- Ethics of care
The ethics of care is a normative ethical theory; that is, a theory about what makes actions right or wrong. It is one of a cluster of normative ethical theories that were developed by
feministsin the second half of the twentieth century. While consequentialist and deontological ethical theories emphasize universal standards and impartiality, ethics of care emphasize the importance of relationships.
The basis of the theory is the recognition of:
1. The interdependence of all individuals for achieving their interests
2. The belief that those particularly vulnerable to our choices and their outcomes deserve extra consideration to be measured according to
i) the level of their vulnerability to one's choices
ii) the level of their affectedness by one's choices and no one elses
3. The necessity of attending to the contextual details of the situation in order to safeguard and promote the actual specific intersts of those involved
The ethics of care was initially inspired by the work of psychologist
Carol Gilligan. [Gilligan, Carol: "In a Different Voice: Psychological theory and women's development." Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1982.] Early in her career, Carol Gilligan worked with psychologist Lawrence Kohlbergwhile he was researching his theory of moral development. [Kohlberg, Lawrence and Carol Gilligan: 'The Adolescent as a Philosopher: The Discovery of the Self in a Post-conventional World', "Daedalus", 100, 1971: 1051-1086.] Gilligan's work on women's moral developmentarose in response to the seemingly male-based results that arose from Kohlberg's studies.
Gilligan and others have suggested that the history of ethics in Western culture has emphasized the
justiceview of morality because it is the outlook that has traditionally been cultivated and shared by men. By contrast, women have traditionally been taught a different kind of moral outlook that emphasizes solidarity, community, and caring about one's special relationships. This "care view" of morality has been ignored or trivialized because women were traditionally in positions of limited power and influence. The justice view of morality focuses on doing the right thing even if it requires personal cost or sacrificing the interest of those to whom one is close. The care view would instead say that we can and should put the interests of those who are close to us above the interests of complete strangers, and that we should cultivate our natural capacity to care for others and ourselves.
Carol Gilligan's Stages of Moral Development
Comparing ethics of care with traditional ethical positions
Ethics of care contrasts with more well-known ethical views, such as
utilitarianismand deontology or Kantian ethics. This sort of outlook is what feminist critics call a 'justice view' of morality. A morality of care rests on the understanding of relationships as a response to another in their terms. It focuses on the moral value of being partial toward those concrete persons with whom we have special and valuable relationships, and on the moral importance of responding to such persons as particular individuals with characteristics that demand a response to them that we do not extend to others.
Ethics of care and feminist ethics
Although the ethics of care was developed as part of a feminist movement, some feminists have criticised care-based ethics for reinforcing traditional stereotypes of a 'good woman'. [Bartky, Sandra Lee: "Femininity and Domination", page 104-5. Routledge, New York, 1990.]
Eva Feder Kittay
Further reading and External links
* cite book
title =The Ethics of Care
publisher =Oxford University Press
id = ISBN 978-0-19-518099-2
* cite book
first =Michael A.
title =The Ethics of Care and Empathy
location =London ; New York
id = ISBN 9780415772013 (pbk.)
id = ISBN 9780415772006 (hardback)
* [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-ethics/#2 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Feminist Ethics]
* [http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/Cavalier/80130/part2/II_7.html Ethics of Care article at Carnegie Mellon website]
* [http://www.stolaf.edu/people/huff/classes/handbook/Gilligan.html Gilligan's stages of moral development]
* [http://www.infed.org/thinkers/noddings.htm Nel Noddings biography]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Care — may be:* Health care, the maintenance of health by the medical professions ** Care of residents, health care provided in a home ** Home care, health care provided in the patient s home * Foster care * Duty of care in tort law * Ethics of care in… … Wikipedia
ethics — /eth iks/, n.pl. 1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. 2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics;… … Universalium
Ethics — For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). Philosophy … Wikipedia
Ethics in religion — Most religions have an ethical component, often derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance. For many people, ethics is not only tied up with religion, but is completely settled by it. Such people do not need to think too much… … Wikipedia
Ethics — • Many writers regard ethics as any scientific treatment of the moral order and divide it into theological, or Christian, ethics (moral theology) and philosophical ethics (moral philosophy) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Ethics … Catholic encyclopedia
Ethics in Pharmaceutical Sales — The Ethics involved within Pharmaceutical Sales is built from the organizational ethics, which is a matter of system compliance, accountability and culture (Grace Cohen, 2005). The ethics formed is based on the legal requirement required by law… … Wikipedia
Care value base — In nursing theory, a care value base is an ethical code which governs how carers ought to act in certain situations, to be certain that they are not discriminating, being unkind, or providing poor care for their patients.The care value base… … Wikipedia
ethics — The principles of right and wrong conduct; the basis for doing what is right, and the discernment of what is right, are fundamental issues throughout the Bible. Indeed many readers of the Bible would find it hard to separate the religion from the … Dictionary of the Bible
ethics — The branch of philosophy that deals with the distinction between right and wrong, with the moral consequences of human actions. [G. ethikos, arising from custom, fr. ethos, custom] medical e. the principles of proper professional conduct… … Medical dictionary
Medical ethics — is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology … Wikipedia