Caring practices are essential for the survival, development, and social functioning of human beings, but until recently have generally been overlooked as a moral grounding for a theory of justice. This chapter suggests that caring practices can, and should, be placed at the heart of any consistent theory of justice. The unique nature of a caring theory of justice is demonstrated by contrasting it with other contemporary justice theories including liberalism, communitarianism, and natural law theory. Care theory is further situated in relation to contemporary feminist theories of justice. A caring theory of justice is shown to have special relevance in addressing contemporary social problems relating to the care of children, the elderly, and other dependent individuals, and in generating a minimal account of justice that can accommodate diverse cultural and religious views.
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