P H I L O S O P H Y P A T H W A Y S ISSN 2043-0728
Issue number 182
18th January 2014
Edited by Sharon Kaye
I. 'What's Wrong with Childhood Today?' by Leigh Duffy
II. 'Naughty Children and Angry Parents: Punishment, Consequences and
Moral Psychology' by Dennis Arjo
III. 'Discipline and Punish: A Foucaultian Analysis of the Modern
Crib' by Sharon Kaye
From the List Manager
IV. Avaya Sharma 'Letter from Nepal'
It sucks to be a kid these days, or so my own kids tell me. I suppose
it has always has. Or has it? And does it have to? What might we be
Psychologists barrage us every day with new theories about how we
should be raising our children -- as though they have human happiness
all figured out. But wait a minute! Happiness is the purview of
philosophers, not psychologists, and statistics don't tell us a thing
about it. How to live the good life is perhaps the greatest
philosophical question ever posed. The answer may be elusive, but one
thing is sure: it starts young, really young. What do kids need in
order to maximize their chance of living well, now and into the
Each of the three philosophers gathered together in this volume
proposes an answer to this question.
Leigh Duffy, of Buffalo State College (SUNY), argues that there might
be nothing wrong with young people today that wasn't 'wrong' with
young people growing up at any different time period. Although many
have blamed the internet for current problems with children, Duffy
argues that if the internet is harming them at all, it is doing so
indirectly - by their parents' fascination with being constantly
plugged in. Duffy goes to the source and asks her students about
their experiences with being on social media in order to support this
Dennis Arjo, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at
Johnson County Community College, argues that children need to be
taken seriously as moral agents, which includes looking at their
misbehavior through a moral lens. Drawing on Jean Hampton's Moral
Education Theory of Punishment, Arjo laments an excessive reliance on
behaviorist psychology that has encouraged an amoral interpretation of
what parents do when their children act badly. In response he argues
we need to rehabilitate the idea that parental punishment can play a
positive role in the moral education of children.
Finally, I take a close look at the crib. Is it a coincidence that
this essential component of today's nursery so strongly resembles a
cage? Why do we feel we need to put our children behind bars? Is it
for their safety or is it for our convenience--and at what cost?A
Foucaultian analysis of the history of childhood sleeping
arrangements raises a serious challenge to our unthinking acceptance
of the crib.
I. 'WHAT'S WRONG WITH CHILDHOOD TODAY?' BY LEIGH DUFFY
It's Not You, It's Me!
Teaching a class called 'Meaning of Life' I've been surprised at the
struggle I've encountered in getting students to understand the
issues, not even the theories. I expected the usual problems with
students not easily understanding the philosophical arguments put
forth, but I assumed that any human being would relate to Camus'
feelings of absurdity, Tolstoy's existential crisis, or
Schopenhauer's pessimism. Yet frequently students dismiss these
philosophers as depressed or troubled and so not to be taken
Looking at their lives, the biggest difference between my students
and the authors they study is that my students have the ability to
connect to the world at their fingertips constantly. The internet has
often been thought to be the problem; it is often said that this is
what's wrong with kids today -- they are emotionally detached because
they don't actually interact with people; they are too easily
distracted; they don't see the real problems in the world today.
Rather than ask my students to unplug for the semester, I decided to
give them a project that would bring these issues up in a relevant
way. By paying attention to their digital lives, I hoped they would
be able to connect to these concerns in a way that could be extended
into their real lives. The results of this project were surprising
and my conclusion is that, while living in a highly digital world
might be harming young people today, it is not doing so directly, but
rather it is harming them because of their parents' involvement in
their own digital lives.
In the course of the semester in this 'Meaning of Life' class, we
explore a variety of approaches to these sorts of questions, tackling
everything from Aristotle's idea of eudaimonia to contemporary views
that emphasize goals to Eastern views that encourage living more
presently and getting rid of attachments. Regardless of the correct
answer to the question of the meaning of life, considering the
question and possible answers -- especially as they apply to one's
own life -- requires reflection on one's life, one's values, and the
activities one already takes to be meaningful. It requires a
consciousness of one's choices and a mindfulness of one's actions.
All of this is very hard in the world we are living in: a world full
of distractions, a world in which we never have to wait, a world full
of information (but not necessarily truth) at our fingertips, a world
where we are in constant contact with each other. How can one be more
mindful of one's place in the world if one is not in the world but
lost in the internet? How can a person pay attention to the
activities that are reflections of his or her values if that person
is distracted by the vibrating phone? How can one reflect on what it
is that he or she values if there is never a quiet moment to do so?
How can I even raise these questions with all their complexities when
we can get answers to all our other questions in an instant?
For better or for worse, these are the lives we are living and this
is our future. My students, and the rest of us, will only become more
connected as time goes on and I have to find a way to make these
questions relevant and important to them. My project this semester
was to see how a person can come to live more meaningfully in this
digital world by reflecting on the values he or she holds in his or
her virtual life. I asked my students this past semester to be
consciously aware of their virtual lives for a week, to pay
particular attention to the texts they sent and to think about which
ones were absolutely necessary to send or receive, which ones 'meant
something' and what they meant, and which ones were frivolous and
Next, I asked them to be more consciously aware of their virtual
persona, to look at their profiles on social media. They considered
what they listed as interests, as favorite books, movies, or TV shows
and thought about which of those interests they have pursued lately,
which of those books and movies they have read or watched more than
once, and which bands they listen to regularly. I wanted them to then
reflect on what they've chosen to list and why. To continue, they were
asked to pay attention to what they 'pin', what they post, what they
'like' on Facebook, etc. What values do these activities signify?
Given the values they list, there should be a way to live life so
that those values are prevalent.
Any one of us can ask these sorts of questions in order to make the
most of life. The idea was that this project would make these young
people reflect on their values and how they spend their time online
in order to then extend those insights into their actual lives and to
connect to the ideas they were reading. This is especially important
because rather than asking the question, 'what did it all mean' these
young people are in the position to ask, 'how can I live in order to
make the most of my life?' or 'what can I do to fill my life with
However, what I found with this experiment was quite the opposite of
what I expected. I thought they'd admit to being online constantly
and to the very trivial things they read, post, or comment on daily.
I expected them to have to weed through all of their online
activities in order to focus on the ones that meant something to
them. Instead, they admitted to being online far less often then even
they thought they would be. When they were forced to pay attention,
they realized that they are bored with social media, that they
haven't updated their profiles in years or that they've deleted their
accounts, and that they hadn't used any of the sites that are thought
to be popular among this age group.
