What Borders Justice: the Principle of Responsibility and the Ethic of Care
Ph.D. Professor at Kansai University, Japan
2007, Nakanishiya Publishers, Kyoto, Japan
The original text is written in Japanese.
The contents of this
book can be read here.
@Under the subject of gWhat borders justiceh this book discusses Hans Jonasf principle of responsibility and the ethic of care which originated from Carol Gilligan. These theories have not been unfolded through mutual influence. No investigation that deals with them putting together has been found so far. The main reason for it seems to be that they are developed and accepted in the different fields and the separate countries. After investigating Gnosis and evolving a philosophy of organism Jonas attained the principle of responsibility: it cares for the survival of future generation in the crisis of global environment. His thought evoked attention in Germany and is met with a critical response from discourse ethics especially. Gilligan, as psychologist, attained the ethic of care through researching the relevance of sexual difference to the development of morality. Her thought is met with positive as well as negative responses among feminists: it is not only discussed within the field of developmental psychology, but also especially in Anglo-American political philosophy. Thus these two ethical theories do not appear to have to do with each other.
@However the concept of gresponsibilityh in Jonasf ethical theory and the concept of gcareh in Gilliganfs presuppose asymmetry of power. On the contrary, the orthodox of modern ethical theories is founded on justice and right presupposing symmetrical or reciprocal relation. The principle of responsibility and the ethic of care, therefore, share the position that is contrasted keenly with it. Thus I treat them within the opposition to the ethic of justice. It is an investigation that man has never tried so far.
Chapter 1 Formulation of the topics
In this chapter the history of idea of justice is reflected and the subject of this book is put into it. The contemporary idea of justice is based on conferring all individuals equally on the right to respect: everyone is entitled to it only because she or he is an individual person. Aristotle did not conceive this concept of justice. According to him, the entitlement for someone to be engaged in politics was an issue of distributive justice. The criterion of it was the merit of each person. It is applied to everyone equally that was not the distributive justice, but only the corrective justice. So many people were not given suffrage in Aristotlefs times. Nowadays it is taken for granted that all adults are equally entitled to it. The modern idea of justice finds a merit in being human for itself. Furthermore it even claims for the distribution corresponding to the needs of each person. Thus from ancient times to modern times the concept of justice has changed and the scope of object which it is applied to has been far enlarged. But however enlarged it is, justice is no more than a rule within a community. Justice is only applied to the members of the community. Therefore it is always subject to the suspicion of whether it might be unjust to the outsiders.
The principle of responsibility takes account of future generations and nonhuman nature. The former belongs to the insiders of the community which justice is applied to from some standpoints, but also is taken for the outsiders from other viewpoints. The latter obviously belongs to the outside. The ethic of care focuses upon children, women, the sick, and the old. Though these people are seen as the insiders of community formally, history tells us that they have not necessarily treated as equal as the main insiders, e. g. normal and healthy men of active age. Thus the principle of responsibility and the ethic of care play the role of a protest against the ethic of justice in favor of the outsiders. In other words, they go beyond the ethic of justice. Because they are based on asymmetry of power, they are concerned with vulnerability of human beings and transience of human life. So they take account of future generations who cannot come into being without our caring. On the contrary, the unborn human beings do not come into sight of the ethic of justice, so long as it is based on a symmetrical or reciprocal relation. Therefore it cannot found the imperative that the just community should continue to be in this framework. In this point the ethic of justice must be complemented by the principle of responsibility and the ethic of care.
Part I the Principle of Responsibility
Chapter 2 the Problems Raised by Jonas' Principle of Responsibility: nature, environment and human being
@This chapter focuses upon Jonasf book, The Principle of Responsibility, and tries to formulate his concept of the principle. Under what condition are we responsible for someone or something? Drawing it from Jonasf argument, man could describe it as follows. (1) The entities for which we are responsible are threatened with destruction or eradication at present. (Needless to say, they are mortal. We cannot and need not to be responsible for something eternal.) (2) They are other than us. They call our attention or even respect to them, not because they have value or utility for us, but because they are other than us. (3) Their survival is in our hands, i. e. we have power to see it that they keep existence. Under the conditions of (1), (2) and (3), we are responsible for those entities. A newborn is the most illustrative model evoking our responsibility. Nowadays human beings have acquired the power to bring out a global ecological crisis with sciences ant technology. According to the formulation of responsibility, the present generation of mankind is responsible for the future generations and the non-human nature to continue to be. The first imperative is the survival of mankind, because there could be no responsibility without it. The possibility of responsibility must be secured above all. But it does not mean that the non-human nature is cared for only because it would be instrumental to the survival of mankind. In Jonasf philosophy of nature, the being of nature is for itself good. According to him, each organism has its purpose and it is good for it to fulfill the purpose. Goodness does not rely on the evaluation from the viewpoint of human beings.
