I begin this with an explanation of my intentions for these next five posts. My final project for my Philosophy class is to explore a topic of Philosophy or a specific philosopher in whatever medium we choose. Because I love you all so much (and because it was the obvious option) I’ve chosen to write a blog. The topic I have chosen is feminist ethics, specifically discussing the ethic of care. I will explore the ideas and works of three philosophers and conclude with my thoughts regarding the topic. Including this post, there will be a total of five posts on the topic. You are welcome (and very much encouraged) to provide your own thoughts, if you so choose. It would be very beneficial to me if this were somewhat of a discussion. Either way, I appreciate you guys for caring enough to read, once again.
For my first post, I’d like to discuss the general concepts of an ethic of care to provide some context for the works of Carol Gilligan, Nel Noddings, and Michael Slote.
Broadly, an ethic of care regards:
- an individual’s relationship with another;
- an individual’s interconnectedness with another;
- context and arises from experience;
- morality characterized by compassion, nurturance, and responsibility.
The commonly accepted ethic of justice is characterized by its autonomy. In contrast, an ethic of care focuses on rationality, reason, individual rights, and the universality of morality. Like most care ethicists, Gilligan and Noddings regard traditional methodology as male-biased regarding morality and ethical theory. An ethic of justice is generally considered a male approach to ethics while an ethic of care is a female approach to morality; however, in his writing, Michael Slote opts not to associate ethical theories with one gender or another. Gilligan, Noddings, and Slote all respond to the opinion that all major classical ethical theories lack the virtues and values of caring and experiences.