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Virgina Held. 'The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global'

Published onAug 24, 2021
Virgina Held. 'The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global'
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According to Virginia Held (°1929), we all stand in particular relationships of care to others. In those relations, our emotional responses to one another have an important role to play as well as the particular claims of the people with whom we have these relationships: our children, parents, neighbors, and so on. When talking ethics, we should not strive for impartiality, abstract away from those relationships and neglect the responsibilities these relationships bring. The values that regulate our personal relationships, such as care, trust and solidarity, fit with and are as least as important to the moral domain as the more traditional values of equality, justice and rights. Conventional ethical theories such as utilitarianism and deontology are inadequate, Held argues in her recent but already influential book, not only when it comes to guiding our personal lives, but also when it comes to dealing with the political and global challenges we are currently facing. She argues that an ethics of care is much better equipped to deal with contemporary societal and political problems such as the role of markets and the power and violence that characterize all relations, including those at the global level. If we want people and states across the world to live in peace, respect human rights and care for their environments, Held stresses that we need to globalize caring relations.

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