Ludwig Wittgenstein once asked rhetorically, Do we bring up our children because we have found it pays?  This sounds absurd, yet in many ways our expressed thinking about children is utilitarian and fails to take them seriously as ends in themselves. Perhaps we are no longer driven to produce family heirs, but when we want to draw attention to the importance of educating children we still speak of them as “the leaders of tomorrow.” If we argue that the importance of children derives from the fact that they are future adults, we neglect to recognize any inherent value to childhood itself. We look back with horror at Puritans who expected children to behave like little adults and viewed play as sin, but many developmental theories are still prone to analyze childhood as a series of stages leading to adulthood. In this case the mature adult remains the measure and the end of analysis, and childhood is just a means. Play is acceptable in children because we have recognized that through play various capacities are developed that we value in the mature adult. Does such thinking respect childhood, or have we raised the reductionism of our Puritan forebears to a new level of sophistication and subtlety? This is not to suggest that developmental models are not important and illuminating, but only that taken alone such models are inherently reductive and that perhaps we have not yet earned the right to look down on Puritans.
If we take a broader view of contemporary American society, our attitudes toward children are even less reassuring. A strong argument could be made that our present culture either does not value children or values them for bad reasons. An unprecedented number of couples choose to remain childless in order to better pursue rewarding careers and self-actualizing lifestyles. Apparently we have developed an ideal of the good human life that does not include children. What does this imply about our concept of being human? Among those who do choose to have children, a large number are two-career families. This is due in part to economic pressures, but there is also a commonly felt sense that child-rearing is of less value than a recognized career outside the home. This sense is supported by the fact that child-care providers are underpaid and that the brightest and most talented students are rarely encouraged to enter the field or, indeed, to enter into primary education at any level. Society does not reward those who choose to raise and educate children in the way it rewards those who choose more prestigious careers in medicine, management, and law. It is not even clear whether we consider child-rearing a career or mere unskilled labor.
But it could also be argued that our culture is obsessed with children. Sometimes we focus intently on children, although for suspicious and self-serving reasons. Adoption agencies do a booming business, especially in healthy white newborns. Couples go to tremendous lengths and expense to pursue artificial insemination or to otherwise address infertility problems. We spend more money on our children, even as a percentage of gross income, than ever before. Increasing numbers of two-career couples, and professional singles, who began by pursuing a yuppie lifestyle, change their minds at mid-career and opt for children. It is not clear, however, whether this is due to their belated recognition of the inherent value of children or whether it is just another in a series of self-indulgent experiences. The aesthete, the consumer of novel experiences, moves through progressively more sophisticated forms of self-absorption until, driven by the specter of meaninglessness and boredom, and perhaps the biological clock, the aesthete imitates a moral life and decides to have a child — just for the experience.
Our apparent obsession with children takes on a different cast when we reflect how youthfulness is idolized by the American media. We have lost any meaningful distinction between popular culture and youth culture. Madison Avenue sells youthfulness along with its clothes, and the silver screen is a constant parade of youthful beauty, vigor, and angst. We flock to cosmetic surgeons to get face lifts and tummy tucks, while we hide our elderly parents out of sight in retirement homes. We pride ourselves on maintaining a spontaneous lifestyle, on being footloose and fancy free. In The Sibling Society, Robert Bly describes how we have become a society of adolescents because we have resisted notions of authority, hierarchy, obligation, responsibility, and tradition. We have moved away “from a paternal society, now discredited, to a society in which impulse is given its way. People don’t bother to grow up, and we are all fish swimming in a tank of half-adults.” We suffer from a Peter Pan syndrome and are more interested in our own youthfulness than in children per se, as if we were in a collective state of denial regarding the responsibilities of growing up.
While earlier we suggested that developmental theories tend to reduce the child to the adult, now we are suggesting that popular culture tends to reduce the adult to the child. But collapsing the difference between child and adult in the one direction is no better than collapsing it in the other. Both ways are reductive. If adults should let children be children, then children should be able to expect that adults will be adults. At this point we are tempted to change tack and to insist that each thing be what it is, and not some other thing. But is it respectful of the difference to separate the notion of being a child from the notion of being an adult and to enshrine it in a dualism? It is illuminating in this regard to examine what happens when philosophical dualists are faced with the question of the human child.
