Caring extends and challenges recent debates over feminist ethics by taking issue with accounts of the ethics of care which try to pin down the "principles" of caring, rather than understanding the practice of caring. It explores four main caring practices: mothering, friendship, nursing and citizenship. Bowden's consideration of the differences and similarities in these working practices reveals the complexity of the ethics of caring.
What is it to "value" something, in the semi-technical sense of the term that Gary Watson establishes? I argue that valuing something consists in caring about it. Caring involves not only emotional dispositions of the sort that Agnieszka Jaworska has elaborated, but also a distinctive cognitive disposition – namely, a (defeasible) disposition to believe the object cared about to be a source of agent-relative reasons for action and for emotion. Understood in this way, an agent's carings have a (...) stronger claim to "speak for" her as her values than do other attitudes that have been proposed for this role. In particular, an agent's carings establish more robust psychological continuities and cross-temporal connections than do self-governing policies of the sort that Michael Bratman has described; and they forge diachronic coherence not just in her deliberation and action, as self-governing policies do, but also in her cognitive and emotional life. An agent's carings thus help to constitute her identity as a temporally persisting subject . Self-governing policies are at best ersatz -values, which an agent may choose to adopt when she finds that her proper values – her cares – leave her course underdetermined. (shrink)
The likelihood of nurse reflection is examined from the theoretical perspectives of Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action and Moral Action and Sumner's Moral Construct of Caring in Nursing as Communicative Action, through a critical social theory lens. The argument is made that until the nurse reaches the developmental level of post-conventional moral maturity and/or Benner's Stage 5: expert, he or she is not capable of being inwardly directed reflective on self. The three developmental levels of moral maturity and Benner's (...) stages are presented with discussion on whether or not there can be self-reflection because of an innate vulnerability that leads to self-protective behaviours. It is only when the confidence from mastery of practice has been achieved can the nurse be comfortable with reflection that enables him or her to become enlightened, emancipated, and empowered. The influences and constraints of the knowledge power between nurse and patient are acknowledged. The power hierarchy of the institution is recognized as constraining. (shrink)
Since the 1990s, numerous studies on the relationship between parents and their children have been reported on in the literature and implemented as a philosophy of care in most paediatric units. The purpose of this article is to understand the process of nurses' care for children in a paediatric setting by using Noddings's caring ethics theory. Noddings's theory is in part described from a theoretical perspective outlining the basic idea of the theory followed by a critique of her work. (...) Important conceptions in her theory are natural caring (reception, relation, engrossment, motivational displacement, reciprocity) and ethical caring (physical self, ethical self, and ethical ideal). As a nurse one holds a duty of care to patients and, in exercising this duty, the nurse must be able to develop a relationship with the patient including giving the patient total authenticity in a 'feeling with' the patient. Noddings's theory is analysed and described in three examples from the paediatrics. In the first example, the nurse cared for the patient in natural caring while in the second situation, the nurse strived for the ethical caring of the patient. In the third example, the nurse rejected the impulse to care and deliberately turned her back to ethics and abandoned her ethical caring. According to the Noddings's theory, caring for the patient enables the nurse to obtain ethical insights from the specific type of nursing care which forms an important contribution to an overall increase of an ethical consciousness in the nurse. (shrink)
The basic relationship between people should be care, and the caring life is the highest which humans can live. Unfortunately, care that is not thoughtful slides into illegitimate intrusion on autonomy. Autonomy is a basic good, and we should not abridge it without good reason. On the other hand, it is not the only good. We must sometimes intervene in the lives of others to protect them from grave harms or provide them with important benefits. The reflective person, therefore, (...) needs guidelines for caring. Some contemporary moralists condemn paternalism categorically. This work examines weaknesses in their arguments and proposes new guidelines for paternalism, which it calls "parentalism" to avoid the patriarchal connotations of the old term. Its antiparentalism is more moderate than standard antipaternalism based on an exaggerated respect for autonomy. The work explores implications for both the personal sphere of interactions between individuals, such as friends and family members, and the public sphere of institutions, legislation, and the professional practices. (shrink)