Specifically, in the discussion, they referred to Facebook as 'nosy
book' and voiced concerns that they don't want to share every detail
of their life with their family, with people they don't consider
friends, or with potential future employers. They were also bothered
by the fact that others share more than my students care to know
about them through Facebook status updates. When talking and writing
about Facebook, they used the words 'unsettled', 'annoyed', and
If the problem doesn't arise from this immediate ability to feel
connected, these constant distractions, or a disconnect from reality,
what is holding students back from understanding the philosophical
issues in a class on the Meaning of Life? Perhaps these issues are so
hard for them to relate to or understand because they are young and
not because of the digital life they are thought to live. (Haven't
philosophy professors always had these issues?) They might not worry
about feeling like a cog in the machine because they aren't in that
position yet since they haven't had to work for a living yet. Or, it
might even be that the majority of the public -- young and old --
doesn't understand these issues either, but those who feel their
gravity are those of us who take the time to reflect on the human
Still, there is a problem here for young people today, growing up in
this digital world. Even if they are bored with it, it's harming
them. But, it's not them. It's us. Or rather, it's those of us
raising young people in a highly technological world. Reading my
students comments, it's clear that there is a group that's constantly
connected, always plugged in, and still fascinated by the online
world. It is not the Millenials, however; it's Generation X. In fact,
a recent article on theguardian.com cites a study that shows that
young people are leaving Facebook because people their parents' age
are becoming the key demographic. The examples of people disconnected
from reality because of their obsession with their digital lives apply
to Generation X more than they do to this new generation.
We are all too familiar with those examples: the person texting
through dinner, ignoring the family around him in order to connect
with someone not present; the parent who lives behind the
camera-phone and doesn't actually witness the events she is obsessed
with documenting; the person who spends more time tweeting her every
thought than she does actually talking to the people around her; the
person who wastes half the day pinning ideas of things to create,
places to travel, or meals to cook, but never actually starts the
project, leaves her home town, or cooks something new because she's
too busy catching up on all the work she's neglected.
The Millenials have been brought up in this world. Many of them only
know cell phones, not land-lines and certainly not rotary phones.
They've never known a world without the Internet. On the other hand,
many Generation X-ers were only first exposed to the Internet in
college. The Millenials don't have this fascination with what's going
on online because it's always been there. For Generation X, this is a
development and one that they cannot get enough of. Facebook is
inundated with pictures of babies being raised by Generation X-ers.
Pinterest is where new mothers go to find activities for their
toddlers and projects to do at home while the baby naps. Many apps
seems especially designed for the parent who has ten minutes to waste
while waiting for her child to come out of pre-school. Teenage
babysitters often get more texts from the parents who are out on
'date night' than they get from their own boyfriends or girlfriends.
My students might be distracted by their cell phones, but ten years
ago, they were distracted by a friend passing a note in class. This
is what it's like to be a young adult. They look for distractions.
Furthermore, they're often very selfish. (That text (or note) is more
interesting than this lecture because it's about me.) One hopes that
as they mature, they become more focused, especially on the things
that matter, and more concerned with others and the world around
them. This is nothing new and so if there is something wrong with
kids today, we can't blame it on this distraction that is the
Social media, cell phones, and the rest are encouraging more adults
to regress into this immature, selfish mentality. The smart phone is
still such a novel invention that they cannot put it down. The
pictures of one's own children and what they show the world about the
person himself or herself are far more interesting than whatever else
is going on right now. This older generation of Facebook users do
update their profiles and pictures, they do post and comment on
others' post and these activities are often very self-centered. They
are carefully crafted ways of drawing attention to oneself and of
putting forth a person who has been constructed out of select
pictures, interests, comments, posts, etc.
This obsession with the digital world might be harming young people
today, but it is doing so indirectly. This older generation has
projected their own problem with being distracted by the internet
onto this younger generation. Young people are bored with social
media and games on their phones and they may not feel the need to
document every moment of their lives, but their parents -- and even
more so parents of young children -- seem to still be fascinated with
this world. The novelty of having a camera at all times has not worn
off. The parent who stays at home with the children doesn't have to
wait all day for his or her spouse to come home to share all the
cute, interesting, or even obnoxious things the kids did that day. He
or she can share them with the world in those very instances.
Ignoring one's family in order to share one's family online has
become so prevalent that it's almost comical. Indeed, comedians, late
night talk show hosts, and commercials mock the stereotype of these
young parents. One commercial shows them fighting to get the best
seat at the dance recital in order to get the best video, of course
at the expense of actually watching the children dance. One comedian
takes the point of view of a toddler and jokes at the mother's
obsession with being online: When will she stop pinning ideas of
crafts for them to make and take the kid outside? The jokes are funny
because they are all too true. You can picture the children parked in
front of the television while the parent uploads all the pictures of
the family doing things that they only ever do for photographs.
While these young parents have gained a way to showcase their
families, to connect with other parents, and to save memories of
their young children, the children are losing their parents. To
create the perfect child, perfect family, or perfect profile of
oneself as a parent online, that parent must sacrifice time with
those children. The importance of parental involvement from a young
age to the well-being of the child is well documented. The amount of
parental involvement directly affects a child's emotional health, a
child's behavior issues, and a child's success in school. Yet, for a
parent to be involved, a parent must be present, not just physically
but mentally and emotionally as well.
Aside from the fact that this obsession with the Internet can cause a
parent to be absent in parenting, there is also a worry about the
perfectionism that comes along with designing an online personality
or family. By showcasing only the best of what a family does, by
highlighting only their achievements, and by constantly comparing
oneself, one's children, and one's family to others online (others
who are also carefully crafting their profiles by picking through
hundreds of pictures and activities), one runs the risk of expecting
too much from himself or herself and, more importantly, from his or
her children. Yet, at the same time, those children are not being
nurtured and encouraged in the same way as children raised by
involved, focused, and present-minded parents.
What's wrong with kids today? Looking back at the specific problem I
began with as a teacher, I wonder if there's really anything wrong
with this generation I'm currently teaching that wasn't wrong with
kids that age in any generation. They are distracted, self-centered,
and bored, but that's what it is to be a college-aged person, no
matter what time period one is growing up in. Still, what might be
wrong with the future generation of college students coming up in
10-15 years is yet to be seen. This is a generation being raised by
parents who are often more focused on the idea of a family and how
they present that family than the actual family. The consequences of
this kind of parenting are yet to be seen, but knowing what we know
about parental involvement and the development and success of
children, there is reason to worry and reason to encourage parents to
do just what I asked my students to do this past semester: simply pay
attention and notice what really matters.
