Lecture: ‘The ethics of care: a road map’

On 15 October 2014 prof. Frans Vosman (University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht) held a lecture entitled ‘The ethics of care: a political ethical road map’.

This lecture was part of the seminar series ‘Care practices: towards a re-casting of Ethics’ organised by the University of Oxford.  The ethics of care is a fundamental political theory about caring and being cared for, both conceptualized as constituents for living together. It has rapidly grown since in the nineteen eighties questions were raised by feminist theorists about the adequacy of reigning ethics: who is talking in the Kantian discourse of duties and rules?  What generalized acting subject is supposed to determine what is good? The ethics of care in the meantime has become a fundamental, though not yet full grown political theory.

At present it has a three tier approach: (1) the fundamental ethical and epistemological issues raised by the first generation of the ethics of care (about gender, color, power) have remained important and get rephrased, (2) the political identity of the theory implies analyzing a too private view on caring and enables to take on issues like the evaporation of democracy and precariousness, (3) the theory is taking the turn to practices of care. Ethical concepts like autonomy have proven to be homespun by an ethics that is not informed by the ethos inside practices of care and by their institutional complexity: they do not provide adequate guidance . It is shown how the ‘critical insights’ of the ethics of care about vulnerability, relationality and citizenship are driven by burning issues and by questions  instead of by preset moral rules.

[button link=”/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Oxford-Ethics-of-Care-Series-Frans-Vosman.pdf” bg_color=”#003566″]Lecture Frans Vosman (PDF)[/button]


Like all lectures in this seminar series it is taped.

Next lecture on 22 October 2014: prof. Virginia Held.

About the author: Johanna Gröne

Johanna Gröne

Johanna Gröne (1984) holds a bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from Roosevelt University College, Middelburg. She continued to study medicine for a few years before deciding to focus on the policy level of health care, rather than individual patient care. In august 2013 she graduated from Tilburg University with a master’s degree in Care, Ethics & Policy. She worked at a health insurance company and is currently a member of the local council in Tilburg, as spokesperson for care and welfare.