Newcomers and more experienced feminist theorists will welcome this even-handed survey of the care/justice debate within feminist ethics. Grace Clement clarifies the key terms, examines the arguments and assumptions of all sides to the debate, and explores the broader implications for both practical and applied ethics. Readers will appreciate her generous treatment of the feminine, feminist, and justice-based perspectives that have dominated the debate.Clement also goes well beyond description and criticism, advancing the discussion through the incorporation of a broad range (...) of insights into a new integration of the values of care and justice. Care, Autonomy, and Justice marks a major step forward in our understanding of feminist ethics. It is both direct and helpful enough to work as an introduction for students and insightful and original enough to make it necessary reading for scholars. (shrink)
In the last 25 years, several philosophers and scientists have challenged the historical consensus that nonhuman animals cannot be moral agents. In this article, I examine this challenge and the debate it has provoked. Advocates of animal moral agency have supported their claims by appealing to non-rationalist accounts of morality and to observations of animal behavior. Critics have focused on the dangers of anthropomorphism and have argued that we cannot know animals’ states of mind with any certainty. Despite the strengths (...) of the arguments for animal moral agency, the critics’ skeptical counter-challenges seem to bring this debate to a stalemate. However, I suggest that recent philosophical work focusing on personal experiences with animals may reveal a way to dissolve skeptical concerns and offer new insights about the role of animals in morality. (shrink)
We treat companion animals according to one set of guidelines and so-called “meat animals” according to an opposing set of guidelines, despite the apparently significant similarities between the animals in question. I consider moral justifications offered for this disparity of treatment and show that this paradox reveals a mistake in our moral thinking. Generally, we group animals used in farming and free-living animals together as subject to the ethic of justice and distinguish both from companion animals, who are subject to (...) the ethic of care. I argue that animals used in farming, like companion animals, should be understood as within the sphere of care. (shrink)
This collection honors and critically engages with Tom Regan’s groundbreaking case for the moral rights of animals. Two of Regan’s arguments receive a great deal of attention in these articles: the lifeboat argument and the argument from marginal cases. This review article examines the role of the two arguments in these discussions of Regan and animal rights and argues that effective animal advocacy will require more critical attention to social context—in particular, to how well the arguments’ assumptions describe our world (...) and to how the arguments are likely to be used to reinforce existing injustices. (shrink)
Proponents of the ethic of care regard it as a personal ethic created by women which reveals the deficiencies of the male-defined ethic of justice. In contrast, feminist critics of the ethic of care hold that the ethic of care is parochial and renounces justice and therefore inconsistent with feminist goals. In my dissertation I resolve this debate by examining the concepts of care, justice, autonomy, and public and private spheres. ;Care and autonomy are often thought to be mutually exclusive (...) because care is based on a social conception of the self, while autonomy is based on an individualistic conception of the self. I challenge this dichotomy by showing that autonomy presupposes that we are socially constituted, and that care requires that we be able to individuate ourselves from others. I also examine the symbolic and institutional structures that construct care and autonomy in opposition to each other in our society. ;Moral theorists usually understand care and justice as having different domains, with their boundaries drawn along public-private lines. I challenge the traditional boundaries of care, showing that the expansion of care need not come at the expense of justice, but instead can serve to enrich our conception of justice. I also explore some of the moral issues that arise in attempts to apply the ethic of care to public questions of pacifism and welfare policy. ;The conflicts between the ethic of care and the ethic of justice need not lead us to accept one at the expense of the other, but can help us distinguish between better and worse versions of each ethic, providing the groundwork for a feminist ethic of care. However, despite the theoretical compatibility of the two ethics, I argue that given their present social contexts, integrating them into a comprehensive ethic brings the danger that the ethic of care will be subsumed by the ethic of justice. (shrink)
What is a right? Why do we say that individual humans have rights? Do humans have a unique moral status or do other living beings also have rights? Can animals ever be moral agents? Is there a tension between the animal rights movement and those whose see the environment as possessing some manner of rights? With Grace Clement, Bonnie Brown, and Mark Parascondola.
In this paper, we seek to re-conceptualize the ethical framework through which ethicists and medical professionals view the practice of live kidney donations. The ethics of organ donation has been understood primarily within the framework of individual rights and impartiality, but we show that the ethic of care captures the moral situation of live kidney donations in a more coherent and comprehensive way, and offers guidance for practitioners that is more attentive to the actual moral transactions among donors and recipients. (...) A final section offers guidelines for the practice of live kidney transplants that emerge from an ethic of care. (shrink)
My purpose in this chapter is to articulate a morally defensible alternative to the ethic of human dominance. Drawing lessons from different versions of, and challenges to, the ethic of human dominance, I show that finding an acceptable alternative to this ethic depends on rethinking the metaphysical divide between humanity and nature. “Might makes right” is an illegitimate moral principle, but we must also look more closely at the metaphysical claim that humans have “might” over animals.