This article develops a theory for how caringbehavior fits into the makeup of humans andother mammals. Biochemical evidence for threemajor patterns of response to stressful orotherwise complex situations is reviewed. There is the classic fight-or-flight response;the dissociative response, involving emotionalwithdrawal and disengagement; and the bondingresponse, a variant of which Taylor et al. (2000) called tend-and-befriend. All three ofthese responses can be explained as adaptationsthat have been selected for in evolution andare shared between humans and other mammals. Yet each of us (...) contains varying tendenciestoward all of these responses. How doesdevelopment interact with genes to influencethese tendencies? How do individuals,societies, and institutions make choicesbetween these types of responses?We review the evidence, based on behavioral,lesion, single-cell, and brain imaging studies,for cortical-subcortical interactions involvedin all three of these response types, andpropose partial neural network models for someof these interactions. We propose that theorbitomedial prefrontal cortex mediates thischoice process. This area of prefrontal cortexperforms this mediation through its connectionswith areas of sensory and association cortexthat represent social contexts or stimuli, andwith areas of the hypothalamus, limbic system,and autonomic nervous system that representemotional states or classes of response patterns.The article concludes with implications of ourtheory for social interactions andinstitutions. We argue that despite the wideprevalence of fight-or-flight responses, thebonding, caring responses remain available. Weshow with historical and contemporary exampleshow social settings – whether in education,work places, families, politics, and informalsocial customs – can be designed to supportand enhance the natural caring responses of thebrain. (shrink)
In this short essay I express my own deep sympathy with Nel Noddings's ethic of care and applaud her stubborn resistance in Happiness and Education to what John Dewey would have called false dualisms, such as those between intelligence and emotion, theory and practice, or vocation and academic studies. However, I question whether the sort of caring relation she depicts so beautifully in this and many other books is sufficiently robust to alone carry the weight of the moral life (...) that she supports, and whether her suspicion of community, while sounding important cautions, does not leave us with an ethical vision that is too thin to deliver the sort of education she prescribes. To this end, I argue that she judges Victor Frankl's conception of freedom too harshly and his response to human suffering with an uncharacteristic lack of charity. Following well-known communitarian arguments of Michael Walzer and Charles Taylor I suggest that some account of a situated human agent who can choose freely to enter into relation is necessary to sustain the role of caring in education that has been Noddings most significant philosophical contribution. (shrink)
Whilst care imperatives have arisen across the breadth of Western societies, within the education sector they appear both prolific and urgent. This paper explores the deployment of care discourses within education generally and draws upon the case of Australian Health and Physical Education (HPE) more specifically, to undertake a Foucauldian interrogation of care. In so doing I demonstrate the usefulness of Foucault's pastoral power lens and its capacity to provide insight into the moral and ethical work conducted by caring (...) teachers on behalf of the state (Acker, 1995). Following a brief overview of the advocacy, challenges and debates surrounding the issue of caring teaching within education, I draw on the work of Hunter (1994) and three case studies from a genealogical interrogation of HPE that employed Foucualt's ethical fourfold as a heuristic device to reveal the ethical practices and objectives of the good HPE teacher. Drawing on this genealogical work, I argue that HPE teachers and their colleagues have been purposefully incited to constitute themselves as agents of pastoral power. From this Foucauldian perspective, I conclude with an exploration of the unintended and possibly ‘dangerous’ practices of caring teaching that may emerge within the complex and messy nexus of contemporary self-constitution. (shrink)
In Rogers, the Court of Appeal held that the decision of Swindon N.H.S. Primary Care Trust to refuse to fund Herceptin for the treatment of Ann Rogers against breast cancer was irrational. The P.C.T. maintained that their decision was not resource driven but based on the fact that Herceptin was, at that time, not licensed by the European Medicines Agency (E.M.E.A.) for use in early stage breast cancer. Yet it was prepared to fund its use in ‹exceptional circumstances’ which could (...) only be based upon the personal situation of the patient. In this note, I focus upon the ‹exceptionality’ argument in the context of the patient as consumer of healthcare and women as carers. I argue for a focus upon caring rather than consumerism in healthcare. (shrink)
We explore briefly Foucault's ideas about the care of the self, creating ourselves and what he meant by ethics. We then examine the work of five artists–Mark Rothko, Cindy Sherman, Helena Hietanen, Samuel Beckett, and Betty Goodwin–to help us begin to think very differently about illness and human suffering. Taking our lead from Beckett, we regard reason as being given too much responsibility for the work of a caring knowledge, and that it is through the arts that new ideas (...) about bioethics can emerge. (shrink)
How is the concept of patient care adapting in response to rapid changes in healthcare delivery and advances in medical technology? How are questions of ethical responsibility and social diversity shaping the definitions of healthcare? In this topical study, scholars in anthropology, nursing theory, law and ethics explore questions involving the changing relationship between patient care and medical ethics. Contributors address issues that challenge the boundaries of patient care, such as: · HIV-related care and research · the impact of new (...) reproductive technologies · preventative healthcare · technological breakthroughs that are changing personal-caring relationships. Chapters range from a consideration of the practicalities of nursing and family healthcare to a debate about ‘universal human needs’ and patients’ rights. This book is a provocative exploration of the ways in which healthcare models are socially constructed. It will be of interest to policy-makers, medical practitioners and administrators, as well as students of sociology, anthropology and social policy. (shrink)
