Care and Commitment: Taking the Personal Point of View

Care and Commitment: Taking the Personal Point of View

Care and Commitment: Taking the Personal Point of View

Care and Commitment: Taking the Personal Point of View

Synopsis

In this book, Blustein presents the first study of an ethics of care, offering a detailed exploration of human "care" in its various guises: concern for and commitment to individuals, ideals, and causes. Blustein focuses on the nature and value of personal integrity and intimacy, and on the questions they raise for traditional moral theory. Among the topics considered are: what is the nature of caring as such? what do we (and should we) care about? what is implied by the claim that caring supports a sense of the meaningfulness of our lives? how does caring benefit the one who cares and what is the good of care? how do we care about caring? Clearly and accessibly written, this book takes a fresh look at the issues surrounding personal values and relationships.

Excerpt

I can care about something even though I do not place value on it or disvalue it in some way. I can care about something despite my values and against my will. Placing importance on x is necessary to caring about x, but valuing x is not equivalent to placing importance on x. On the other hand, we often do value what we care about, and this chapter is concerned with such cases. Whatever other kind of value it has or is believed to have, it has value for me, or what we might call personal value. On occasion, I care about something under a description that contains a first-person indexical. For example, I may care about my getting a grant to pursue research, or about my finishing the novel I began last year. If in caring about these things I also value them, then the value is personal in a straightforward sense. These things have value for me in part because I attach some independent value (independent of the end achieved) to its being me who does or enjoys them. It is not necessary, however, for personal value that the description of what I care about essentially include a reference to me. For example, I can care about finding a cure for cancer, and finding a cure for cancer can have personal value for me, at the same time that the value of my finding a cure entirely derives for me from the fact that a cure will thereby be found. I view myself, as it were, as an . . .

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