Kiss, Jemima. 'Teenagers Migrate From Facebook as Parents Send Them
Friend Requests.' The Guardian. 27 December 2013. Web.
Leigh Duffy, PhD
Buffalo State College
New York State
(c) Leigh Duffy 2014
II. 'NAUGHTY CHILDREN AND ANGRY PARENTS: PUNISHMENT, CONSEQUENCES AND
MORAL PSYCHOLOGY' BY DENNIS ARJO
Introducing what she calls the Moral Education Theory of Punishment,
Jean Hampton remarks that only philosophers find the idea of
punishing wrongdoing troublesome, something 'impossible to justify
and even difficult to understand.' Philosophers have company, though.
Prevalent attitudes in the enormous literature produced by child
rearing expert range from doubts about punishment's effectiveness to
outright condemnation. According to one popular manual, for example,
punishment is 'rarely advisable' while psychologist Bruno Bettleheim
writes that 'punishing one's child is always undesirable.'  These
concerns echo those voiced in more academic venues. A typical child
development textbook warns that punishment can turn parents into
'averse stimuli for the child' and 'provide the child with a model of
aggressive behavior.' Another textbook warns that punishment is a poor
teaching tool because it 'only tells children what they did wrong, not
what they should be doing instead.'
The discomfort many have come to feel over the idea of parents
punishing their children reflects in part, I will argue, an
underlying discomfort with the very idea of parental authority.
Briefly put, it has become a quandary for liberal thinkers to see how
the ideals of freedom and individual autonomy can be reconciled with
parental control of children. Though glossed in the language of
psychology, the current disfavor that punishment has fallen into has
as much to do with this liberal anxiety as the findings of serious
psychology. Ironically, a better understanding of parental punishment
-- of its possible intent and justification -- can resolve some of
this anxiety. Hampton's Moral Education Theory of Punishment, I will
argue, points to a way to reconcile the liberal emphasis on autonomy
and the exercise of parental authority.
1. Trends in Childrearing
Broadly put, the last two centuries have seen a move away from
authoritarian attitudes towards childrearing towards more egalitarian
approaches. To a large degree these changes were driven by two trends:
the extension of liberal ideals into contexts of intimate relations,
such as the family, and the rise of psychology as a science with
something to say on the manner of raising and educating children.
Reflecting notably optimistic thinking about the natural tendencies
of humans, the newer ways have stressed the importance of allowing
children to enjoy their childhood, with less overt control and
domination on the part of adults. During this time, thinking about
parenting has moved away from seeing children as willful creatures
whose character needed deliberate shaping, and towards a view of them
as mostly autonomous beings needing only to be protected and guided
through natural and self-correcting processes of development.
As the autonomy of children began to loom large in parenting, the
utility of punishment began to look increasingly dubious. Construed
as the exercise of brute force, innately coercive, and sharply at
odds with appeals to the child's reason and good will, the use of
punishment to control behavior began to strike many as contrary to
enlightened thinking. This trend led to the hopeful conclusion that
there was no need for, and so no place for, punishment in enlightened
With the ascendancy of a behaviorist psychology and its emphasis on
the centrality of experience in shaping the mind and the
psychoanalytic stress on the particular importance of early
experiences in determining mental health, many began to suspect that
a bulk of the problems we can face as adults begin in how we are
raised. As controlling, punitive parents began to be judged
particularly harshly, finding scientifically informed alternatives to
traditional childrearing methods took on an added urgency. By the
middle of the 20th century, the consensus was that traditional
methods and ideas about childrearing were dated, overly
authoritarian, and potentially dangerous, and that methods more in
line with modern values were to be found in the annals of psychology.
2. From Punishment to Consequences
The problem remained, however, of what to do with children when they
don't behave and most developmentalists have not gone so far as
encouraging parents to simply tolerate bad behavior. Recent years
have in fact seen something of a backlash against excessive
permissiveness. Ever attentive to its public's needs, the
childrearing establishment has offered ways to impose limits and
affirm parental authority without lapsing into the discredited ways
of the past. Enter the idea of 'consequences', the modern,
enlightened replacement for the now largely discredited idea of
As it is usually explained, the difference between punishments and
consequences turns on the difference between things that happen as a
'natural' or 'logical' result of an act, and results that are imposed
by another person in a position of authority. If young Sally pulls on
the cat's ears and ends up with scratches on her arm, she has
suffered the natural consequences of her actions. If instead Sally
avoids the cat's claws but not the spanking her angry mother promptly
delivers, she has been punished. While both outcomes give Sally reason
to think twice about pulling the cat's ears again, there is said to be
an important difference between what she learns by being scratched by
the cat rather than spanked by her mother. In the first case, we are
told, Sally has learned for herself why pulling a cat's ears is not a
good idea -- she has learned a bit about how the world works and how
it can be better navigated. The spanking, however, has taught Sally
only that her mother disapproves of pulling the cat's ears, but not
why her mother disapproves, or why Sally herself should not want to
treat the cat in that way.
Armed with this distinction, child developmentalists typically cite a
barrage of dangers associated with punishment, the most importance of
which for our purposes has to do with how it motivates a change in
behavior. Yes, you might get Sally to avoid pulling the cat's ears by
punishing her when she does, but only so long as she remembers the
punishment, or only so long as the threat of future punishment is
kept firmly in view by her mother's presence or threats. One major
reason for such limited effectiveness is that such means of control
are external -- they fail to give the child a reason of her own to
behave, and the act itself remains as tempting as ever. So once the
threat of punishment is removed the child no longer has any reason to
comply. As an external motivator, the argument goes, punishment does
little to encourage the kind of autonomy that we should be wanting
children to develop. The child behaves only because she has no choice.
Given this worry, parents are told to look to the deliberate use of
natural or logical consequences of actions as an alternative. Like
punishments, consequences are unwelcomed responses to bad behavior
and the hope is that they will reduce the likelihood that the
offending act will be repeated. But, though they too are imposed, or
at least deliberately allowed, by the parent, consequences are tied
as explicitly to the particulars of the misbehavior as possible, in
the way that Sally's scratched arm is a more natural or 'logical'
result of pulling a cat's ears than a stinging rear end. Because they
are presented as the results of her own actions Sally comes to have a
reason of her own to avoid repeating the behavior. Unlike an
arbitrary bit of unpleasantness imposed by an angry external
authority, a consequence is best imposed without emotion and is
ideally seen by the child as just another feature of how the world
works -- the objectionable act is something to be avoided for the
same sorts of reasons as hot stoves. Consequences, in short, are
designed to foster 'internalization', the development of inner
controls on one's behavior that should be the ultimate goal of moral
training, something that comes about only when the person accepts the
norms in question as her own. This is best accomplished by making sure
the child has a reason of her own to avoid the behavior.