Interviews with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) growers in Iowa, a majority of whom are women, shed light on the relationship between gender and CSA as a system of resource management. Growers, male and female alike, are differentiated by care and caring-practices. Care-practices, historically associated with women, place priority on local context and relationships. The concern of these growers for community, nature, land, water, soil, and other resources is manifest in care-motives and care-practices. Their specific mix of motives differs: providing (...) safe and nutritious food, educating self and others, and building relationships with other growers, shareholder-members, and the land. Care-practices include reducing or eliminating chemical usage, encouraging or accepting beneficial insects and wildlife, building soil, and creating resource management partnerships with shareholder members. CSA, viewed through a lens of care, may offer a means of transcending gender stereotypes. (shrink)
This essay analyzes neo-liberal economic agreements and legal and political frameworks or what has been called the “new constitutionalism,” a governance framework that empowers market forces to reshape economic and social development worldwide. The article highlights some consequences of new constitutionalism for caring institutions specifically, and for what feminists call social reproduction more generally: the biological reproduction of the species; the reproduction of labor power; and the reproduction of social institutions and processes associated with the creation and maintenance of (...) communities. New constitutional governance frameworks fundamentally reshape conditions under which the care of human beings takes place. Caring institutions once governed by enabling professions geared to universal care are now determined increasingly by market values and private forces, and driven directly by the profit motive. This is one of the reasons why neo-liberalism is increasingly contested in both the North and the global South. (shrink)
I defend four theses about caring: Thesis 1: Animals can care. Thesis 2: To care is to value. Thesis 3: Caring cannot be reduced to belief. Thesis 4: Caring cannot be reduced to desire. These four theses do not amount to a full fledge theory of care, but they get us much closer to a workable analysis. They help sketch some of the contours of the concept and close off a few false starts. My argument is principally (...) structured as an argument from elimination. I show what care cannot be, leaving in play a restricted set of options. Caring appears to be a sui generis psychological state, common to both humans and some animals, that cannot be reduced to belief, desire, or emotion. (shrink)
An aging population is often taken to require a profound reorganization of the prevailing health care system. In particular, a more cost-effective care system is warranted and ICT-based home care is often considered a promising alternative. Modern health care devices admit a transfer of patients with rather complex care needs from institutions to the home care setting. With care recipients set up with health monitoring technologies at home, spouses and children are likely to become involved in the caring process (...) and informal caregivers may have to assist kin-persons with advanced care needs by means of sophisticated technology. This paper investigates some of the ethical implications of a near-future shift from institutional care to technology-assisted home care and the subsequent impact on the care recipient and formal- and informal care providers. (shrink)
The notion of caring is extremely problematic in the way that it is defined, practised and promoted. In response to Gorovitz I have attempted to go beyond the discussion of how health care workers can promote care at an organisational level, and look at some of the paradoxical elements of caring as it is currently being described. These paradoxes arise, in part, from the current emphasis on individualism in Western society which has made the notion of ‘mass care’ (...) unacceptable because it fails to acknowledge individual differences in patients. If we acknowledge patients as individuals, however, we must also acknowledge practitioners as unique persons too, and we therefore need to be very careful about subjecting them to the same type of generalised prescriptions to which we have subjected patients in the past.A form of care which is not detached and impersonal is being advocated it seems, but it is unlikely that anyone would want health care workers to become inextricably emotionally entwined with their patients. Plotting out the middle ground, however, is difficult to do without recourse to generalised principles. These principles are extremely valuable in the way that they can shape policy and the planning of services, but they are difficult to apply to the relationships between individual staff and patients simply because they are generalised rather than specific. In using these principles, therefore, we can only determine the general context in which caring takes place, and not the nature of this caring.These problems and paradoxes seem, at the moment, to be inherent in caring as it has been recently portrayed. It may be possible to resolve them, or find ways out of these dilemmas, but this can only be done by a very careful examination of motivations and values. In the meantime we may have to be less ambitious in our aspirations, and think about how to define acceptable, rather than ideal standards of care. (shrink)
If ethics of care deals with the nature of relationships, attentiveness, and understanding particular others, narrativity ought to play a central part. Sometimes, caring simply amounts to working with narratives. In the article I claim that narrativity can even be said to be native to an ethics of care. Through an example, I demonstrate how a narrative ethics of care can discern and grasp some moral problems better than the standard theoretical outlooks.
