Stage six: universal justice, reciprocity, equality and respect
Carol Gilligan Introduces the Ethics of Care:
Carol Gilligan – began research on moral development with draft resisters then shifted to female subjects on the subject of abortion when the draft ended in 1973.
Metaphor of voice – instead of theory or perspective.
Women’s voices didn’t fit Kohlberg’s stages: care rather than justice
Women emerge as more concerned about relationships, emotional connectedness and caregiving. Voice varies internally regarding masculine and feminine approaches to morality, as well as between the genders.
Gilligan claims the foundations of ethics must be reconsidered:
Ethics as conversation: conversation not argument.
Inclusive conversation: women and people of color need to be involved.
New issues emerge: domestic violence, child abuse, family leave, responsibilities toward elderly parents.
Caution against using morality to justify violence: honor, domestic violence, suppression.
Caring has some similarity to act utilitarianism:
Both are consequentialist and address pleasures and pains.
Care ethic calculates differently:
Extent to which people might be hurt by a particular decision
Degree to which a particular decision might diminish the sense of connectedness among participants of the situation.
Emotions more important.
There is a difference between feminine and feminist ethics:
Feminine ethics: emphasize women’s moral voices, often an ethics of care, following Gilligan.
Feminist ethics focuses on women’s oppression and argues for policies to rectify past injustices.
Power and inequality stressed.
Conditions for feminist ethics from Alison Jagger:
Sensitive to gender inequalities
Understand individual actions in the context of broader social practices.
Provide guidance on issues traditionally seen as private, e.g., personal relationships and family.
Take the moral experience of women seriously
Feminist ethics stresses the inclusion of moral concern in the private as well as public realm.
Feminist ethics emphasizes moral scrutiny in the private realm generally confined to women, children persons or color and persons with disabilities.
Family issues – equal treatment of men and women at home, in workplace.
Power issues: patriarchy, rape, reproductive freedom, sexism in language, harassment, pornography, poverty.
Rethinking diversity with regard to gender has opened new avenues of thought beyond women’s issues and into the domain of transgender issues.
Reconsider the notion of gender identity and sexual orientation and domination entailed.
Reconsider “the natural.”
Reconsider dichotomous thinking: male/female
Emergence of transgender theory.
Ch 11 – The Ethics of Diversity: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Moral Theory Increasing interest in diversity in the past two decades
Fundamental question: what place, if any, do race, ethnicity, and culture have in moral theory?
The Identity Argument
The Virtues Necessary for Living Well in a Diverse Society
The basic claim of the identity argument is that race, ethnicity, and culture are central to moral identity
The premise of modern moral theory has been that the moral agent ought to be impartial
Utilitarianism: The Impartial Calculator
Deontology: Acting according to the duty of any rational agent
See especially Alasdair MacIntyre, “How the Moral Agent Became a Ghost.”
Godwin’s Choice: Which to choose to rescue in a burning building?
The Bishop of Cambray or his chambermaid?
The Bishop of Cambray or your mother?
“Suppose the valet had been my brother, my father, or my benefactor. This would not alter the truth of the proposition. The life of Fenelon would still be more valuable than that of the valet; and justice, pure, unadulterated justice, would still have preferred that which was most valuable. Justice would have taught me to save the life of Fenelon [the Bishop of Cambray] at the expense of the other. What magic is there in the pronoun "my," that should justify us in overturning the decisions of impartial truth? My brother or my father may be a fool or a profligate, malicious, lying or dishonest. If they be, of what consequence is it that they are mine?”
--Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Chapter 2
Godwin’s dilemma poses two distinct questions to us: