- 法哲学年報 (ISSN:03872890)
- vol.2003, pp.19-31,235, 2004-10-20 (Released:2008-11-17)
Feminists have presented perceptive criticisms of the currently dominant theories and practices of the moral and social orders, and some of them have made efforts to replace these theories and practices with the ‘ethic of care’ and its application to distinctively institutional domains. In this paper I first look at a few of the most important attempts made in this direction; then I offer suggestions to further promote this movement. We owe the feminist insight of the ethic of care, as opposed to the male-centered ‘ethic of justice’, to Carol Gilligan's epoch-making In a Different Voice. In Starting at Home Nel Nodding develops the ethic of care in a couple of respects. First, she shows that what matters is not just a person caring for another but rather reciprocity between the one-caring and the cared-for. Second, she applies the ethic of care to the context of social policy and develops the conception of a ‘caring society’. Mari Osawa can be said to virtually join these ethicists of care when she proposes governmental policies intended to create in the Japanese society the conditions in which men and women can participate together in politics, at the workplace and at home, and lead exciting and fulfilling lives. I make three recommendations to advance the movement represented by these three authors. First, we should be even more aware that what may look like trifling matters in everyday life do have political significance. Second, we should take a step to implement the ethic of care in the contexts of education, broadly construed. And thirdly, we should respect people's right to define themselves; and hence we (women and men alike) should be careful as to how to address those exposed to systematic unfair treatment in the society, specifically, female persons.