The Belgian Act on Euthanasia came into force on 23 September 2002, making Belgium the second country—after the Netherlands—to decriminalize euthanasia under certain due-care conditions. Since then, Belgian nurses have been increasingly involved in euthanasia care. In this paper, we report a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with 18 nurses from Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) who have had experience in caring for patients requesting euthanasia since May 2002 (the approval of the Act). We found that the (...) care process for patients requesting euthanasia is a complex and dynamic process, consisting of several stages, starting from the period preceding the euthanasia request and ending with the aftercare stage. When asked after the way in which they experience their involvement in the euthanasia care process, all nurses described it as a grave and difficult process, not only on an organizational and practical level, but also on an emotional level. “Intense” is the dominant feeling experienced by nurses. This is compounded by the presence of other feelings such as great concern and responsibility on the one hand, being content in truly helping the patient to die serenely, and doing everything in one’s power to contribute to this; but also feeling unreal and ambivalent on the other hand, because death is arranged. Nurses feel a discrepancy, because although it is a nice death, which happens in dignity and with respect, it is also an unnatural death. The clinical ethical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
The attitudes and behaviours that constitute caring affect both the quality of the patient's experience and the outcomes of medical care. They can be identified and can be nurtured or discouraged by the structures of organisation and financing within which health care is provided. They have costs, so their viability is threatened as pressures increase to make health care more economically efficient. Yet the value of caring behaviour may justify what is necessary to sustain it. This issue deserves (...) prompt and extensive debate as health care systems undergo revision throughout the world. (shrink)
Virginia Held assesses the ethics of care as a promising alternative to the familiar moral theories that serve so inadequately to guide our lives. The ethics of care is only a few decades old, yet it is by now a distinct moral theory or normative approach to the problems we face. It is relevant to global and political matters as well as to the personal relations that can most clearly exemplify care. This book clarifies just what the ethics of care (...) is: what its characteristics are, what it holds, and what it enables us to do. It discusses the feminist roots of this moral approach and why the ethics of care can be a morality with universal appeal. Held examines what we mean by "care," and what a caring person is like. Where other moral theories demand impartiality above all, the ethics of care understands the moral import of our ties to our families and groups. It evaluates such ties, focusing on caring relations rather than simply on the virtues of individuals. The book proposes how such values as justice, equality, and individual rights can "fit together" with such values as care, trust, mutual consideration, and solidarity. In the second part of the book, Held examines the potential of the ethics of care for dealing with social issues. She shows how the ethics of care is more promising than Kantian moral theory and utilitarianism for advice on how expansive, or not, markets should be, and on when other values than market ones should prevail. She connects the ethics of care with the rising interest in civil society, and considers the limits appropriate for the language of rights. Finally, she shows the promise of the ethics of care for dealing with global problems and seeing anew the outlines of international civility. (shrink)
