Session 3: Ethics of Care As an Interdisciplinary Challenge

Session of UvH Anniversary Conference 2014 “A Meaningful Life in a Just Society”.
Chaired by prof. dr. Helen Kohlen (University of Vallendar, Koblenz, Germany) and prof. dr. Carlo Leget (University of Humanistic Studies)

There is no doubt that the ethics of care is driven by the ambition to contribute to a meaningful life in a just society. There is much discussion, however, about the question what the ethics of care is. Can it be seen as a fully normative and distinctive moral theory (Held 2005) or is there no such thing as a distinctive care ethics (Edwards 2011)? And if it is a fully normative theory, how then does it conceptualize the interdisciplinary that seems to be part of the ethics of care from its very beginning? A plausible and convincing answer to these questions has high relevance for the impact the ethics of care may have in academic discussions. Recently, a discussion paper was published in which a proposal is done to clearly demarcate the ethics of care. (Ethics of Care as a discipline? Klaartje K, E van Elst and A J Baart, Demarcation of the ethics of care as a discipline: Discussion article Nursing Ethics 0969733013500162, first published on October 22, 2013 as doi:10.1177/0969733013500162) Taking this paper as a point of departure, in this session we will discuss the question how the ethics of care can be best conceptualized and whether we should seek for a clear demarcation or not. We will illustrate our arguments by referring to a concrete domain of care and research: palliative care and end of life care.

Presentation by C. Leget & H. Kohlen

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