The ethics of care

Christine Serva Christine is an instructional designer, educator, and writer with a particular interest in the social sciences and American studies. How has the lack of female voices in philosophy in the past affected our understanding of ethics?

The ethics of care

History and Major Authors a. Carol Gilligan While early strains of care ethics can be detected in the writings of feminist philosophers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Catherine and Harriet Beecher, and Charlotte Perkins, it was first most explicitly articulated by Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings in the early s.

While a graduate student at Harvard, Gilligan wrote her dissertation outlining a different path of moral development than the one described by Lawrence Kohlberg, her mentor. Kohlberg had posited that moral development progressively moves toward more universalized and principled thinking and had also found that girls, when later included in his studies, scored significantly lower than boys.

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She found that both men and women articulated the voice of care at different times, but noted that the voice of care, without women, would nearly fall out of their studies. She characterized this difference as one of theme, however, rather than of gender.

Jake sees the Heinz dilemma as a math problem with people wherein the right to life trumps the right to property, such that all people would reasonably judge that Heinz ought to steal the drug.

Amy, on the other hand, disagrees that Heinz should steal the drug, lest he should go to prison and leave his wife in another predicament. She sees the dilemma as a narrative of relations over time, involving fractured relationships that must be mended through communication.

Understanding the world as populated with networks of relationships rather than people standing alone, Amy is confident that the druggist would be willing to work with Heinz once the situation was explained.

The ethics of care

Gilligan posited that men and women often speak different languages that they think are the same, and she sought to correct the tendency to take the male perspective as the prototype for humanity in moral reasoning.

Later, Gilligan vigorously resisted readings of her work that posit care ethics as relating to gender more than theme, and even established the harmony of care and justice ethicsbut she never fully abandoned her thesis of an association between women and relational ethics.

Gilligan also expanded her ideas in a number of articles and reports Gilligan, ; ; ; Nel Noddings In Noddings published Caring, in which she developed the idea of care as a feminine ethic, and applied it to the practice of moral education.

How the Four Principles of Health Care Ethics Improve Patient Care

Drawing conceptually from a maternal perspective, Noddings understood caring relationships to be basic to human existence and consciousness. Noddings located the origin of ethical action in two motives, the human affective response that is a natural caring sentiment, and the memory of being cared-for that gives rise to an ideal self.

Noddings rejected universal principles for prescribed action and judgment, arguing that care must always be contextually applied. The former stage refers to actual hands-on application of caring services, and the latter to a state of being whereby one nurtures caring ideas or intentions. She further argued that the scope of caring obligation is limited.

The caring obligation is conceived of as moving outward in concentric circles so enlarged care is increasingly characterized by a diminished ability for particularity and contextual judgment, which prompted Noddings to speculate that it is impossible to care-for everyone.

The ethics of care

She maintained that while the one-caring has an obligation to care-for proximate humans and animals to the extent that they are needy and able to respond to offerings of care, there is a lesser obligation to care for distant others if there is no hope that care will be completed.

These claims proved to be highly controversial, and Noddings later revised them somewhat. In her more recent book Starting From Home, Noddings endorsed a stronger obligation to care about distant humans, and affirms caring-about as an important motivational stage for inspiring local and global justice, but continued to hold that it is impossible to care-for all, especially distant others.

Other Influential authors Although many philosophers have developed care ethics, five authors are especially notable. Baier specially underscores trust, a basic relation between particular persons, as the fundamental concept of morality, and notes its obfuscation within theories premised on abstract and autonomous agents.

She recommends carving out room for the development of moral emotions and harmonizing the ideals of care and justice.

Virginia Held Virginia Held is the editor and author of many books pertaining to care ethics. In much of her work she seeks to move beyond ideals of liberal justice, arguing that they are not as much flawed as limited, and examines how social relations might be different when modeled after mothering persons and children.

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Premised on a fundamental non-contractual human need for care, Held construes care as the most basic moral value. She describes feminist ethics as committed to actual experience, with an emphasis on reason and emotion, literal rather than hypothetical persons, embodiment, actual dialogue, and contextual, lived methodologies.

In The Ethics of CareHeld demonstrates the relevance of care ethics to political, social and global questions. Conceptualizing care as a cluster of practices and values, she describes a caring person as one who has appropriate motivations to care for others and who participates adeptly in effective caring practices.

She argues for limiting both market provisions for care and the need for legalistic thinking in ethics, asserting that care ethics has superior resources for dealing with the power and violence that imbues all relations, including those on the global level.

Specifically, she recommends a view of a globally interdependent civil society increasingly dependent upon an array of caring NGOs for solving problems.

Ultimately, she argues that rights based moral theories presume a background of social connection, and that when fore-grounded, care ethics can help to create communities that promote healthy social relations, rather than the near boundless pursuit of self-interest.

Meyers, is one the most significant anthologies in care ethics to date. In Love's LaborKittay develops a dependency based account of equality rooted in the activity of caring for the seriously disabled.

She argues that equality for dependency workers and the unavoidably dependent will only be achieved through conceptual and institutional reform. Employing expanded ideals of fairness and reciprocity that take interdependence as basic, Kittay poses a third principle for Rawls' theory of justice: She more precisely calls for the public provision of Doulas, paid professional care-workers who care for care-givers, and uses the principle of Doula to justify welfare for all care-givers, akin to worker's compensation or unemployment benefits.

In this article, and in her later book of the same titleRuddick uses care ethical methodology to theorize from the lived experience of mothering, rendering a unique approach to moral reasoning and a ground for a feminist politics of peace.Jan 05,  · In this article I argue that the ethics of care provides us with a novel reading of human relations, and therefore makes possible a fresh approach to several empirical challenges.

In order to explore this connection, I discuss some specific normative features of the ethics of care—primarily the.

This section is informed by Beauchamp and Childress, Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 5 th edition) Ethics of Care. In the s and 80s feminist writers began to question the assumptions behind many of the traditional ethical theories. The ethics of care is a normative ethical theory often considered a type of virtue regardbouddhiste.comnt traditional ethical theories such as utilitarianism and Kantian deontological ethics developed ethical theories based on an understanding of society as the aggregate of autonomous, rational individuals with an emphasis on rules, duties, justice, rights, impartiality, universality, utility and.

The field of professional ethics (also known as applied or practical ethics) emerged in the early s. This profound development laid the foundation for what is now a rich collection of ethical standards, ethical analysis, and decision-making protocols that are central to professions as diverse as. Care Ethics.

The moral theory known as “ the ethics of care” implies that there is moral significance in the fundamental elements of relationships and dependencies in human life. Normatively, care ethics seeks to maintain relationships by contextualizing and promoting the well-being of care-givers and care-receivers in a network of social relations.

Ethics of care, also called care ethics, feminist philosophical perspective that uses a relational and context-bound approach toward morality and decision making. The term ethics of care refers to ideas concerning both the nature of morality and normative ethical theory.

Ethics of care - New World Encyclopedia