Interview with Frits de Lange
1. Where are your working at this moment?
Protestant Theological University, Groningen.
2. Can you tell us about your research and its relation to the ethics of care?
I’m working at the moment on a book on the ethics of aging, elaborating the implications of the double love command (‘love your neighbor as you love yourself) for elderly care.
3. How did you get involved into the ethics of care?
I started being interested in aging as a cultural phenomenon, studying the challenges of growing old in (post)modernity, and looking for an ethical theory of good aging in the 21th century. But our times are not that different from others: growing old, sooner or later, affects physical, mental and social health and makes frail elderly dependent on the care of others. Consequently, my research interest expanded to the world of elderly care, at the intersection of the health care system and social welfare.
4. How would you define ethics of care?
An ethics that analyses human relationships from the perspective of care, being the most fundamental human relationship.
5. What is the most important thing you learned from the ethics of care?
That care is ubiquitous, fragile, dangerous, inevitable, necessary, and salutary.
6. Whom do you consider to be your most important teacher(s) in this area?
7. What works of in the ethics of care do you see as the most important?
8. Which of your own books/articles should we read?
In andermans handen. Over flow en grenzen in de zorg (Meinema: Zoetermeer 2011)
Symmetry and Assymetry in Care Relationships, Dutch Journal for Reformed Theology, Vol. 52 (2011)
See also www.fritsdelange.com
9. What are important issues for the ethics of care in the future?
Biopolitics: the body as instrument and battlefield of political power; end of life: the need for a new ars moriendi; the emerging dementia pandemic.
10. On this website our ambition is to promote ethics of care nationally and internationally. Do you have any recommendations or wishes?
Ethics of care is an approach, focused on the relationality of care, more than a coherent theory. We need more exchange and debates on theory, especially on method and anthropology.