3. Consequences Evaluated
A fair amount can, I think, be said in favor of commending the
approach just outlined to parents trying to secure more desirable
behavior from their children. External motivators -- rewards and
punishments -- can certainly backfire for the reasons suggested, and
much unnecessary suffering has been inflicted in the name of
punishment. Still, it is evident that this distinction is badly
muddled. Even those who favor them as an alternative to punishment
will acknowledge that truly natural consequences can often be
unacceptably harsh or dangerous. They should also acknowledge that
natural consequences might sometimes be unacceptably rewarding, as in
the case of the natural consequences of successful theft. This means
that more often than not it takes a deliberate act by the parent to
make sure the act delivers suitable consequences, consequences that
will teach the right lessons. But at this point we have to wonder
whether we've lost everything important in the supposed distinction,
as surely the fact that it is the parent who is providing a
consequence because she is angry or disapproving will not escape the
child's notice. We can, I think, expect children to learn to want to
avoid getting caught in order to avoid logical consequences as
readily as they do punishment. In practice, then, it's quite arguable
that consequences will work much like punishments.
A deeper worry about the distinction between punishment and
consequences is that it looks to be little more than a semantic one
in the first place. When they turn to understanding just what the
point of punishing children is supposed to be, psychologists
invariably turn to the language of behaviorism. But this appeal to
behaviorist learning theory quite directly undermines any substantive
distinction between punishment and consequences.
Within the behaviorist model, reinforcers are any environmental
response that makes the target behavior more likely to be repeated,
while punishments are responses that tend to discourage it. What
is rarely noted about this way of understanding learning is that it
is not necessary that the conditioning responses that drive the
process be deliberate, or provided in response to wrongdoing, or even
that they come from a person at all to count as a reinforcer or
punishment. In behaviorism, any sort of environmental response that
encourages a particular behavior is a reinforcer of that behavior,
and any response that discourages it is a punishment. No distinction
is made between environmental responses imposed by disapproving
agents and those imposed by impersonal forces of nature -- a nasty
hangover that discourages someone from heavy drinking is a punishment
just as much as an effective lecture from an angry spouse. Nor is
there any need for the targeted behavior to be of any moral
significance. A snarky comment from a colleague about a new shirt
counts as a punishment if it discourages me from wearing it again. It
is easy to see, then, that so long as the consequences encouraged by
child rearing experts work to decrease bad behavior by associating it
with something the child does not like, they are punishments in the
psychologists' sense of the word, whether they are called that or
not. Though giving it a new name may avoid some of the negative
connotations 'punishment' has come to have, the underlying
psychological mechanism parents are thought to be relying on would
remain the same. If I'm right that children are unlikely to always
see a difference between suffering a logical consequence and being
punished, there's good reason.
The simple fact is that punishment, understood in this way, is an
unavoidable feature of life, and parents could not avoid punishing
their children even if they followed the most idealistic childrearing
advice to the finest detail. And even if parental punishment could be
eliminated, the world would continue to create enough ways of its own
to condition children to avoid foolish, reckless or antisocial
behavior that punishment would remain a common fact of childhood (and
indeed adult) life. While we should applaud many of the trends modern
thinking about parents and children has inaugurated, the current
disrepute into which punishment has fallen is at best unrealistic
even on the terms favored by that very thinking. But as this very
conclusion suggests, relying on such an understanding of punishment
is itself an invitation to confusion, as there does seem to be
something importantly different about allowing children to learn for
themselves the unpleasant results of ill-chosen actions, and what we
usually imagine when we think of parental punishment. And indeed
there is. What has been lost is the distinctively moral sense of the
word punishment that informs the more usual use of the word, in
contrast to the distinctly amoral sense being employed in most
discussions informed by the child development literature. In
particular, I will argue, we need to rehabilitate the notion of
punishment in childrearing so that we can properly evaluate its place
in moral education. This will allow us to see what seems right about
the idea of consequences, and more importantly point towards a more
nuanced and realistic moral psychology of punishment, one that
embraces the liberal values of autonomy and freedom so often thought
to be threatened by it.
4. The Moral Education Theory of Punishment
We can start by noting that parents in fact have different sorts of
reasons for trying to influence their children's behavior. Getting a
child to eat properly or to go to bed at 8:30 without a fuss is
arguably different from teaching her not to steal candy from the
store or not to cheat on her homework. In the latter kinds of cases
there is a moral imperative that is not there in the former. Since
children are not always going to agree with the choices their parents
make when it comes to meals or bedtimes, securing compliance in such
matters is an important if perennially vexed question. But parents
are also commonly, and presumably rightfully, charged with the duty
of instilling basic moral values in their children as well, something
that adds an additional dimension to the question of how to respond to
misbehavior of the second sort. Here the desire to secure certain
kinds of behavior coincides with the additional desire to teach that
stealing is wrong. That there may be a difference in how and why
parents should go about controlling behavior in these two kinds of
cases bears directly on just what parents might be trying to
accomplish in punishing their children.
As we've seen, in the hand of behavioral psychologists punishment is
tied explicitly to the control of behavior, but not in any way that
would render it a moral notion. As used in this context, a punishment
just is an averse stimulus that diminishes episodes of a given
behavior. Why the behavior was changed, or even whether it was
changed deliberately is irrelevant. For most of us, by contrast,
punishment is an explicitly moral notion -- people are punished
because they have done something wrong, not just because someone has
decided that they need to behave differently. The recent emphasis on
consequences, particularly the idea that they should be as much as
possible understood as a result of the act itself, seems to run
roughshod over this aspect of punishment. To see what might be
missing, we need at least an outline of a theory of punishment that
is sensitive to this dimension.
Jean Hampton, it seems to me, offers a particularly promising theory
of punishment that in important respects cuts across the two
traditional rivals of deterrence and retribution. According to
Hampton, the purpose of punishment ought to be to contribute to the
moral education of a person by helping to establish moral boundaries.
What she means is that while one purpose of punishment is to influence
how a person will act, we should aim to develop a particular kind of
constraint on behavior, namely the recognition of moral limits.
Hampton's idea is that punishment aims to teach the person being
punished that they should not do what they did precisely because it
is morally wrong. As Hampton puts it: 'the theory maintains that
punishment is intended as a way of teaching the wrongdoer that the
action she did... is forbidden because it is morally wrong, and
should not be done for that reason.'