This essay seeks to explain a morally important class of psychological incapacity—the class of what Bernard Williams has called “incapacities of character.” I argue for two main claims: (1) Caring is the underlying psychological disposition that gives rise to incapacities of character. (2) In competent, rational adults, caring is, in part, a cognitive and deliberative disposition. Caring is a mental state which disposes an agent to believe certain considerations to be good reasons for deliberation and action. And (...)caring is a mental state which structures an agent’s practical deliberation, by establishing presumptive boundaries on the landscape of possibilities over which her deliberative imagination ranges. Incapacities of character are a consequence of the structure which these presumptive boundaries give to an agent’s deliberation. (shrink)
: Care theorists have made significant gains over the past twenty-five years in establishing caring as a viable moral and political concept. Nonetheless, the concept of caring remains underdeveloped as a basis for a moral and political philosophy, and there is no fully developed account of our moral obligation to care. This article advances thinking about caring by developing a definition of caring and a theory of obligation to care sufficient to ground a general moral and (...) political philosophy. (shrink)
In his work on internality, identification, and caring, Harry Frankfurt attempts to delineate the organization of agency peculiar to human beings, while avoiding the traditional overintellectualized emphasis on the human capacity to reason about action. The focal point of Frankfurt’s alternative picture is our capacity to make our own motivation the object of reflection. Building upon the observation that marginal agents (such as young children and Alzheimer’s patients) are capable of caring, I show that neither caring nor (...) internality need to depend on the phenomena of reflectiveness. I develop alternative interlocking accounts of caring and internality that are independent of both reflectiveness and evaluation, but that can still do justice to the central role of carings in the organization of agency characteristic of human persons. (shrink)
(2000). Caring at a Distance: (Im)partiality, Moral Motivation and the Ethics of Representation - Partiality, Distance and Moral Obligation. Ethics, Place & Environment: Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 309-313. doi: 10.1080/713665894.
Care theory offers a way to overcome a weaknessof liberalism – its reluctance to intervene inthe private lives of adults. In caring for thehomeless, we must sometimes use a limited formof coercion, but our intervention is alwaysinteractive, and the process of finding asolution is one of negotiation between theneeds expressed by the homeless and the needswe infer for them.
: This essay breaks new ground in defending the view that contemporary care-based ethics and early Confucian ethics share some important common ground. Luo also introduces the notion of relational virtue in an attempt to bridge a conceptual gap between relational caring ethics and agent-based virtue ethics, and to make the connections between the ethics of care and Confucian ethics philosophically clearer and more defensible.
The paper draws upon new conceptions of place, space, interaction and community in Geography and Media Studies to explore the possibilities of extending existing conceptions of care and caring from the context with which they are traditionally associated—face-to-face encounters within a shared physical locale. It proposes three structures of 'caring at a distance', all of which have a core element of mediated or distanciated interaction, and concludes that mass media and electronic networks play a significant role in extending (...) the scope of beneficence beyond our 'nearest and dearest' to embrace distant others. (shrink)
(2000). Caring at a Distance: (Im)partiality, Moral Motivation and the Ethics of Representation - Manipulation and Exploitation? Western Media and the Third World. Ethics, Place & Environment: Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 317-319. doi: 10.1080/713665895.
Rachlin uses the word “choice” 80 times, whereas “emotion” does not appear. In contrast, “Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases” by Preston and de Waal, uses the word “emotion” 139 times and “choice” once. This commentary compares these ways of approaching empathy and altruism, relating Rachlin's approach to Gilligan's Morality of Justice and Preston and de Waal's to the Morality of Caring.
