Introduction: Philosophy and Child Poverty

  • Gottfried Schweiger
  • Gunter Graf
Open Access


Child poverty is surely one of the most severe problems in today’s world and undoubtedly an ethical issue that needs to be tackled. It is hard to find anyone who argues against the claim that children should not be poor and that we should do something about that. But if we go beyond these obvious truths and dig deeper, we will find many unanswered questions spanning different disciplines, including conceptual, empirical and — as we will particularly argue in this book — normative questions. Child poverty is first and foremost an issue of social sciences, and most publications and studies on this topic belong to that field. But due to its wide-ranging consequences, disciplines such as medicine and psychology are also concerned with it, and more and more researchers acknowledge that such a complex phenomenon must be investigated based on a multidisciplinary approach. Furthermore, it is a highly relevant political topic, and the fight against child poverty is part of the agenda of national and international politicians alike. The reduction of child poverty was part of the Millennium Goals, it will certainly be a goal in the post-2015 agenda, and it is included in the Europe 2020 strategy of the European Union, as well as in countless national action plans or policies.

Copyright information

© Gottfried Schweiger and Gunter Graf 2015

Open Access This Chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gottfried Schweiger
    • 1
  • Gunter Graf
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Paris Lodron University of SalzburgAustria
  2. 2.International Research Centre for Social and Ethical QuestionsSalzburgAustria

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