Comment: Response to “The Identity of the Child and the Right to Integration”
I will begin this commentary by agreeing with Evans’ basic conclusion: “If this analysis is correct, it is up to many people working in many areas where the life of the child can be affected to invent and establish ways by which integration can be accomplished, because it is the child’s right and it should not be denied,” I will, however, qualify this broad agreement with two caveats. There are several points in Evans’ paper where we differ in our interpretation of child development and the child’s world. These differences will constitute the majority of my comments. Given my agreement with Evans’ general conclusion (and I think other social scientists would likely be similarly disposed), I think the essential problem is one of trying to do something feasible about the issue of personal disintegration. I am talking about practical issues of ends, means, and the “politics” of child development. Put another way, if we have a problem, what—if anything—can be done about it? (The concept of “progress” and its correct philosophical and historical status may well be involved here. However, that topic is the subject of a recent book and, perhaps, beyond the scope of Evans’ paper).
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