@Jonasf argument is criticized by the advocators of discourse ethics. The critics especially concentrate on his philosophy of nature and his paradigm of a newborn. They argue that his teleology of nature can be no longer widely accepted in the post-metaphysical times and his paradigm is too intuitional to bring forth the universal ground for a moral norm. Then Jonasf imperative that mankind should continue to be would not be founded on effectively. However I would like to propose a new idea of foundation. It is called a performative foundation. Should mankind continue to be? That is a moral question. If mankind adopted the negative answer, then mankind would make the question itself impossible so that the positive answer must be adopted. The reason for it is that moral investigation must presuppose the investigating subject, or in other words, the ground for it is that mankind is the only one moral being. This is an original interpretation raised in this book.
Chapter 3 Environment, Property, and Ethics
This chapter focuses upon the relation between human beings and nature. Human beings work on nature to meet their needs so that they prepare against coming peril of death. They can not only work on a part of nature like other creatures, but also appropriate it. Acknowledging labor as the entitlement of property, justice would be established as to their harvest among them. But what does the justice mean for the non-human nature?
Let us refer to Lockefs argument. Labor gives value to the part of nature that the laborer works on. Locke emphasizes repeatedly the magnitude of the value human beings bring into nature. However he does not assert that nature has no value before being invested with labor. His description reveals, I think, the consciousness of debt of human beings to nature, even if he was not aware of it. Human beings can never create nature from nothing: what they can do is only to work on the pre-given nature.
Now nature may turn something of negative value for human beings to the valuable, and vice versa. It means that no common criteria of value are found between human beings and nature. Therefore it is impossible to agree with the type of environmental ethical theory based on justice. Treating nature and human beings as equal, it endeavors to confer the same rights to the former as the latter has or to make a contract between them. But without distributive justice it could not be decided what and how much should be allocated to the two parties.
May we then ignore nature from the viewpoint of justice? Nevertheless we cannot but ask if mankind is unjust to nature, because we are aware that we owe to nature as discussed above. A better treatment of nature corresponding to this feeling could be not possibly instructed by the ethic of justice based on an allegedly symmetrical relation, but rather by an ethical theory based on asymmetrical relation. The principle of responsibility is a candidate for it.
Chapter 4 Sanctity of Life: its lost effect and its recovery
This chapter focuses upon the concept of sanctity of life (SOL). SOL has often been declared to be not effective in bioethics. The main and fatal reason for it is that SOL can never contribute to the problem of distribution of medical resources, because it seems to require that all life should be equally treated. This critical remark is also true for the concept of human dignity, which stemmed historically from SOL and can be explained as a secular version of it. If the distributive justice is the most important issue in bioethics, it is natural that the ideas of SOL and human dignity would be useless. Nevertheless these ideas have not yet been discarded. Man sometimes presumes life to be so precious that is beyond comparison, which is essential to distributive justice. Moreover, many bioethical issues have seemed to be able to be solved in terms of the right to self-decision without appeal to SOL, but some new technologies (for example, intervention to genomes, utilization of human tissues for research, and cloning) may not be left to the discretion of each individual person. With the changing background the ideas of SOL and human dignity are again getting into the spotlight. It is obvious that there are some contexts in which personal self-decision and distributive justice are not paramount.
@Dworkin explains the idea of sanctity with the concept of investment that has been made to the life so far. Suppose someone is dead too soon. We would sorrow or pity it, because nothing could be gained from the natural or cultural investment made to the dead. Suppose a species becomes extinct. We would sorrow or pity it, because the long history of the evolution and the natural investment during it come to nothing. In both cases justice does not matter, but SOL does. SOL expresses the feeling for something that can be not restored once it is lost.
