The Virtue of Care

Hypatia 34 (3):507-526 (2019)
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There have been many attempts to define care in terms of the virtues, but meta‐analyses of these attempts are conspicuously absent from the literature. No taxonomies have been offered to situate them within the broader care ethical and virtue theoretical discourses, nor have any substantial discussions of each option's merits and shortcomings. I attempt to fill this lacuna by presenting an analysis of the claim that care is a virtue (what I call the “virtue thesis” about care). I begin by distinguishing weaker and stronger versions of the virtue thesis, arguing that the weaker version is an orthodox view among care ethicists. I then go on to develop a taxonomy of approaches available to care ethicists seeking to flesh out the virtue thesis. The three I identify are analogical approaches, according to which care is analogous to some existing virtue; supplementalist approaches, according to which care is a novel virtue; and cardinalist approaches, according to which care is a cardinal virtue. Following this, I defend the virtue thesis from some foreseeable objections and argue that its most promising version is analogical.



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Steven Steyl
University of Notre Dame Australia

Citations of this work

Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse & Glen Pettigrove - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Caring Actions.Steven Steyl - 2020 - Hypatia 35 (2):279-297.
A mind of care.Laura Hellsten - 2020 - Approaching Religion 10 (2):1-5.

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References found in this work

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Summa Theologiae (1265-1273).Thomas Aquinas - 1911 - Edited by John Mortensen & Enrique Alarcón.
Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot - 2001 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (3):604-606.
The Ethics of Care. Personal, Political, and Global.Virginia Held - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (2):399-399.
Maternal Thinking.Sara Ruddick - 1980 - Feminist Studies 6 (2):342.

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