Interview on November 18th, 2011
1. Where are you working at this moment?
I am working at the University of Bordeaux.
2. Can you tell us about your research and its relation to the ethics of care?
The relation of my research to the ethics of care began in 2006 with a paper for a French review Esprit, and then with a book about moral sentiments in the ethics of care. This year, I wrote a small book which is an introduction to the American ethics of care.
3. How did you get involved into the ethics of care?
With my interest in the XVIIIth century, more specifically with my research about moral sentiments (Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume and Smith). With my interest in feminist theory too and the necessity to elaborate a new relation between public and private space.
4. How would you define ethics of care?
As a way to clarify moral questions from the most intimate settings to a global level, as a way to characterize vulnerability by associating ethics, politics and matters of society.
5. What is the most important thing you learned from the ethics of care?
I learned how asymmetrical relations in caring can be concerned by reciprocity and equality. It implies that we examine the political liberalism and the norm of autonomy. How can we consider dependency and interdependence with liberalism? Is it possible to imagine another concept of autonomy?
6. Whom do you consider to be your most important teacher(s) in this area?
7. What works in the ethics of care do you see as the most important?
Ricoeurs’ works about solicitude and ethics (in Soi-même comme un autre), Gilligan’s book In a different Voice and of course Joan Tronto’s book, Moral Boundaries. A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care.
8. Which of your own books/articles should we read?
In French, Le sexe de la solicitude, Seuil, 2008 et L’éthique du « care », PUF, 2010.
9. What are important issues for the ethics of care in the future?
A feminism which tries to combine the reflection about public space with the reflection about private life. A political argument which will try to answer to the social invisibility of caring in our societies.
10. In Tilburg our ambition is to promote ethics of care nationally and internationally. Do you have any recommendations or wishes?
That we arrive to work together between France and Holland, with a basis which is an American theory. We have a lot of work to do because the ethics of care is very young!