The human child poses insurmountable difficulties for dualistic thinkers (although they have rarely had the presence of mind to notice this). Philosophical dualists, like René Descartes and Immanuel Kant, posit two irreducibly different kinds of reality which are completely independent of one another. Descartes separates thinking substance, or mind, from extended substance, or bodies — to the degree that the existence and nature of one logically entails nothing about the existence or nature of the other. Kant separates the phenomenal world of experience — the world as it appears to us, from the noumenal world – the world as it really is apart from our experience of it. Kant uses this two-world theory to reconcile the apparent universality of Newtonian laws, where each physical state can be described as a causal product of preceding states, with our sense of free will and moral responsibility. While everything must appear causally determined in the phenomenal world of experience, through Reason we can think the possibility that in the noumenal world we are self-determining moral agents. It is significant that with both Descartes and Kant it is only by the grace of God that the two worlds have any relation to one another, and this relation remains utterly mysterious and incomprehensible. Furthermore, in both cases the original dualism tends to spin out a series of dichotomies, in which mind is linked to reason, freedom, individuality, ends, morality, and human essence; and body is linked to irrational feelings, dependence, behaviorism, means and animal essence. Thus the epitome of being human is the autonomous self-reflection of the rational individual consciousness, and the epitome of being an animal is dependence on bodily instincts, feelings, and behavioral conditioning. Humans act. Animals react.
These dichotomies create a dilemna. Children are human by definition, but they seem to have a great deal more in common with the animalistic or non-human side of the dualism. Kant argues that our respect for the dignity and intrinsic value of a human being is based upon our recognition of a person’s capacity for moral sovereignty through rational self-legislation. But if children, and many adults, are not yet and may never be capable of such autonomous legislation, this would seem to imply that they are not fully human — hence not deserving of the dignity and intrinsic value that we accord human beings.
In the case of Descartes, the difference between adults and children is approached through his dualism between mind and body, the mind being represented by rational autonomy and the body by emotional dependence. In one of his rare discussions of this difference Descartes writes:
And because we have all to pass through a state of infancy to manhood, and have been of necessity, for a length of time, governed by our desires and preceptors (whose dictates were frequently conflicting, while neither perhaps always counseled us for the best), I farther concluded that it is almost impossible that our judgments can be so correct or solid as they would have been, had our reason been mature from the moment of our birth, and had we always been guided by it alone. . . . [A]s for the opinions which up to that time I had embraced, I thought that I could not do better than resolve at once to sweep them wholly away, that I might afterwards be in a position to admit either others more correct, or even perhaps the same when they had undergone the scrutiny of reason. I firmly believed that in this way I should much better succeed in the conduct of my life, than if I built only upon old foundations, and leant upon principles which, in my youth, I had taken upon trust.
Children are guided, Descartes suggests, by bodily desires and the authority of preceptors whose unreliable principles children must take on trust. Once adulthood is reached, our reason is mature and capable of autonomous judgments. This account of human maturation has a point: adults do achieve a degree of rational autonomy compared to the dependence of children, but the difference is dramatically overdrawn. Children are never passive subjects wholly dependent on the authority and guidance of parents and teachers, and adults are never capable of sweeping wholly away the old foundations and principles which, in their youth, they had taken upon trust.
Rather than a gradual increase in rational autonomy and capacity for critical scrutiny as we mature, along with a continuing dependence on the formative experiences of our past, Descartes sees a gestalt switch where we suddenly quit being guided by the authority of others and begin to think for ourselves. Descartes writes:
But as soon as I had finished the entire course of study, at the close of which it is customary to be admitted into the order of the learned, I completely changed my opinion. For I found myself involved in so many doubts and errors, that I was convinced I had advanced no further in all my attempts at learning than the discovery at every turn of my own ignorance. And yet I was studying in one of the most celebrated schools in Europe, . . . I was thus led to take the liberty of judging of all other men by myself. . . .
For these reasons, as soon as my age permitted me to pass from under the control of my instructors, I entirely abandoned the study of letters, and resolved no longer to seek any other science than the knowledge of myself, or of the great book of the world.