A notable feature of post-Fordist economies is the increase in service jobs, which includes care occupations such as child care and elder care (Folbre 2001, 182). The commodification of caring activities raises issues surrounding the reception and dispensation of these services, and this is particularly salient to the focus of this paper, elder care. Because the demand for this type of care has greatly increased in recent decades (Glendinning, Schunk, and McLaughlin 1997; Kaye et al. 2006) and also in (...) recognition of the impact of caring activities on families, many countries have sought to initiate policies to provide state-funded services or to compensate family caregivers for their care work.1If help with the .. (shrink)
A conflict within the community of those investigating business ethics is whether decision makers are motivated by an ethics of justice or an ethics of caring. The proposition put forward in this paper is that ethical orientations are strongly related to cultural backgrounds. Specifically, Hofstede's cultural stereotyping using his masculine-feminine dimension may well match a culture's reliance on justice or caring when decisions are made. A study of college graduates from six countries showed that Hofstede's dimension was remarkably (...) accurate in predicating a justice or caring orientation for decision makers from five of the six countries. (shrink)
According to care theory the good parent confronting a helpless child has an unmediated impulse to relieve his distress; that impulse grows into a prescriptive ethic of relatedness, often contrasted to the more individualistic ethic of justice. If, however, a child's nature is understood as assertive and competent as well as fragile and dependent; if, in addition, he acquires needs through socialisation and is the beneficiary of inferred needs determined by others, then an ethic of need-gratification is insufficient. Caring (...) theory, with its emphasis on empathy, compassion, and attentiveness to the child's present state undervalues the role of adult restraint and imposition in a rounded caring philosophy. Parents (and teachers) must continuously balance gratification with suppression, support with restraint, engrossment with detachment. From this process emerges a revised relational ethic in which the care/justice distinctions are collapsed. (shrink)
We explored the relationship between qualities of victims in hypothetical scenarios and the appearance of framing effects. In past studies, participantsâ feelings about the victims have been demonstrated to affect whether framing effects appear, but this relationship has not been directly examined. In the present study, we examined the relationship between caring about the people at risk, the perceived interdependence of the people at risk, and frame. Scenarios were presented that differed in the degree to which participants could be (...) expected to care about the group and the extent to which the group could be construed as interdependent. A framing effect was found only for the scenario describing the victims as the participantsâ friends who did not know each other (high caring/low interdependence), and this went in the opposite direction from typical framing effects. Finally, perceived interdependence and caring affected choice both within and across scenarios, with more risky choices made by participants with high interdependence ratings and high caring ratings. (shrink)
It is argued that shu involves one's identification with another person while one criticizes the latter's perspective based on one's own. A mechanism is proposed for developing this sort of critique, based on some significant Confucian values. Finally, shu is applied to the context of caring actions, and it is shown how it can help to solve some of the problems arising in caring for others.
In this essay I argue that sports at their best qualify as final ends, that is, as ends whose value is such that they ground not only the practices whose ends they are, but everything else we do as human agents. The argument I provide to support my thesis is derived from Harry Frankfurt's provocative work on the importance of the things we care about, more specifically, on his claim that it is by virtue of caring about things and (...) practices, really caring about them ? even loving them ? we are able to regard and treat them as final ends. Sports, I claim, are paradigmatic examples of practices cared about and loved in these deep ways, and as such deserve to be considered, rather than dismissed because of their supposed triviality, as one of those ends around which a life most worth living can be legitimately forged. (shrink)
Research on doctor-patient communication has characterized such interactions as being asymmetrical. The present article tries to shift emphasis away from the different orientations individuals bring to the communicative setting and attempts to highlight the different orientations ("voices") within a given individual. We draw on an in-depth analysis of discourse between a 2 l-year-old man who can be ascribed the roles of both patient and potential research subject and an interviewer who acts in both the role of medical staff and researcher. (...) Focusing our analysis on a limited number of linguistic forms (pronouns and demonstratives), it is argued that the use of the same form for different referents signals a conflation of two voices - the voice of health care ("caring") and the voice of "research." Furthermore, we argue that the voice of research is most likely to be interpreted by the patient/research subject within the framework of curing. As such, the present article promotes a shift in emphasis from different institutional - and as such often assumed to be preexisting - orientations between the communicating parties to differing orientations within the individual that cannot help but be misconstrued in terms of the curing voice. Our conclusion focuses on the ethical and discourse analytic implications of analyzing voices in a discussion. (shrink)
Care Theory is a growing schoolof ethics that starts with the assumption ofthe relational nature of human beings. Incontrast, the dominant assumption of theautonomous view of human nature has made itdifficult to integrate ``relational'' aspects ofreality into the realm of political actionrelated to agriculture. Variables such ascommunity attachment, community vitality andrichness, and environmental ``fit'' cannot beincorporated into policy because such variablesare perceived to be tainted by ``attachment,''and compromise rational judgement. Feministagricultural theorists parallel Care Theory andhave the potential of extending Care (...) Theory tohuman-nature relations. Both taken togetherenrich each other and through that process,contribute to our understanding of the moralchoices embedded in agricultural systems,particularly hog production systems, the focusof this paper. (shrink)