This paper explores the debate between perfectionists and anti-perfectionists in the context of children. It suggests that the most influential and compelling arguments in favour of anti-perfectionism are adult-centric. It does this by considering four leading reasons given in favour of anti-perfectionism and shows that none apply in the case of children. In so doing, the paper defends a perfectionist account of upbringing from the attacks made against perfectionism more generally. Furthermore, because the refutation of the various anti-perfectionist arguments are made exclusively dealing with children, the paper suggests that the perfectionist view of upbringing is compatible with anti-perfectionist restrictions on dealing with adults. This dual view combining perfectionism for children and anti-perfectionism for adults is referred to as restricted perfectionism.
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- School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies - Senior Lecturer in Political Theory