion is commonly defined as a group of beliefs concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions, and rituals associated with such belief. ... Ethics (from Greek ἦθος meaning custom) is the branch of axiology, one of the four major branches of philosophy, which attempts to understand the nature of morality; to distinguish that which is right from that which is wrong. ...


In favour, it could be said that every state is "paternalist" to a degree. Even the state's creation and protection of individual property rights might be interpreted as "paternalistic". The descriptions of the origin of the state by Aristotle see it as an extension of the family, and this description seems a lot more realistic than the social contract analogies of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Rawls. A state is an organized political community, occupying a territory, and possessing internal and external sovereignty, that enforces a monopoly on the use of force. ... Aristotle (Ancient Greek: Aristotélēs 384–March 7 322 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Social contract theory (or contractarianism) is a concept used in philosophy, political science and sociology to denote an implicit agreement within a state regarding the rights and responsibilities of the state and its citizens, or more generally a similar concord between a group and its members, or between individuals. ... Hobbes redirects here. ... John Locke (August 29, 1632 – October 28, 1704) was an influential English philosopher and social contract theorist. ... Rousseau is a French surname. ... John Rawls (February 21, 1921 - November 24, 2002) was a philosopher, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard University and author of A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism, and The Law of Peoples. ...


Libertarians are seen as generally being opponents of paternalism. Few political theorists, even Libertarians, have ever completely rejected paternalism. Robert Nozick, who is generally seen as a founding father of modern libertarianism, still talked of exceptional cases of immoral behaviour where society should intervene. John Stuart Mill said that some offensive behaviour that could take place in private should be banned in public (e.g. sexual acts). Mill also said that anyone who commits a crime whilst drunk should be banned from drinking thereafter. Schopenhauer wrote that the state should be restricted to "protecting men from each other and from external attack". This article deals with the libertarianism as defined in America and several other nations. ... Robert Nozick (November 16, 1938 – January 23, 2002) was an American philosopher and Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard University. ... John Stuart Mill (May 20, 1806 – May 8, 1873), an English philosopher and political economist, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. ... Arthur Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 – September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher born in Gdańsk (Danzig), Poland. ...


See also

Pater Patriae (plural Patres Patriae), also seen as Parens Patriae, is a Latin honorific title meaning Father of the Fatherland. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Soft Paternalism, also refered to as libertarian paternalism, is a political philosophy that believes state can “help you make the choices you would make for yourself—if only you had the strength of will and the sharpness of mind. ...

References

  •  Plutarch: The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, trans. by John Dryden and revised by Arthur Hugh Clough, The Modern Library (div of Random House, Inc). Bio on Lycurgus; pg 65.
  •   Politics, Aristotle, Loeb Classical Library, Bk I, §II 8-10; 1254a 20-35; pg 19-21
  •   Politics, Bk I, §11,21;1255b 15-20; pg 29.
  •  Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament, ed. By M. Eugene Boring, Klaus Berger, Carsten Colpe, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, l995.
  •   Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament, ed. By M. Eugene Boring, Klaus Berger, Carsten Colpe, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, l995.
  •   On Divorce, Louis de Bonald, trans. By Nicholas Davidson, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, l993. pp 44-46.
  •   On Divorce, Louis de Bonald, pp 88-89; 149.
  •   Liberty or Equality, Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, pg 155.
  •   George Lakoff, What Conservatives Know That Liberals Don't, ISBN 0226467961

External links

  • Paternalism, by Peter Suber. From Philosophy of Law: An Encyclopedia, edited by Christopher Berry Gray, Garland Pub. Co., 1999, vol. II, pp. 632-635.
  • Paternalism, by Gerald Dworkin. From The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

 
 

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