Guillaume le Blanc

Interview on 23 november, 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?
For me the ethics of care should take place in the form of a reflection on norms. Because we always are indebted to social norms, we have to pay attention to the different ways in which we are governed by those norms and by the ways in return we can try to make something inside a general configuration of norms. The ethics of care can enable us to understand how the relations with norms are precarious, how we can become precarious subjects who can exist only if we review some forms of social care.

3. How did you get involved into the ethics of care?
I became involved in the ethics of care because I paid attention to the vulnerability of lives. To propose a reflection about vital and social vulnerability implies that we pay attention to the different forms of care by which this vulnerability is taken into consideration.

4. How would you define ethics of care?
Ethics of care proposes a new moral experience because it takes into consideration dependency, vulnerability and different experiences of negativity. However, it should rather be understood as a descriptive ethics than as a normative ethics. It doesn’t have to propose a new comprehension of human life, but it can be very useful to make clearer how invisible forms of domination are present.

5. What is the most important thing you learned from the ethics of care?
I learned being attentive to vulnerability and to how we never exist by ourselves but always in connection with other people, other lives in some relations which are at the same time moral relations and relations of power.

6. Whom do you consider to be your most important teacher(s) in this area?
Carol Gilligan and Joan Tronto

7. What works in the ethics of care do you see as the most important?
“In a different voice” and “Moral Boundaries”.

8. Which of your own books/articles should we read?
“Vies ordinaires, vies précaires”(2007) and “Que faire de notre vulnérabilité?” (2011)

9. What are important issues for the ethics of care in the future?
I think it is very important to connect the ethic of care and the ethic of empowerment. The ethic of care can appear as a supplementary discourse but it can also appear as a way to empower real lives, to ontribute to the possibility of developing a more powerful comprehension of ourselves.

10. In Tilburg our ambition is to promote ethics of care nationally and internationally. Do you have any recommendations or wishes?
No. Keep up the good work.

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