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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
This chapter explores two claims about care.  First, care transforms the “game” of political ethics.  The political nature of care is not equated with contemporary characteristics of ethics but rather endeavors to reconnect the personal and public spheres in ways that alter our relationship to both.  The second claim explored in this chapter is that care is much more than an alternative theory of ethics.  I contend that care is a performative theory of being that has implications for identity and epistemology as well as ethics and politics.  As such, care has a postmodern character (but not a purely deconstructive one) with the radical potential to reframe how we think about morality.  In the conclusion, I address what a performative theory of care might mean for a political approach to widen the circle of care for unfamiliar others.
  • care ethics,
  • political theory
Publication Date
Maurice Hamington and Dan Engster
Oxford University Press
Publisher Statement
Care Ethics and Political Theory brings together new chapters on the nature of care ethics and its implications for politics from some of the most important philosophers working in the field today. Chapters take up long-standing questions about the relationship between care and justice and develop guidelines for the development of a care-based justice theory. Care ethics is further applied to issues such as security, privacy, law, and health care where little work has been previously done. By bringing care ethics into conversation with non-Western and subaltern cultures, the contributing authors further show how care ethics can guide and learn from other traditions. A final set of chapters uses care ethics to challenge dominant moral and political paradigms and offer an alternative foundation for future moral and political theory. 

The book as a whole makes the case for care ethics as an equal or superior approach to morality and politics compared with liberalism, luck egalitarianism, libertarianism, the capabilities approach, communitarianism, and other political theories. 

The volume includes many of the leading care scholars in the world today engaging in both theoretical and applied discussions of this burgeoning field of study. Ultimately, Care Ethics and Political Theory endeavors to find realistic methods and ways of thinking to create a more caring world.
Citation Information
Maurice Hamington. "Politics Is Not A Game: The Radical Potential Of Care" New YorkCare Ethics and Political Theory (2015) p. 272 - 292
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