The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global

Oxford University Press
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Virginia Held assesses the ethics of care as a promising alternative to the familiar moral theories that serve so inadequately to guide our lives. The ethics of care is only a few decades old, yet it is by now a distinct moral theory or normative approach to the problems we face. It is relevant to global and political matters as well as to the personal relations that can most clearly exemplify care. This book clarifies just what the ethics of care is: what its characteristics are, what it holds, and what it enables us to do. It discusses the feminist roots of this moral approach and why the ethics of care can be a morality with universal appeal. Held examines what we mean by "care," and what a caring person is like. Where other moral theories demand impartiality above all, the ethics of care understands the moral import of our ties to our families and groups. It evaluates such ties, focusing on caring relations rather than simply on the virtues of individuals. The book proposes how such values as justice, equality, and individual rights can "fit together" with such values as care, trust, mutual consideration, and solidarity. In the second part of the book, Held examines the potential of the ethics of care for dealing with social issues. She shows how the ethics of care is more promising than Kantian moral theory and utilitarianism for advice on how expansive, or not, markets should be, and on when other values than market ones should prevail. She connects the ethics of care with the rising interest in civil society, and considers the limits appropriate for the language of rights. Finally, she shows the promise of the ethics of care for dealing with global problems and seeing anew the outlines of international civility.
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About the author

Virginia Held is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate School and author of Rights and Goods: Justifying Social Action and Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Nov 24, 2005
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Pages
220
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ISBN
9780199884551
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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What is terrorism? How is it different from other kinds of political violence? Why exactly is it wrong? Why is war often thought capable of being justified? On what grounds should we judge when the use of violence is morally acceptable? It is often thought that using violence to uphold and enforce the rule of law can be justified, that violence used in self-defense is acceptable, and that some liberation movements can be excused for using violence--but that terrorism is always wrong. How persuasive are these arguments, and on what bases should we judge them? How Terrorism is Wrong collects articles by Virginia Held along with much new material. It offers a moral assessment of various forms of political violence, with terrorism the focus of much of the discussion. Here and throughout, Held examines possible causes discussed, including the connection between terrorism and humiliation. Held also considers military intervention, conventional war, intervention to protect human rights, violence to prevent political change, and the status and requirements of international law. She looks at the cases of Rwanda, Kosovo, Iraq, and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Finally, she explores questions of who has legitimate authority to engage in justifiable uses of violence, whether groups can be responsible for ethnic violence, and how the media should cover terrorism. Held discusses appropriate ways of engaging in moral evaluation and improving our moral recommendations concerning the uses of violence. Just war theory has been developed for violence between the military forces of conflicting states, but much contemporary political violence is not of this kind. Held considers the guidance offered by such traditional moral theories as Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, and also examines what the newer approach of the ethics of care can contribute to our evaluations of violence. Care is obviously antithetical to violence since violence destroys what care takes pains to build; but the ethics of care recognizes that violence is not likely to disappear from human affairs, and can offer realistic understandings of how best to reduce it.
Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditations remains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.

In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.

With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.
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