The Ethics of Care and Empathy  book cover
1st Edition

The Ethics of Care and Empathy

ISBN 9780415772013
Published August 22, 2007 by Routledge
148 Pages

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Book Description

Eminent moral philosopher Michael Slote argues that care ethics presents an important challenge to other ethical traditions and that a philosophically developed care ethics should, and can, offer its own comprehensive view of the whole of morality. Taking inspiration from British moral sentimentalism and drawing on recent psychological literature on empathy, he shows that the use of that notion allows care ethics to develop its own sentimentalist account of respect, autonomy, social justice, and deontology. Furthermore, he argues that care ethics gives a more persuasive account of these topics than theories offered by contemporary Kantian liberalism.

The most philosophically rich and challenging exploration of the theory and practice of care to date, The Ethics of Care and Empathy also shows the manifold connections that can be drawn between philosophical issues and leading ideas in the fields of psychology, education, and women's studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Caring Based in Empathy  2. Our Obligations to Help Others  3. Deontology  4. Autonomy and Empathy  5. Care Ethics vs. Liberalism  6. Social Justice  7. Caring and Rationality


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Michael Slote (PhD, Harvard) is UST Professor of Ethics, in the Philosophy Department, University of Miami. His areas of special interest are ethics, theory of rational choice, moral psychology, and, especially in recent years, political philosophy. Formerly Professor of Philosophy, chair of the Philosophy Department and a fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, he is a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He is also a past Tanner Lecturer and a past president of the American Society for Value Inquiry.


'Kudos to Michael Slote for advancing the boldest claim for an ethics of care and showing how it provides a superior account of both individual and political morality. In this closely reasoned and far-seeing book, he argues for a Copernican revolution in moral philosophy, moving empathy and relationship from the periphery to the center of an ethical universe. In doing so, he exposes the heartlessness of patriarchal ideas and institutions that have marginalized caring and empathy along with women. Slote's reframing brings moral philosophy into alignment with current research in neurobiology and developmental psychology, revealing the link between reason and emotion, self and relationship, and showing the costs of severing these connections.' - Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice, University Professor, New York University, USA