shaped by a deep sympathy and understanding. When it is hard to be sympathetic, one may try several strategies, perhaps imaging others as oneself in an earlier crisis. As one adopts this sympathetic attitude one often becomes aware of what others want to need. As we respond to others, we look to satisfy their needs in ways that will preserve their sense of competence and dignity while at the same time addressing their needs or even ameliorating their suffering. Relationship Awareness: 1 st , there is the most basic relationship, that of fellow creatures. 2 nd , there is the immediate relationship of need and ability to fill the need. Additional relationships are structured through past promising or causing harm. Finally, one may be in some role relationship with the other that calls for a particular response, such as teacher-student. One is aware of all these relationships as he surveys a situation from the perspective of care. There is another kind of relationship awareness that is involved as well. One can be aware of the network of relationships that connect humans, and care about preserving and nurturing these relationships.
Accommodation and Harmony: how best to help is not obvious. The desire to nurture networks of care requires that one tries to accommodate the needs of all, including myself. It is not always possible, or wise, to do what everyone thinks they need, but it is often important to do what you think is best while at the same time giving everyone concerned a sense of being involved and considered in the process. If you do what you think is right without consulting anyone, you risk upsetting the harmony of the group. Not all harmony is worth preserving. The oppressive society may be pretty stable and harmonious, but at the price of those at the bottom. The Care Voice and the Justice Voice: Gilligan began by responding to the views of Lawrence Kohlberg, who developed a theory about how people reason and develop morally. People reason morally by applying principles to cases, thus yielding judgments about what they ought to do. Moral development, on Kohlberg’s account, is cognitive and proceeds to progressively more general principles, with ideal moral development culminating in principles that are universal and binding on all persons. Druggist example. Two different responses. The justice voice says that moral agents are or should be 1) isolated, abstract individuals who 2)
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- Spring '11
- Ethics, Carol Gilligan, MARTIN HOFFMAN