In these passages Descartes speaks of an essentially uniform stage of passive dependence lasting from infancy until the end of his university training, at which point he suddenly decided to think for himself and be rationally autonomous. Such an account leaves the nature of rational autonomy, and the process whereby it can be achieved, utterly inexplicable. Descartes overdraws the difference between children and adults because this difference represents his dualism between body and mind, and it should not be surprising that his account of the transition from child to adult is as mystifying and problematic as his account of the transition from body to mind.
Philosophical dualists like Kant and Descartes inevitably think of children in a way that obscures their common humanity with adults. As long as their dualisms remain in force, such philosophers cannot explain how human beings emerge from children. If the emotion of the child is irrational and the reason essential to being human is dispassionate, how can a child become human, let alone already be human? How can a disembodied mind emerge from an unintelligent body, individuality from social conditioning, autonomy from dependence, and in general, the human from the animal? Dualist philosophers seem oblivious to such questions, as if they were mere empirical matters that would somehow take care of themselves.
By enshrining the difference between children and adults in a dualism, by claiming in effect that children are children and adults are adults and that these are two fundamentally different kinds of being, we hope to avoid reducing one to the other and to force a respect for difference, but we actually achieve the opposite. Adults are identified with human characteristics, while children are identified with non-human or animal characteristics, and we are left in the uncomfortable position of denying the obvious, for children and adults are both human and not two fundamentally different kinds of beings. Dualistic approaches exaggerate distinctions into mysterious and unbridgeable gulfs. They fail to provide an account of being human that is rich enough to include both the child and the adult.
Contemporary models of child development, such as those in Lawrence Kohlberg’s The Philosophy of Moral Development, are variations of the basic model proposed by Aristotle. Developmental models seek to avoid the dualisms we have considered by articulating the continuity and intermediate steps between the child and the adult — and sometimes between the animal and the human. In this way they demystify the differences and begin to show the process whereby a child matures into an adult. In an illuminating paper entitled “Aristotle’s Child: Formation Through Genesis, Oikos, and Polis,” Daryl Tress argues that Aristotle’s analysis of child development follows three distinct stages, biological, ethical and political, reflecting three distinct sciences described in three separate treatises. These stages follow a common pattern in that the child is unfinished with respect to a specific telos or end, and each end is a condition for the next stage. Biology considers how the child develops toward completion as a human animal. It is only a child who has completed a process of early biological development who is ready to begin ethical formation within the household. And only when ethical formation is complete can a child begin political formation as a citizen in the polis. Tress notes that the articulation of stages of child development presupposes that the child is already fully human from the beginning: “Expressed differently, the child grows and develops to maturity but is human throughout and from the start; the developmental processes cause the child to become an adult, but they do not produce a human being.” So while the child seems to be developing through a hierarchical series of ends into the biologically, ethically, and politically mature adult, these ends were already part of the child’s essence as a human being from the beginning, and only need to be brought from potentiality to actuality.
It is also clear that for Aristotle the earlier ends are not mere means to be discarded once adulthood is achieved. Development does not imply that matter gets replaced by form but that matter becomes informed, and this is possible because it was already formed from the start as the kind of thing that could become informed in such a way. To take a more concrete example, when a child matures into an adult, emotion is not replaced by reason, but it becomes reasonable, and this is possible because emotion was already formed from the start as the kind of thing that can become reasonable. To say that emotion becomes reasonable is not to say that emotions are suppressed but only that they are felt appropriately. Moral virtue requires that it is rational to be angry in the face of injustice and fearful in the face of danger, and it would be irrational and a moral vice not to feel these things in such circumstances. When a child matures into an adult it does not change from one kind of thing into another. A developing child, for example, remains a biological human animal with all that entails even when the subsequent ends of moral and intellectual virtues are all realized.
While developmental models like Aristotle’s provide a more adequate and respectful account of childhood than the dualistic models of Descartes or Kant, we still have to face the problem of reduction mentioned earlier. In a paper called “Respecting Childhood” Gareth Matthews argues that developmental models are inherently reductive because they interpret distinct stages of child development as the means to a stage defined as the mature human being. For Aristotle, the essence of the child is not being a child but being human, and being human is the child’s essential telos or end. The problem with this is that being human seems to be understood exclusively by reference to the specific capacities and activities that characterize the mature adult human. If adulthood alone defines what it is to be human, then children only have human value insofar as their activities approximate to, or are means to, the activities of an adult. Developmental theories can be ingenious in showing how various kinds of childhood activities help to develop the various capacities which we value in mature adults. For example, play is understood to have value not as an end in itself, but as a means to developing the adult’s capacity to work. The very concept of being human is at stake, and as long as it is defined by reference to characteristic adult activities, characteristic childhood activities can only be valued as means and not as ends.