@Habermas prohibits reproductive cloning and pre-implantation diagnose in favor of human dignity. These technologies are carried out under the asymmetry of power between the actors and the newborn. It cannot be recovered in future. So they threaten equality among the members of moral community. Referring to Jonasf argument on cloning, Habermas points out that the equality depends upon our untouched genetic condition or refraining from intervening the natural side of human being.
@These two ideas, SOL and human dignity, care for vulnerability, transience and irreversibility of human life. So they imply respect for human body for itself. It cannot be deduced from the respect for person as such directly. But if we did not care for the physical ground for persons, the moral community could not persist, because the members of it could not live on.
Chapter 5 In What Sense Should Human Beings Continue to Be? Jonas, Apel and Habermas
@Jonas provides a version of future ethics appealing to the principle of responsibility. Future ethics mean an answer to the question: in what sense should human beings continue to be? This question becomes more urgent at present, because the nature of human beings is threatened to be intervened, reshaped, and even destroyed by the progress of technology and the environmental crisis. Jonas answers to it that mankind should survive in the sense of the one and only supporter of responsibility.
@As discussed in the chapter 2, two kinds of foundation are provided for the principle of responsibility in his argument: the intuitivist one and the natural philosophical one. Furthermore he undertook the theological-ontological foundation in his later work. His last themes were cosmogony and the God who has left the world to its own evolution. He attempted there to explain the origin and position of mankind in the whole nature.
@Apel envisaged a future ethic sooner than Jonas. Apelfs argument is based on discourse ethics: mankind should survive as the members of communication community. The idea of communication community succeeds to Kantian idea of the kingdom of ends. In this context the specialty of human being consists in personhood in contrast to thing, which nature belongs to.
@In comparison to Apel, Habermas steps into protecting the natural side of human being while prohibiting reproductive cloning in favor of human dignity. He does not go away from discourse ethics, but he points out that the equality among the members of communication community requires the intact nature of mankind.
@Thus while Apel abides by the framework of modern philosophy in distinguishing person from the rest of the world, Habermas takes a close look at the physical ground of person. Jonas goes further to appealing to metaphysics for protecting it. But in the present post-metaphysical situation his speculation seems to be out-of-date.
@But man should not ignore that he himself calls it as a mythos or metaphysical suppositions. It is fair to him that man pays attention to the difference between gphilosophical investigationsh and gmetaphysical suppositionsh as in the tile of Jonas latest book. So long as he draws a distinction between them, he is not a dogmatist, but a philosopher. Why does he put forward his metaphysics? He thinks after all that the true ethics is not founded on the consensus or the interest of human beings, but on the metaphysics positioning them in the whole nature. But it is lost under the antagonism between human beings and the rest of nature, which he has discovered in the modern philosophy, especially Heideggerfs thought described in Being and Time and the Gnosis in the late ancient times. Therefore he intends to envisage a coming metaphysics with his mythos. However because the choice of metaphysics is open to us, it is obvious that his mythos fails to provide a universal foundation. Nevertheless man should address the contemporary significance of the incentive to his thinking. The urgent threat of possible intervention to human nature impels him to invest the metaphysics protecting human beings not only as person, but also as flesh and blood.
Chapter 6 An Interpretation of the Principle of Responsibility: what borders justice
Jonasf peculiar ontology is not only a clue but also a barrier to understanding his thought. There are various interpretations of it.
(1) It is made much of by some thinkers, for example, Hösle, Spaemann und Löw. But they share almost a metaphysical tendency and the intention to elaborate a philosophy of nature with Jonas. (2) Jonasf ontology is discarded by some thinkers, for example, Becchi and Lenk. Jonasf suggestion in his Technology, Medicine and Ethics is for Becchi more interesting than his foundation of ethic in the Principle of Responsibility. Lenk makes much of Jonasf concept of responsibility, because it is oriented toward future and functions to prevent coming disaster in advance. But while they utilize Jonasf ideas for dealing with the actual problems in technologies and medicine, they pay little attention to the problem of foundation of moral norms. Their foundation is intuitionistic or syncretic. (3) Jonasf ontology is replaced with the foundation based on discourse ethics by the defenders of this ethical theory. But they do not appreciate the original features of Jonasf thought. For example, they accuse him of introducing a tyranny in order to guard the global environment. It is true that he gives the suggestion, but he adopts it in front of being as the instance: he asserts that man should prefer even a tyranny to extinction of mankind. On the other hand, the critics of him appeal to the justice that can be only applied to the members of a pre-given moral community. Jonasf point is that the continual of mankind must precede the existence of a just community. Those who is against it should insist with Kant that the extermination of mankind would be better than the extinguishment of justice.
