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The Ethics of Care$
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Virginia Held

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195180992

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195180992.001.0001

 The Ethics of Care as Moral Theory

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 The Ethics of Care as Moral Theory
Source:
The Ethics of Care
Author(s):

Virginia Held (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195180992.003.0002

The ethics of care is a distinct moral theory, not merely a concern that can be added on to or included within the most influential moral theories such as Kantian morality, utilitarianism, or virtue ethics. The ethics of care arose out of feminists’ appreciation of the importance of care and caring labor. As a fully normative theory, it has developed far beyond its earliest formulations in the work of Sara Ruddick, Carol Gilligan, and Nel Noddings. It is recognized as highly relevant to political and global contexts as well as to the more personal ones of family and friendship. It includes concern for transforming the structures within which practices of care take place, so that they are no longer oppressive. The ethics of care has the great advantage in a moral theory of being based on experience that is truly universal: the experience of having been cared for.

Keywords:   moral theories, care, caring labor, normativity, universal experience, Sara Ruddick, Carol Gilligan, Nel Noddings

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