Matthews suggests that perhaps this is all wrong. Perhaps we are so busy trying to get children to grow up into adults that we fail to see that it is the child who best embodies our most human values and hence the very concept of being human. While this ultimately seems to go too far the other way and neglects the contribution that adulthood needs to make to humanity, the three basic points of his argument are illuminating. First, children are full of wonder and curiosity and naturally tend to question our most fundamental assumptions, until, according to Matthews, these philosophical tendencies are discouraged by our educational process and the inherent institutional pressures to conform. Second, children show profound moral insight, until we regiment their thinking and obscure their intuitions through clichés, rules, and regulations. And third, children are all natural artists, until adults stifle their creativity and imagination by trying to get them to draw and perceive things like we do. Only artistic geniuses like Van Gogh and Picasso manage to recapture as adults the artistic abilities children all tend to have by nature. In each case, Matthews seems to suggest that adult norms, conventions, institutions, and attempted guidance are ultimately obstacles which get in the way and eventually thwart the creative freedom of the child.
Matthews may be right in suggesting that developmental models tend to overlook or diminish the inherent value of childhood activities by viewing them as the beginning of a process leading to maturity. But his own approach inverts the traditional dualism that the developmental models were rightly trying to avoid. It romanticizes childhood at the expense of adulthood, as though the child were naturally free and creative and the norms and expectations of adulthood were oppressive limitations. This may seem to have done justice, at least, to the inherent value of play — but to romanticize play is not to do it justice. Our society tends to err this way, just as we tend to suppose that freedom is nothing more than the absence of external constraints. When we look at the strong traditions of a society like China, we view them as oppressively restrictive, and fail to see how for most Chinese these traditions and rituals are enabling. When infants are swaddled, so that they can hardly do anything more than blink their eyes, we may suppose it inhumane, preferring to allow an infant to flail around in loose clothes or no clothes at all. Psychologists now suggest that it is we who have misunderstood the newborn’s needs, that tight swaddling actually comforts crying infants. Having no external constraints on our arms and legs is only liberating if we have already developed the ability to control their movement. In a similar fashion, extensive parental control is dismissed as paternalistic, and is thought to undermine the agency of a child, when the opposite is often the case. Helpless as they are, newborns have agency from the beginning; by their crying patterns they effectively condition their parents even as their parents try to condition them. Clearly the agency of infants would not be served if their parents were to withhold their expectations and desires, because it is precisely these expectations and desires that empower infants and give them leverage in the situation. The same goes for older children. They need to know that there are limits, and to learn that instead of inhibiting creativity such limits make possible play, intellectual growth, and human agency itself. Parents may set up egalitarian family meetings to discuss moves, career changes, or even marital problems, supposing that direct, democratic, decision making between autonomous equals is respectful of the humanity of children. But if we thrust them into situations and burden them with responsibilities that they are not yet equipped to handle, does this constitute respect or neglect? When such choices and responsibilities come prematurely they appear to steal our children’s youth by robbing them of the security and structure which makes play and experimentation possible. Perhaps respecting the humanity of our children requires us to let them be children, and this in turn may require that adults provide structure and not shirk the responsibilities of adulthood. The creativity and the active agency of the child does not emerge in a vacuum, but in dialectical response to a supportive and stimulating environment, a structured environment. Matthews is surely right to highlight the creative play of children as central to an adequate concept of being human. But if we invert the dualism of play and work — valuing play and devaluing work — we will have opposed them to one another in a way that does not acknowledge how the play of a child is intrinsically dependent on the structure provided by adult rituals and forms of life.