@This book does not adopt any of these interpretations. Instead it represents the principle of responsibility as gwhat borders justice.h
The principle of responsibility is also applied to future generation and the non-human nature. They do not become the theme for the ethic of justice, so long as it relies on a symmetrical relation. Indeed future generation might be acknowledged as the insiders which justice is applied to, when it is interpreted in advance as coming persons. But it is then compelled to be transformed, as if there would be no irreversible difference of time between it and the present generation. On the contrary, the principle of responsibility enables to keep the difference between generations and at once to respect for the coming generation as others of the present one. It focuses upon vulnerability of human body and transience of human life. Urged by this sense of risk it issues the imperative that human being should continue to be. And the persistence of moral community owes to it. However the present generation is also naturally vulnerable. The principle of responsibility, therefore, could work as a norm complementary to justice, as if it could be interpreted as equivalent to mercy, benevolence or beneficence. Its ambiguity prevents it from obtaining due appreciation.
Part II the Ethic of Care
Chapter 7 the Problems Raised by the Ethic of Care
In this chapter the problems raised by the ethic of care are arranged and classified into two groups: the positive and psychological problems and the normative and ethical problems. For example, how much is Gilliganfs distinction between the ethic of care and the ethic of justice relevant to sexual difference? It belongs to the former group. What moral implication can man draw from the distinction? It belongs to the latter group. And the latter group has three levels: normative level, foundational level, and metaethical level. On the normative level, for example, we can ask what norms are valued in each ethic respectively. On the foundational level we ask which our morality is founded on after all, justice or care. On the metaethical level we ask how each ethic explains the meaning of moral point of view, the goal of moral development, or goodness etc. This book focuses upon the latter two levels.
Since Gilligan propounded the ethic of care in contrast with the ethic of justice, many critics have sought to show the integration of them. At first she herself claimed the integration on the last stage of moral development: the most mature person requires that everyone should be cared for. She expressed it with the metaphor of the marriage between these two ethics. But her reference to gevery oneh is interpreted by the defenders of the ethic of justice as appeal to equality. And they conclude that the ethic of care depends on the ethic of justice after all, because equality is a norm of the latter theory. It is, nevertheless, a misreading. The last stage of the ethic of care requires that every one should be cared for by some particular person(s) so that people should knit a network of care within which no one is left alone. The network can be established, only when we care for the particular other person whom we encounter now and here. On the contrary, the ethic of justice appeals to universalizability and principlism so that it envisages others abstractly only as equal to us. Thus the same imperative that every one should be respected is understood in the different ways between these ethical theories. Later Gilligan showed the metaphor of reversal figure. It means that the care orientation is at once not compatible with the justice orientation, though the same person could possibly adopt now one, now the other. The former gives a different picture of the same moral situation from the latter.
Because the ethic of care makes a point of human relation, it tends to criticize individualism in modern society. Therefore it is often seen as a version of virtue ethics or communitarianism. This is also a misinterpretation. Care is not required from a particular social role and it does not work only within a pre-given community with common culture and tradition. The ethic of care demands that every one should be cared for, only because she or he is a human being that cannot live without caring.
Chapter 8 Noddings on Ethical Self
This chapter deals with Noddingsf idea of ethical self. She is a radical defender of the ethic of care so that she tries to found it without appeal to the concepts stemming from the ethic of justice. Caring, according to her, begins naturally. But when it is impossible, it is necessary that she or he is prompted to set out caring by her or his ethical self. It is the ethical self that desires her or him to be a caring person. But it does not have such a transcendent power as the reason in Kantian sense. Accordingly it must be supported by the joy given in the caring or cared relation to other people.
