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Contribution to Book
Politics Is Not A Game: The Radical Potential of Care
Care Ethics and Political Theory (2015)
  • Maurice Hamington, Portland State University
The status of care theory remains the subject of debate. Is care a virtue theory? Is care an alternative category of ethics? Or is care an entirely different approach to morality? This chapter takes the position that care represents a paradigm shift in thinking about morality that is not always appreciated by those who attempt to fit care into existing philosophical categories. Specifically, this chapter contends that care can be understood as a reconstructive theory of being animated by embodied existence and characterized by a notion of moral identity based on iterative acts of care. As such, care cannot be disentangled from its relational ontological, and epistemological elements as well as its moral responsiveness. The crucial political question is how to extend the circle of those receiving robust care. The answer to that question is quite different if care is viewed as embodied and performative rather than an ethic with traditional abstract normative demands. This chapter argues that the notion of care as performance resists the game-like qualities of the imposition of external rubrics of ethical adjudication or political decision making in favor of authentic contextual and efficacious responsiveness to the other.
Publication Date
Daniel Engster and Maurice Hamington
Oxford University Press
Citation Information
Maurice Hamington. "Politics Is Not A Game: The Radical Potential of Care" Care Ethics and Political Theory (2015)
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