French care ethics: in a different voice indeed

The Ethics of Care as a Resource for Democracy. This is the title of the lecture delivered by Sandra Laugier (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne; CNRS**, France) at A Night of Philosophy, organized in New York in April. 

The French philosopher introduced her lecture as follows: “The idea of an ethics formulated in a “different voice” – a woman’s voice – is connected to ordinary language philosophy. Care is at once a practical response to specific needs and a sensitivity to the ordinary details of human life that matter. Hence, care is a concrete matter that ensures maintenance (e.g. as conversation and conservation) and continuity of the human world and form of life. This is nothing less than a paradigm shift in ethics, with a reorientation towards vulnerability and a shift from the “just” to the “important,” exactly as Wittgenstein proposed shifting the meaning of importance by destroying what seemed to be important.”

Sandra Laugier is Professor of Philosophy at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France. She is specialized in Ordinary Language Philosophy, Ethics, American Philosophy (Cavell, Emerson, Thoreau) and gender studies (Ethics of care). She is the author of many books in French, English, Italian and German.

About the author: Eveline Bolt

Eveline Bolt

In August 2012, Eveline Bolt (1959) graduated from Tilburg University. Focus in her work is quality of care for elderly and homeless people and her pre-master and masterthesis focused on these subjects. Ethics of care is thereby the entrypoint for her research, development and training activities. In the town she lives in, she is part of the board advising the city council on issues in the area of care and community development.

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