Hampton provides some useful illustrations. Consider the use of an
electric collar to prevent a dog from wandering the neighborhood. The
painful shocks the dog will come to associate with trying to leave the
yard are punishments in the psychologists' sense, designed entirely to
curb certain kinds of behavior by providing an unwanted response to
the targeted behavior. The behavior of persons, however, differs from
that of dogs in two respects that make punishment a more complicated
issue. For one, humans seem capable of more reflective kinds of
learning, and as a result can come to act for reasons, as opposed to
mere reflex or conditioning. Consequently, they can learn to respect
boundaries even when there are no fences by way of conscious or
deliberate choice to do so. Secondly, among the reasons that can come
to constrain our actions are moral reasons -- we can come to choose to
act or refrain from acting in a certain way because it is the right
thing to do. Hampton suggests that punishment has a place in teaching
these moral boundaries. Moreover, coming to see ourselves as subject
to punishment -- as bound by moral rules and accountable for our
actions when we violate them -- is a part of learning to see
ourselves as moral agents. This too we learn in part by being
punished on occasion.
How is punishment supposed to help teach such lessons? According to
Hampton, the very fact that it might lead to punishment marks the
transgression of a moral boundary. There seems to be a fundamental
difference between acts that are merely inadvisable or contrary to
the actor's own interests and those that are in some sense morally
wrong. Consider the difference between the sense in which it is wrong
to cheat at solitaire (Hampton's example), and the sense in which it
is wrong to steal or to cheat on a test. That it is not merely
inadvisable to cheat on a test, but something you shouldn't do even
if it does benefit you is what we want to teach the child. That you
can be punished for cheating on a test but not for cheating at
solitaire is one way of marking that distinction, and in the process
dramatically underlining the greater seriousness of the second kind
of transgression. The humbling that comes with suffering the moral
consequences of cheating emphasizes the fact that the transgressor
too is bound by such limits, like it or not. As Hampton says, a
crucial difference between saying 'you mustn't cheat at solitaire'
and 'you mustn't cheat on tests' is that there is a threat of
punishment in the latter case. So on this view, the punishment
provides a reason not to commit the forbidden act, but just as
importantly the reason it provides is a moral reason.
Finally, that we are subject to punishment is a fundamental way of
marking our inclusion in a social world that assumes certain things
about us: that we are autonomous, that we can be held responsible for
our actions, that we have been trusted with a degree of freedom.
Accordingly, being subject to punishment, far from being a threat to
the child's autonomy, in fact assumes and reinforces it. As moral
agents, capable of freely choosing to respect or violate moral
boundaries, we are subject to the punishment that outlines those
boundaries in such tangible ways. One thing we should want to teach
children is that they are on their way to becoming such agents. In
the context of childrearing, this idea would go a long way toward
cashing out the old fashioned but murky idea that punishing children
plays a role in 'teaching them right from wrong.' More precisely and
clearly, it has a role in both teaching children that they are (or
are becoming) moral agents, and in teaching them the moral limits of
the world they are living in as such agents.
5. Consequences reconsidered
I argued earlier that the distinction between punishments and
consequences threatens to collapse into a largely semantic one so
long as we rely on the behaviorist understanding of punishment.
However, in light the further distinction I've made between
punishment in the psychologists' sense and punishment as understood
from the perspective of Hampton's theory, perhaps we can rehabilitate
that distinction to some extent. A child who refuses to wear a coat on
a cold day is being stubborn or foolish, but he is not being
particularly wicked. For this reason, punishing him in the
traditional sense is probably less reasonable than simply allowing
him to suffer the predictable consequences of his actions, since
there is no clear moral wrong at issue. Avoiding the word
'punishment' in such contexts is warranted. But sometimes wickedness
is the issue, and if what I have argued is right, it remains as
plausible to think this should be punished in the more traditional
sense of the word, in a manner that acknowledges the wrong that was
committed. So long as parents take it upon themselves to
contribute to their children's moral education, retaining this use of
the word remains important.
1. In order, the quotes are from Kevin Leman, Raising Children
Without Tearing Them Down 1993, (Delacorte: New York), pg 140; Bruno
Bettelheim, 1987, A Good Enough Parent (Knopf: New York), pg 124. The
popular literature on child rearing is, to say the least, voluminous,
and not all of it adopts the attitudes reflected here, though it is
2. The first quote here is from J. Schickedanz, 1990, Understanding
Children (Mayfield: Mountain View), pgs. 378-379; the second from R.
Vasta, M. M. Haith and S. A. Miller, 1995, Child Psychology: The
Modern Science (Wiley: New York), pg. 46. These works are both
entirely typical of the genre.
3. More precisely, punishments are negative reinforcers that
reinforce alternate behaviors, i.e. behaviors that don't lead to
punishment. A lecture works as a punishment if it leads the child to
clean her room by reinforcing room cleaning as a way of avoiding
4. See Jean Hampton, 'The Moral Education of Punishment', Philosophy
and Public Affairs, 13.3, 1984, pp 208-236. Though I will be applying
Hampton's theory solely to the question of punishment in childrearing,
Hampton takes it to apply to punishment in all contexts, including
criminal justice. I think it actually runs into big problems when
taken into that arena, but I won't pursue such concerns here.
5. Hampton, op cit. pg 212.
6. This leaves open just what kinds of punishments are appropriate, a
question I won't go into here. It may very well be the case that the
comparatively mild and context specific responses that are
recommended as 'consequences' would also work very well as
punishments in the relevant sense (as suggested earlier, I think
probably do.) Though I am in a sense defending a more traditional
interpretation of punishment, I don't mean this to translate into a
defense of any particular traditional childhood punishments. It is
also worth noting that the analysis on offer her would tend towards
favoring mild punishments -- anything too harsh would likely produce
feelings of anger, resentment or defensiveness that would drown out
any moral lesson. The idea is to communicate and appeal to
understanding, not to rely on fear and instincts for
Dennis Arjo, Chair
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Johnson County Community College
(c) Dennis Arjo 2014
III. 'DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH: A FOUCAULTIAN ANALYSIS OF THE MODERN
CRIB' BY SHARON KAYE
1. Thought Experiment
You are alone. It is dark. You've been here before, and you've always
You are afraid. You don't know why you are afraid; you know only that
where you are now is so different from where you were a moment ago.
You cry out. Your cries are heard, you know, but not answered. You
You get up and ram you body against the railing that surrounds you.
You throw yourself down on the mattress. You scream in frustration.
A moment ago, you were in your mother's arms, with warm, buzzing
activity all around you. Your family. Talking, reading, and singing.
