Rights, Wrongs, and Aristotelian Egoism: Illuminating the Rights/Care Dichotomy

Journal of Social Philosophy 29 (2):5-14 (1998)
Abstract
Since the recent work of Carol Gilligan, Nel Noddings, and others, it has become commonplace in moral philosophy to employ a dichotomy between an ethics of “Care” and an ethics of “Rights.” Gilligan claims that men and women view moral issues in fundamentally divergent ways. Responses to moral problems tend to divide along lines emphasizing respect for rights, in the case of men, and caring for others, in the case of women. Inspired by these findings, several authors have classified moral theories in two basic camps, revolving around the injunction to care or the mandate to respect rights. While many concede that the Care and Rights perspectives are not mutually exclusive, it is increasingly common to view ethicists as forced to choose between these two types of theories
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