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Ethics of Care

The term ethics of care refers to ideas concerning both the nature of morality and normative ethical theory. Over the past two decades or more, a discussion has arisen regarding these ideas. The caring perspective is distinctive in that it uses a relational and contextbound approach toward morality and decision making. In doing so, this perspective stands in stark contrast to ethical theories that rely on principles to highlight moral actions—such as Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, and justice theory. Importantly, such principles are meant to be absolute and incontrovertible.

Nel Noddings has provided one of the first comprehensive theories of care. Arguing that caring is the foundation of morality, she sees the dyadic relationship as ontologically basic to our very humanity. Identity is defined by the set ...

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