The heartbeats. And most importantly breathing. All that wonderful
breathing! The rhythmic rise and fall.
The rising and the falling.
The rising and the falling.
The fresh body odors. The smiles and laughter. Then hugs and kisses
from everyone -- the very best moment of the day!
And then nothing. Now there is nothing. No one else is breathing
here. Everything is as still as death. Time itself seems to stop. How
did this happen? And why? What did you do to cause this misery? You
don't understand. You cry until you are unable to cry any more.
This thought experiment is meant to paint you a vivid picture of an
experience many American infants go through on a daily basis. It is
meant to remind you of what you yourself probably experienced, if you
-- like me -- were raised in a crib. If only I could hypnotize us and
take us back to a living memory of those moments, then the stage
would be well set for the following discussion.
My purpose in this paper is to call into question the practice of
putting infants to sleep in cribs. A typical analytic methodology
would be to argue for utilitarian, deontological, virtue ethic, or
care ethic principles and then apply them to the case at hand. My
methodology, in contrast, will be genealogical, drawn from the
well-known continental philosopher, Michel Foucault (1926-1984).
Interpreting Foucault in analytical way, I wish to argue that tracing
the historical origins of crib use reveals that it is not the
'necessary evil' it is commonly assumed to be.
2. Foucault and the Method of Genealogy
Michel Foucault made a profound impact on the twentieth-century with
his critique of modern science. Casting a skeptical eye on
psychology, medicine, and other empirical disciplines, Foucault
argued that supposedly necessary truths about human nature are
actually contingent products of historical circumstances.
Foucault took his cue from Friedrich Nietzsche who shocked the world
with his Genealogy of Morals. Nietzsche argued that Christians
invented the supposedly necessary truths of morality in revolt
against their oppressors. For example, they applied the category
'evil' to things their oppressors deemed good, such as wealth.
Likewise, Foucault asserts, scientists invent the supposedly
necessary truths of science to advance their ideal of a scientific
society. For example, they apply the category 'abnormal' to things
that defy their theories, such as homosexuality.
Foucault calls his methodology 'genealogical' because it traces the
emergence of norms throughout history. Just as the genealogy of a
family tree shows how our ancestors married and produced children who
then went on to produce children of their own, and so on, down the
line, Foucault's genealogy shows how historical circumstances produce
new norms, which then multiply accordingly over time.
Foucault went beyond Nietzsche in insisting that the emergence of
cultural norms is largely an unconscious process. This means that
there may not be any obvious agenda like that which Nietzsche saw in
Christianity. It's not that homophobic scientists deliberately set
out to change the world. Rather, many ordinary people over many years
unknowingly contributed to the concept of abnormal sexuality as they
struggled to control their own latent fears and anxieties.
For example, a boy who wants to marry and have children but
nevertheless finds himself aroused by other boys may 'study the
matter' (read about it, ask experts, etc.) and acquire 'knowledge' of
homosexuality as an abnormality. This 'knowledge' constitutes control.
He now has a means of regulating his own thoughts and feelings and is
likely to seek reinforcement by imposing that control on others.
Foucault famously asserted that 'knowledge is power.' By this phrase
he does not mean what our universities mean -- that learning is a
great thing. On the contrary, his point is much more disturbing. He
means that whatever gives us the ability to control ourselves and
others is what we call 'knowledge.' In Foucault's view, there is no
such thing as knowledge as traditionally conceived -- an abstract,
politically-neutral repository of truth.
Hence it is not surprising that Foucault became centrally interested
in the ultimate expression of power in our society -- namely the
criminal justice system. Undertaking an in-depth study of the
modern prison, he discovered that it is the epitome of Western
Civilization. By replacing the vengeance of pre-modern days with
reform, it forces prisoners to conform to society's ideals and norms.
Aristotle wrote that 'All men by nature desire to know.' For
Foucault, the desire to know translates into a desire to control, and
it is not by some natural necessity but by choice. Western history is
the story of our ever increasing determination to control ourselves,
each other, and our environment. So the prison is not just a function
of the criminal justice system -- it has become a model for every
institution in our society. Foucault reveals the disturbing
prison-like features of the modern school (with its bells, schedules,
hall monitors, etc.) and the modern hospital (with its visiting hours,
restraining devices, and compulsory medications). The prison-like
features of the school and the hospital are justified by appeal to
safety. Foucault's genius, however, is to show what a fine line there
is between safety and tyranny.
Needless to say, Foucault's analysis could be applied to other
features of our society, such as airports, grocery stores, and
private homes. I am interested in applying it to one small aspect of
the latter, namely the crib.
3. History of the Crib
The crib is an essential feature of the modern nursery. When a baby
is first born, it typically sleeps in some kind of cradle -- a small,
box-like enclosure (which is sometimes literally a box, a laundry
basket, a car seat, stroller, or bassinette) that mom can keep by her
side any time of day or night. Cradles have been used all over the
world since the dawn of recorded history (witness the Christian
nativity manger) and they are not very interesting.
Once babies stop sleeping all day and learn to roll over, however,
they must graduate to a new sleeping arrangement. And here the
parents face a very interesting and important choice. Almost every
parent in this country today will put a crib in a separate room --
the 'nursery' -- without even realizing they have a choice. History
shows, however, that they are wrong.
Just two hundred and fifty years ago, neither the crib nor the
nursery existed. From ancient times into the Middle Ages and
beyond, babies graduated from the cradle to a communal bed of one
sort or another. Many homes had just one room with just one bed where
everyone -- perhaps including some farm animals -- slept together for
warmth and protection. Practices no doubt varied at different times
and in different places, of course, but a documentable societal norm
emerges by the 19th-century in America.
Studying ladies magazines and other popular literature of the day,
Stearns et al. report that throughout this period, same-sex children
commonly slept together, usually sharing beds, in the middle- and
even in the upper-middle classes. They write:
For children themselves, bed-sharing provided a
companionable quality to sleep. Memoirs suggest that
settling down to sleep would often be delayed by
boisterousness, including fights over the soft bolster used
to divide the bed. But given a more relaxed attitude toward
sleep and its regularity, even caring parents did not
object. And the ease and quality of sleep overall may well
have benefitted -- one reason for the rareness of expressed
concern about children's sleep disturbances.
A number of factors, however, including bigger houses with more
rooms, better heating, and fewer children led to a 'genuine
revolution in traditional sleeping arrangements for children.'
This revolution was catalyzed by the crib.
