then I will be courageous when what I value is at risk; I will be honest because honesty is usually the best way to care for others; I will want to be prudent because I recognize that I must balance the needs of others and my own needs. So the traditional virtues of courage, honesty and prudence are organized under the meta-virtue of care. When Carol Gilligan first described the care orientation, she described it as a typically female moral orientation. ii However, there is nothing gendered about caring; if it is more prevalent in women than in men, it is because women are socially conditioned to do much of society's caring work--they are more likely to be involved with caring for children and the sick, for example. Care is a basic human capacity and as such it is both possible and important for all of us to be caring persons. Developing one’s capacity in giving care requires that we commit to this ideal and that we have practice exercising care. When we truly care about someone or something, we have certain emotions and motivations. If we see someone in dire need, for example, we will feel compassion and are motivated to do something to respond to the need.
Finally, it is not enough to merely have the appropriation emotion and motivation; care involves an appropriate response.
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- Spring '11
- Ethics, Interpersonal relationship, Carol Gilligan