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Mother Knows Best Essay

926 words - 4 pages

Our modern concept of family has been an important contribution to childhood development. Parents pass on their knowledge to their kin in hope of raising successful adults. John Locke makes these observations in his “The Second Treatise of Government.” However, during classical Greece, Plato abolishes our concept of family in his book “Republic.” The main difference between these two theologians view on family is the relationship between family and government. In one, parents are the main authorities over their children until they reach the age of reason, and then the law becomes the authority over all adults. In the other, the government is the sole influence on the child. Although Locke ...view middle of the document...

)” Rather than calling the authority a parent has over their child “paternal power” he believes that it should be called “parental power” due to the authority the father and mother both share over the child. “We shall find she hath an equal title (287).”
Once the child has reached adulthood it is the responsibility of the child to pay and respect his parents for raising and nourishing him. However, Locke warns that parents should not demand obedience from their child because “tis one thing to owe honour, respect, gratitude and assistance; another to require an absolute obedience and submission (294).” A child does not owe their parent “respect, reverence, support and compliance ” if the parent did a poor job raising the child (294). In this respect, Locke has made the family a practical matter where a parent will not overstep their authority so the child will take care of them later and a child will respect his parents in hopes of receiving inheritance. In addition to this Locke makes it clear that molding children’s minds is not only the responsibility of the government but also parents.
In comparison to Locke, Plato struggles with the relationship between the family, the individual, and the city. He believes that the roles oppose each other and they cannot benefit from one another. The family instead of teaching a person reason inhibits a person to be just. This is because family forces one to be loyal to the family, instead of Plato’s goal for everyone to be loyal to the “city in speech.” “Have we any greater evil for a city than what splits it and make it many instead of one? Or a greater good that what binds it together and make one?” (462b) In the city, Plato destroys the...

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