Caring Actions

Hypatia 35 (2):279-297 (2020)
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Though the literature on care ethics has mushroomed in recent years, much remains to be said about several important topics therein. One of these is action. In this article, I draw on Anscombean philosophy of action to develop a kind of meta- or proto-ethical theory of caring actions. I begin by showing how the fragmentary philosophy of action offered by care ethicists meshes with Elizabeth Anscombe's broader philosophy of action, and argue that Anscombe's philosophy of action offers a useful scaffold for a theory of caring actions. Following this, I defend an account of caring actions as those that aim to meet needs. I argue that care aims at satisfying eudaimonistic needs, those things without which one cannot flourish. I then consider the place of caring actions in care ethics. I suggest that if caring actions are to be a starting point for an ethical theory, we ought to reject the notion that a caring action must bring about its intended consequences, and I show how the concept of practice better equips us to evaluate caring actions.



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Steven Steyl
University of Notre Dame Australia

Citations of this work

A Care Ethical Theory of Right Action.Steven Steyl - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (3):502-523.
Care ethics, needs-recognition, and teaching encounters.Pip Seton Bennett - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 57 (3):626-642.

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References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.

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