Michael Slote

Hume and Care Ethics

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Care Ethics, Hume, Sentimentalism, Justice, Liberalism.

Care ethics is the moral view that comes closest to Hume's sentimentalism. But it disagrees with Hume in the emphasis it places on good relationships rather than virtues. However, the empathy Hume was the first to describe can enable care ethics to deal with moral issues it has previously ignored. For example, it can help care ethics give a better account than rationalistic liberalism does of the justification of civil liberties. The liberal (Rawlsian) gives inadequate answers to questions about when restraining orders should be issued against husbands who threaten wives, and this means that the traditional liberal idea that rights are rationally intuited and are independent of human emotion should be replaced by a care-ethical approach that emphasizes empathy and people's welfare.

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