Feminist scholar Carol Gilligan developed a feminist approach to ethics, the ethic of care, with her book In a Different Voice. She, along with other feminists, maintain that the traditional, male identified ethical theory tends to focus on justice and abstract reasoning, whereas women’s approach to ethics often aims at maintaining and nurturing attachment with others. Further, the ethics of care values the role of emotions such as empathy and sensitivity as a means to determine the best ethical course of action.
- Is caring necessarily a female trait, biologically or socially? To what extent does distinguishing between male and female ethics encourage more gender stereotypes? Can it lead to the evaluation of one ethical approach as superior to the other? Please provide a concrete example.
- Describe the ethics of care and identify a character in a book, poem or piece of literature who best exemplifies this philosophy.