The earliest cribs bear little resemblance to their modern
counterparts. First appearing around the turn of the nineteenth
century, they are basically trundle beds made for convenient storage
under another bed. See Figure 1:
FIGURE 1 Measures 29.5 inches high x 26.875 inches wide x 42.375
The railing around this infant bed was barely tall enough to keep the
pillow and blanket from falling off. It gained popularity in the
interest of raising the child off the relatively cold, dirty floor.
The original, low-railing crib appeared before the advent of the
nursery. Only once you have a nursery, where infant/ toddlers spend
their sleep-time (which is more than half the day) all alone do you
need the modern crib with a high railing forming bars to trap the
4. The Modern Crib
Behold, the modern crib. See figure 2:
FIGURE 2: Measures 53.37 inches high x 30 inches wide x 34.62 inches
It is, of course presented as a safety necessity. How else will
children be prevented from wandering off and harming themselves? Yet
this safety necessity appears more of a tyranny when we realize that
the human species evolved entirely without it.
In a cross-cultural study by Herbert Barry and L.M. Paxson,
of the University of Pittsburgh, 173 societies in the
anthropological record were found to have ethnographic
information about their sleeping arrangements. Forty-four
percent of them -- 76 societies -- typically had mother and
infant sharing a bed; in 42 societies they shared a room but
not a bed; and in the remaining 55 societies they shared a
room with the bed unspecified. There were no societies in
which infants routinely slept in a separate room. ... In
all higher primates and human hunter-gatherers, mother and
infant slept in immediate proximity if not direct physical
The nursery crib would have seemed very bizarre to human
hunter-gatherers, and yet it has become the norm in our society.
Someone who learned that the nursery crib is actually a very recent
invention may welcome it, along with the automobile and the cell
phone as mark of the great progress of Western civilization. Those
poor children in days of old who had to lie in a heap on the floor
Like the automobile and the cell phone, the modern crib is also a
matter of convenience for parents. After a long hard day chasing
children around, nap-time and bedtime come as a much anticipated
break. With the crib, there is no need for endless singing, rocking,
storytelling, or lying down with the child; you simply deposit them
in their cage and let them cry themselves to sleep. Children's
experts assure us that this crying is harmless, a necessary part of
growing up, and will abate over time.
Foucault has taught us, however, to be deeply skeptical of anything
science presents to us as a necessity. Being trapped in a crib is
both solitary confinement and incarceration -- from the Latin word
meaning 'to shut in.' Is it a necessary evil, or is it a choice on
the part of many individuals in a society increasingly obsessed with
Someone might object that crib use is neither confinement nor
incarceration because it is not practiced for the purpose of
But Foucault points out that in the modern disciplinary society,
individuals are punished not just for bad behavior but, perhaps even
more often, for lack of good behavior. And lack of good behavior is
exactly what the crib is designed to cure. After all, if children
could be trusted to lie down and sleep according to expectation each
day, then they would not need cribs. So the crib stands as an
accusation of deviance, failure, and need for correction.
Nor does it matter whether or not children can learn to love their
cribs. Punishing oneself is a very effective way of gaining control.
Navajo infants who are routinely tied to cradleboards get so attached
to them that they cry to be tied to it. Choosing to punish oneself
doesn't make it any less punishment.
According to Foucault, our society regularly employs three primary
techniques of control, each of which we observe in the use of the
The first is 'hierarchical observation.' In prisons, inmates
either are watched or watchable at all times so that their behavior
can be recorded. The nursery's video monitor serves the same function
for parents today, giving them complete knowledge (i.e. control) over
the cribbed child. They can turn the sound down and note just how
long the child cries before finally exhausting itself. They can
choose whether to respond or not, and if so, when. Today one can even
observe the infant and the nanny through one's phone from a remote
The second technique of control is 'normalizing judgment,' whereby
one compares observed behavior to expected behavior.
Prison-keepers monitor how the inmate's reform progressing. When will
he be eligible for visitors, work privileges, parole, etc.? Judging by
the booming business of baby books, today's parents are deeply
interested in how their child measures up to the norm in every
respect, not just sleeping. But sleeping triggers special anxiety
because getting kids to sleep alone is so difficult and so directly
affects the parents sleep. If a child doesn't eat what he is supposed
to, the parents can still eat what they like. But if the child doesn't
sleep as he is supposed to, then the parents will not either. And here
we clearly see a battle for control. Will the child control the
parents' sleep or will the parents control the child's? Most parents
refuse to surrender this battle and hence engage in some form of
sleep training whereby they normalize their child.
Foucault's third technique of control is 'the examination,' which
combines the first two. Prison inmates are required to pass
various tests to prove their worthiness. When they pass the test,
they advance to the next level; when they fail, they are treated and
subjected to further reforms. For baby, the examination sometimes
comes through the 'well visit' in which the pediatrician grills the
parents on the child's sleeping habits, sometimes prescribing
strategies, sometimes prescribing medications to achieve the holy
grail of sleeping in a crib through the night. Even more importantly,
however, the examination comes through other parents, from close
relatives, to playground acquaintances, to complete strangers. 'Your
baby is so beautiful. Is he sleeping through the night yet? No? What
a shame! Here's what I did...' The baby must pass the
'sleep-through-the-night-in-the-crib' exam as soon as possible
because its failure is ultimately the failure of the parents, and by
extension, the failure of the society as a whole.
I submit, therefore, that the modern crib is a paradigm example of
what Foucault calls a 'technology of power.' Presented as a
necessity, it is actually a cultural expectation which individuals
choose to accept or reject at their own peril. Rejecting the crib
means becoming a deviant in a society with small tolerance for
deviance. But accepting it means subjecting one's child to a covert
kind of tyranny.
The best alternative to the crib is co-sleeping on a mattress on the
floor with baby until it is ready to join its siblings or go it
alone. This is likely to be years. It would seem an unfair sentence
for a woman who has sacrificed her entire body for nine months if it
weren't for the fact that co-sleeping with infants is actually a very
rewarding activity -- much more rewarding than returning to the bed of
the infant's father -- though he may see things quite differently.
Many of the many baby books on the market warn against co-sleeping
for a variety of reasons. William and Martha Sears, however,
famously promote co-sleeping as part of the 'attachment parenting'
approach. Doctors on the one side claim co-sleeping is
psychologically damaging and physically dangerous; doctors on the
other side claim the exact opposite. It is not my purpose to assess
this debate, which, after all, takes place on the very same empirical
level Foucault calls into question. Science may accurately measure
cause and effect, but as soon as it tells us what we should do about
that measurement, we should be skeptical.
