Quiz 7 notes - Care for others and fostering relationships One characteristic of people with integrity is the ability to care for others and to foster

Quiz 7 notes - Care for others and fostering relationships...

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Care for others and fostering relationships One characteristic of people with integrity is the ability to care for others and to foster good relationships. Caring for others is more than having sympathetic feelings for them. it requires that one take concrete action to look after the needs of others. Caring for others and fostering good relationships go together for two reasons: 1. humans are essentially social creatures, we live and work in groups and most of us would be absolutely miserable if we didn’t have meaningful relationships. Caring about persons means caring about their relationships. 2. we cannot accomplish many of the tasks we need to undertake unless we can foster good relationships. Includes the task of giving care to others. Care is a basic human capacity to recognize the respond to the needs of others and to moderate our behavior by appeal to the good or harm it might cause to others. Martin Hoffman is a prominent moral psychologist who sees care as growing out of our natural capacity for empathy. This capacity is evident even in newborns, who cry when they hear another baby cry. Later in development, children come to be motivated to help whenever they encounter other in distress. Finally, reflection allows us to build on our basic empathic distress at the suffering of others. We then can generalize beyond our immediate experience of someone’s distress and imagine the distress of someone who is distant from us. In both cases, we feel impelled to help. This impulse to help can be undermined in a number of ways: by blaming the victim for his own distress, by feeling overwhelmed by the distress of others, and by consciously avoiding the awareness of the distress of others. We have a natural impulse to prioritize the needs of those who are close to us. Hoffman points to the natural, evolutionary, basis for empathy, but suggests that we can use this natural capacity to motivate us to be responsive to distant others as well, as long as we make a conscious commitment to be caring persons. Because there is a natural basis for care, care as a moral perspective can be both strong motivation for doing the right thing and can provide a basis for recognizing right actions. That moral perspectives can be connected to basic human capacities. Another way to think about moral perspectives is to see them as growing out of ideal ways to respond in a certain context. If one thinks about what is involved in doing one’s moral best in the context of a marketplace between relatively independent and self-interested strangers, the value of honesty and trust are central. The care perspective in moral philosophy grew out of looking systematically at what is required to be a responsible member of a flourishing relationship. Sara Ruddick, example, looked carefully at what is involved in being a good mother to dependent children. Many contemporary defenders of an ethic of care, and many historical antecedents
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  • Spring '11
  • LBernasconi
  • Ethics, Carol Gilligan, MARTIN HOFFMAN

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