Feminism, Context, and Care

Tom Tomlinson

in Methods in Medical Ethics

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780195161243
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950317 | DOI:
Feminism, Context, and Care

Show Summary Details


Feminism is perhaps most commonly identified with a political goal: identifying and correcting conditions which contribute to the oppression of women, or of others more generally. But where there are competing moral considerations, some judgment must be made whether and why avoiding disadvantage to women should be the controlling norm. This point is illustrated by debates over surrogate motherhood and over age-based rationing proposals. There is a second conception of feminist ethics that sees it a method of inquiry which repudiates reliance on abstract principles, and looks instead to the concrete details of context. I critically discuss several versions of this idea. The third conception of feminist ethics has it embody a special set of moral concerns: a feminist ethics is an “ethics of care.” I argue that an ethics of care is neither feminine nor feminist And it’s neither distinctive nor adequate as a method of ethical deliberation.

Keywords: bioethics; medical ethics; moral reasoning; moral judgment; feminism; context; standpoint; ethics of care

Chapter.  10692 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.