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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The ethics of care sees a disposition to care appropriately for others as the chief characteristic of a morally desirable psychology. Such a disposition can be viewed as a virtue. This article, however, rejects the idea that the ethics of care is a kind of virtue theory on the grounds that its focus is on caring relations between people rather than on caring dispositions. The ethics of care clearly is not a virtue theory in the classical tradition, for it rejects the idea that the proper exercise of practical reason is needed to enable one to determine how to act. It holds that the moral emotions, such as empathy and sensitivity, guide us to act properly. Beyond this, the ethics of care stresses the moral importance of meeting people's needs.

Keywords: ethics of care, psychology, virtue theory, empathy, sensitivity

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