Foucault's argument is not empirical but philosophical -- and not
strictly ethical. In fact, his position on ethics is notoriously
elusive. Because he rejects all universal moral claims, he would seem
to be some sort of subjectivist. The only problem is that he also
rejects the notion of the subject itself on the grounds that it is a
construct of dominant power discourses that limit the possibility for
change. I leave it to continental philosophers to sort out the
paradox of subjectless subjectivism!
From my analytic perspective, the significant point is that Foucault
was an activist, deeply committed to various social issues,
especially gay rights, for personal reasons. His genealogy inspires
activism by presenting the big picture -- showing how our choice to
control over time adds up to a 'carceral' system. He writes,
But perhaps the most important effect of the carceral
system and of its extension well beyond legal imprisonment
is that it succeeds in making the power to punish natural
and legitimate, in lowering at least the threshold of
tolerance to penality.
My concluding question in Foucault's language is -- to what extent
does the crib help to lower the threshold of our tolerance to
penality? And is this a good thing?
Foucault scrupulously documents the effects of the carceral system
without telling us what to do about it. He writes:
my role -- and that is much too emphatic a word -- is to
show people that they are much freer than they feel, that
people accept as truth, as evidence, some themes which have
been built up at a certain moment during history, and that
this so-called evidence can be criticized and
He leaves it as a personal choice: this is what Western civilization
has become and this is where it seems to be headed -- is it what we
1. Foucault's three principal works on this topic are: History of
Madness, edited by Jean Khalfa, translated by Jonathan Murphy and
Jean Khalfa (New York: Routledge, 2006); The Birth of the Clinic,
translated by Allan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon, 1973); and, The
Order of Things, translated by Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage,
2. Foucault's principal work on this topic is: Discipline and Punish:
The Birth of the Prison, translated by Alan Sheridan (Second Vintage
3. As the following historians attest:
'The concept of the nursery as a room set aside for children is an
essentially modern one, dating from the late eighteenth century.
Before that, children and grown-ups were segregated in only the most
affluent households.' Sally Kevill-Davies, Yesterday's Children: The
Antiques and History of Childcare (The antique Collectors' Club Ltd.,
1991), p. 125).
'In its need to sequester children from the evils of the world, the
Victorian middle class adopted specialized rooms and furniture
forms... Parents abandoned cradles, trundle beds, and shared adult
beds for a new form of children's furniture which developed around
the turn of the nineteenth century, the crib. In theory at least,
even a toddler could be confidently left within the confines of a
metal crib. The new furniture for children protected them and the
domestic environment by confining them to a safe spot, away from the
bustle of adult activities. (Karin Calvert 'Children in the House,
1890-1930,' in American Home Life, 1880-1930: A Social History of
Spaces and Services. ed. By Jessica H. Foy and Thomas J. Schlereth,
(University of Tennessee Press, 1992), p. 79.
4. Peter N. Stearns et al., 'Children's Sleep: Sketching Historical
Change,' Journal of Social History, vol. 30, no.2 (1996), p. 357-8.
5. Ibid., p. 359.
6. Historic New England,
7. 'It was considered vital that the child's bed should be raised off
the ground and Enquire Within, 1886, clearly explains the reasons.
'The most mephitic and pernicious stratum of all in an apartment is
that within one or two feet from the floor, while the most wholesome,
or atmospheric air, is in the middle of the room, and the inflammable
gas ascends to the top,' Sally Kevill-Davies, op. cit., p. 121.
8. Melvin Konner, Childhood (Little Brown & Company, 1991), p. 113.
9. Konner, The Evolution of Childhood (Harvard University Press,
10. Melvin Konner, Childhood, p. 69.
11. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p. 170-176.
12. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p. 177-183.
13. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p. 184-194.
14. Consider the following examples:
'So if you want to enjoy a family bed, fine. But understand that your
cuddling in bed together may make any future changes in sleep
arrangements difficult to execute. Remember, while it sounds like an
easy solution to baby's sleep problems, you may wind up with a
twenty-four-hour child even when he gets older,' Marc Weissbluth,
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-By-Step Program for a Good
Night's Sleep (New York: Ballantine, 2005), p. 79.
'Mothers working outside the home need to consider whether they want
the extra closeness at night because they feel guilty or are afraid
they are hurting the baby by being away from her during the day. I
don't mean to imply that all parents who co-sleep do so out of guilt.
But understanding your motives can often clarify your decision.' Kim
West with Joanne Kenen, Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's
Gentle Guid to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake
Up Happy (Vanguard Press, 2006), p. 241.
'In addition, sleeping in your bed can make your child feel confused
and anxious rather than relaxed and reassured. Even a young toddler
may find this repeated experience overly stimulating. If you allow
him to crawl in between you and your spouse, in a sense separating
the two of you, he may feel too powerful and become worried. He wants
the reassurance of knowing you are in control and that you will do
what is best for him regardless of his demands. If you show you
cannot do this and let him act out his impulses, he may become
frightened... If you find that you actually prefer to have your child
in your bed, you should examine your own feelings very carefully... If
there is tension between parents, then taking a child into their bed
may help them avoid confrontation and sexual intimacy,' Richard
Ferber, M.D., Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (Simon & Schuster,
1985), p. 39.
15. See William Sears, and Martha Sears, The Baby Book (Little,
Brown, and Company, 2003), pp. 329-338.
16. Foucault writes: 'All my analyses are against the idea of
universal necessities in human existence. They show the arbitrariness
of institutions and show which space of freedom we can still enjoy and
how many changes can still be made.' Technologies of the Self: A
Seminar with Michel Foucault, ed. Luther H, Martin et al.,
(University of Massachusetts Press, 1988) p. 11.
17. See The Order of Things, pp. 186-9.
18. Discipline and Punish, p. 301.
19. Technologies of the Self, p. 10.
Department of Philosophy
John Carroll University
IV. AVAYA SHARMA 'LETTER FROM NEPAL'
From: Avaya Sharma
To: Geoffrey Klempner
Subject: Some words about our Programme and our Philosophical Journal
Date: 8 January 2014 08:21
Dear Geoffrey Sir,
Thank you sir for your kind words and best wishes 2014. Our
philosophical Journal is continuing. Mainly our focus is general
people. Our magazine articles are in simple language as general
people have no special interest in philosophy. Now we are getting
good response from philosophy interested readers.
Our Monthly philosophical interaction programme has also continued
for 2 years. Last Friday was our joint programme: Nepal Academy
Philosophy Department and Nepal Darshan Adhyayan Kendra, technical
support by J. Krishnamurti Study center. The programme was
successful. This programme was in Nepal Academy Library Hall. Our
programme Facebook link and photos:
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