These are all basically Aristotelian insights. Few philosophers have thought so deeply about how the actualization of the potential of a child depends on the activities of the adults around it. When he claims that the essence of a human being is already in the child from the beginning, he does not mean that this essence is pure potentiality or unrestrained possibility — lest we return to the dualism between child and adult and lose the capacity to explain how the one can become the other. For Aristotle, pure potentiality — what he sometimes calls prime matter — is an abstraction that is never met in the actual world; what is potentially anything would have to be actually nothing. A given capacity or potentiality cannot emerge from nothing but must always emerge from a prior actuality. Before a youth can profitably study politics the youth must have been raised well: “we must begin with things evident to us. Hence anyone who is to listen intelligently to lectures about what is noble and just and, generally, about the subjects of political science must have been brought up in good habits.” Actualities are prior to potentialities in several other important senses. First, they are prior logically or in definition, “for it is only because there is a possibility of its being actual that what is potential in the primary sense is potential. . .so that the definition of the actual must precede that of the potential.” More generally, when thinking we begin with the desired end and work back to the means: “in the order of investigation, the question of what an agent does precedes the question of what enables it to do what it does.” Activities and actions are conceptually prior to potentialities. For example, it is only by reference to actual doctors and actual families that children can play doctor and play house. Secondly, on the level of existence, “something that is the same as it in species must be actual before any particular thing is potential.”  Before there can be a child who is potentially an adult there must be actual adults doing adult-like activities. It is from characteristically adult activities that new biological individuals of the same kind are produced and that children’s potentialities are, in turn, actualized. For example, it is adult French speaking that actualizes the child’s potential to be a French speaker. These are some of the ways in which childhood possibilities are created by and depend on adult actualities.
At first Aristotle argued that childhood is a means to adulthood, which is its telos and purpose, but we have seen that he also acknowledges the important senses in which adulthood exists for the sake of childhood. Aristotle already anticipated this inversion when he argued that the most fundamental and divine activity a mature individual of a given species can have is to reproduce and create another individual of the same species. However, despite the myriad ways that Aristotle shows the interdependence of children and adults, he ultimately links the concept of being human to the characteristic activities of the mature individual adult of a species. He does this because he believes that species and forms are eternal. If they are eternal, then it is natural to define being human by reference to adulthood and to define the highest human activity as the contemplation of eternal forms. But if species evolve and forms are changing historically, then such contemplation is mere dogmatism, the temptation to forget the provisional nature of truth. In addition, if forms are historically constituted, the play of a child represents something essential to the very concept of being human. This is because play would no longer be just utilitarian, a means to actualize eternal forms, but an integral part of a larger process. In play children do not merely imitate patterns of work in a passive way, but they actively imitate them in a way that can transcend the original adult structures. We test our children by norms and principles that constitute our form of life; and our children’s ability and inclination to internalize these norms and values, in turn, tests us and the adequacy of our form of life. The creative play of the child is not only a process of coming to understand the world and what it means to be human, it is also a process of transformation. Thus it is the play of the child, rather than any rigid contemplation of eternal truths, that lies at the very heart of an adequately dynamic concept of being human.
We are now in a position to recognize how being human embraces the distinctive and interdependent contributions of both the child and the adult. We need to understand simultaneously that play is intricately dependent on routine adult activities and that such activities are not static but playful and dynamic to the core. Just as the play of the child depends on the work of adults, the work of adults depends on the play of the child in us. Work without play produces the stiff mechanical thinking of instrumental reason, the kind of thinking which the Frankfort School claims is typical of our modern industrial age. If we displace Aristotle’s heady contemplation of eternal truths with the earthy flexibility of his notion of practical reason, the kind of reason that can constantly determine actions anew in changing circumstances, then the importance of playfulness in our thinking is inescapable. While it is good for children to grow up, it is also important for adults to stay in touch with the child inside them. The genius of Van Gogh and Picasso is not that they could look at the world through the eyes of a child — any child could do that — but that they could look at the world through the eyes of a child and the understanding of an adult. The person is both child and adult, in an asymmetrical yet interdependent relation that enriches both and is not reducible to either.
