Care, Feminist Ethic of

The ‘feminist ethic of care’ (FEC), or ‘care-based ethics’, is an ethical theory that places interpersonal relationships and care as a central virtue to moral action. This contrasts with the ‘rationalist’ theory of action that underpins much conventional social and ethical theory, in particular utilitarian and Kantian ethical theories. The ideas developed in the late 20th century by feminists concerned that ‘feminised’ virtues of caring have been underplayed and systematically devalued. This entry outlines a brief set of historical ‘waves’ to identify how the FEC has developed over time. The entry also notes that children’s own processes of caring have suffered similar processes of devaluation and silencing, as caregivers, as well as care receivers. Specifically, this entry maintains that children do have moral virtues as ...

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