This week, two new papers of Dutch care ethicists have been accepted and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Frans Vosman and Alistair Niemeijer published their paper on ‘Rethinking critical reflection on care: late modern uncertainty and the implications for care ethics’ in Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy ((Vosman, F. & Niemeijer, A. Med Health Care and Philos (2017). doi: 10.1007/s11019-017-9766-1)). In their paper, Vosman and Niemeijer rethink care ethics through complexity and precariousness.
Late modern organizations, like the general hospital, codetermined by various (control, information, safety, account ability) systems are characterized by complexity and the need for complexity reduction, both permeating care practices.
By means of a heuristic use of the concept of precariousness, taken as the installment of uncertainty, it is shown that relations and power in late modern care organizations have changed, precluding the use of a straightforward domination idea of power.
A proposition is made how to rethink the care ethical inquiry in order to take late modern circumstances into account: inquiry should always be related to the concerns of people and practitioners from within care practices.
Care ethics as initiated by Gilligan, Held, Tronto and others (in the nineteen eighties and nineties) has from its onset been critical towards ethical concepts established in modernity, like ‘autonomy’, alternatively proposing to think from within relationships and to pay attention to power. In this article the question is raised whether renewal in this same critical vein is necessary and possible as late modern circumstances require rethinking the care ethical inquiry. Two late modern realities that invite to rethink care ethics are complexity and precariousness. Read more >>
The newest paper on ‘Care ethics as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry’ of Carlo Leget, Inge van Nistelrooij and Merel Visse has been accepted for publication by Nursing Ethics and will appear soon. This paper is a contribution to the ongoing discussion about the status and nature of care ethics.
Responding to ‘Demarcation of the ethics of care as a discipline’ by Klaver et al. (2014)((Klaver, K., Elst, E. van, Baart, A. Nursing Ethics, Vol. 21-7, 755-765 (2014). doi: 10.1177/0969733013500162)) and ‘Three versions of an ethics of care’ by Edwards (2009)((Edwards, S. Nursing Philosophy, Vol.10-4, 231-240 (2009). doi: 10.1111/j.1466-769X.2009.00415.x)), Leget et al. propose to conceive care ethics as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, incorporating a dialectical relation between empirical research and theoretical reflection.
Departing from the notion of caring as a practice of contributing to a life sustaining web, they argue that care ethics can only profit from a loosely organised academic profile that allows for flexibility and critical attitude that brings us close to the good emerging in specific practices.
This asks for ways of searching for a common focus and interest that is inherently democratic and dialogical, and thus beyond demarcation.
For many years the body of literature known as ‘care ethics’ or ‘ethics of care’ has been discussed as regards its status and nature. There is much confusion and little structured discussion. The paper of Klaver et al. (2014) was written as a discussion article to which we respond.
We propose to conceive care ethics as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, incorporating a dialectical relation between empirical research and theoretical reflection. Departing from the notion of caring as a practice of contributing to a life-sustaining web, we argue that care ethics can only profit from a loosely organized academic profile that allows for flexibility and critical attitude that brings us close to the good emerging in specific practices. This asks for ways of searching for a common focus and interest that is inherently democratic and dialogical and thus beyond demarcation. Read more >>