Given the centrality of the idea of play in such 20th century thinkers as John Dewey, Hans Georg Gadamer, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, it is timely to reflect on the philosophical significance of the child. But, of course, the recognition of the importance of being child-like is not really new. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” And Lao Tzu asked, “Can you concentrate your vital force [ch’i] and achieve the highest degree of weakness like an infant?” Even in philosophy, it strikes me that there has always been something child-like about Socrates. While Socrates may not have historicized truth, he did articulate a functional equivalent: he claimed ignorance of the truth in order to displace sophia, or wisdom, with philosophia, or the love of wisdom. As he pointed out on several occasions, most memorably in the Symposium, to love something is to seek something we do not possess. We can only desire something we lack. Throughout the dialogs the search for wisdom takes precedence; and the possession of wisdom is perpetually deferred. Each of the early dialogs pursues the definition of a specific virtue — but they all playfully avoid resolution. Socrates holds out the idea of truth as the only goal worthy of a free human being, yet whenever we think we have grasped the form of something, Socrates raises another problem and the truth seems to elude us again. We get the sense that the real purpose of the dialogs is not some goal or form hidden behind the endless arguments, but the dialectic itself. The real point seems to be the process, and the truth haunts the text to goad our desires and eludes us to ensure that the process stays alive. Despite the obvious asymmetry of logical skill between Socrates and his would-be students, and the fact that he does not shy away from exercising his skill, Socrates does seek to respect his interlocutors by recognizing both their knowledge and their ignorance as aspects of himself. Self-knowledge may be all that is needed, but for Socrates it cannot happen in seclusion. Self-knowledge requires a dialectical tension with other selves, so Socrates needs his interlocutors as badly as they need him. But there is no disguising the underlying asymmetry of the roles each plays in the dialog. Although Socrates is forever the pupil, he is also the teacher par excellence, and he respects his interlocutors, and himself, by challenging their inadequacies as best as he can. Socrates shows how the asymmetry of the teacher-pupil relationship is compatible with, and even promotes, mutual respect.
In a similar way, adults should learn to respect childhood by recognizing the child within themselves, together with its need for sustaining structures. To be human is to be busy becoming human, and this requires an interdependent and dynamic relation between adults and children. It is learning and education, and not the contemplation of eternal truths, which best reflects our very nature; and this process of learning depends on a perpetual tension between the adult and the child in each of us. Thus our respect for childhood is based on our recognition of both our distinctive role with regard to the child and our own continuing need to remain child-like with regard to our own form of life.
This essay originally appeared as, “Some Reflections on Respecting Childhood,” in The Journal of Value Inquiry, vol. 32, no. 3, September, 1998. It is posted by permission of Springer, and their pdf version is available here.
1. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, trans. and ed. G.E.M. Anscombe (New York: MacMillan, 1958), para. 467.
2. Robert Bly, The Sibling Society (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1996), p. vii.
3. René Descartes Discourse on Method and the Meditations, trans. John Veitch (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989), p. 79.
4. Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (New York: St. Martins Press, 1965), pp. 27-28.
5. Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, trans. and ed. Lewis White Beck (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Educational Publishing, 1959), p. 53.
6. Descartes, p. 18.
7. ibid., pp. 12-13, 15.
8. Lawrence Kohlberg, The Philosophy of Moral Development: Moral Stages and the Idea of Justice (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981).
9. Daryl Tress, “Aristotle’s Child: Formation Through Genesis, Oikos, and Polis,” delivered at the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy session at the Central Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, 27 April 1995 and forthcoming in Ancient Philosophy 17 no. 2, Fall 1997.
10. ibid., p. 4.
11. Gareth Matthews, “Respecting Childhood,” unpublished manuscript delivered at the American Society for Value Inquiry session at the Eastern Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, 30 December 1995.
12. Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics, trans. David Ross (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), 1. 4. 1095b2-5.
13. Aristotle, Metaphysics, trans. J. L. Creed, The Philosophy of Aristotle, ed. Renford Bambrough (New York: Mentor, 1963), 9. 8. 1049b11-17.
14. Aristotle, De Anima, trans. J. A. Smith, Introduction to Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon (New York: Random House, 1947), 2. 4. 415a18-19.
15. Aristotle, Metaphysics, 9. 8. 1049b18-19.
16. Aristotle, De Anima, 2. 4. 415b1.
17. Matthew 18:3. (The New Oxford Annotated Bible)
18. Tao-te Ching, trans. by Wing-tsit Chan, A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1963), sect. 10, p. 144.