But if it were not for appeal to justice, how is it possible to answer to the problems that are usually solved with the norm of justice? For example, would we be committed to care for every one at once? Should we continue caring limitlessly? If we must care for the conflicting parties at once, how could we solve the dilemma? The clue to these questions could be found in the idea of ethical self. We must see it that our ethical selves would not be exhausted out in order to go on caring. It is, therefore, not required that we care for every one at once. It does not mean that we should not do so, but that we cannot do so. That is not a moral problem, but a factual limit. Likewise we may stop caring, if we are so worn out by it that we themselves need to be cared for by someone else. In a dilemma we should precede the party that required being cared for more. In the ethic of justice it is important to make clear who is to blame. But in the ethic of care it is evil to conclude that someone does not deserve to be cared. Caring might make one-cared-for recover her or his ethical self enough to care for someone else including the other party so that the conflict might vanish. Thus the three questions could be answered in Noddingsf framework without appeal to the principle of justice. However the solutions remain subjective, so long as they are drawn from the inner dialogue with onefs ethical self. That is a defect in Noddingsf theory.
Another defect is found in her concept of sexual difference. While she mentions that her ethic of caring is not based on the empirical sexual difference in some contexts, she appeals to the experiences of women or even to the biological feature in other contexts. The social constitution of gender seems to be paid so little attention to by her.
Nevertheless her description depicts delicately the significance of daily life. It is never ignored by the ethic of care.
Chapter 9 Ethic of Care, Needs, and Law
The ethic of care was presented at first as the model of development often founded in women. It was valued as ga different voiceh conveying the female viewpoint, but it was also accused of inviting the reproduction of stereotyped image of women. The feminists who defend it endeavor to overcome its defect by tackling two tasks. One task is to get rid of essentialism, which connects caring with the female in the biological sense. In fact so-called sexual difference would be constructed by the gender-biased expectation of the society. The other task is to break through the dichotomy between the public domain and the private domain. This distinction is closely entangled with gender role or sexism.
These tasks are addressed especially by the second generation of the care ethic. According to Hankivskyfs classification, Gilligan, Noddings, Ruddick and Held belong to the first generation, while Clement, Tronto, Bubeck and so on belong to the second generation. One of the criteria for distinguishing the latter from the former consists in its intention of integrating care and justice. Clement emphasizes autonomy of the caring person to prevent her or him from being forced into caring. Tronto values the care perspective, because it makes vulnerability of human beings clear and call attention to equality among them. But these authors appear only to bring particular norms concerning justice into the ethic of care. It means that they merely work on the normative level as mentioned above. Because it remains differences on the foundational level and the metaethical level, two ethics cannot be said to be integrated. It is, however, sure that they have taken one step forward to provide a social policy theory based on the ethic of care.
Noddings, an author of the first generation, also attempts to formulate her social policy theory in her book Starting at Home. As Ruddick shows, the main functions of home consist in keeping life, sustaining growth and enabling to be accepted as a member of the society. As these fundamental needs are satisfied in home, the society built up after the model of home should satisfy the needs of members: it should care for their health, physical and psychological development, and human relationship among them. They have the right to satisfaction their fundamental needs. To be accurate, Noddings insists that rights are based on needs. It means that caring underlies justice.
Ignatieff, a liberalist, also focuses upon the idea of needs. But Noddings and Ignatieff provide different explanations about how human beings come to be respected. Ignatieff points it out as the necessary condition for it to be recognized as a member of a particular society: human beings are not respected because they are human beings as such. Noddings focuses upon vulnerability common to all human beings: everyone should be respected because she or he is human being as such. It is a creed of the ethic of care.
Now if the society is designed on the ethic of care, how is the law explained? Noddings foresees a radical change of the concept of law, but she does not specify it. But it can be supposed that the foundation of law would not lie in the retributive justice, because according to Noddings no one is worth for pain. It would be served by the restorative justice. The law in the caring society would find its task in restoring the broken relation among the wrongdoer, the victim, and the society. While in Kantian context the wrongdoer should accept the punishment as imposed by her or his homo noumenon as legislator (even if this setting does not function actually), in the ethic of care she or he should retrieve her or his ethical self and apologize to the victim. Meanwhile she or he should be helped to do so by the court and the society. Thus, I think, the law founded on the ethic of care would be described.
Chapter 10 The Debate of Care vs. Justice: from integration to enmeshment
This chapter focuses upon the conflict on the foundational level between the ethic of care and the ethic of justice, and it attempts to see the trend of the care vs. justice debate. Okin, Clement, and Held are here dealt with. Abiding by liberalism Okin attempts to integrate the two ethics. As an author of the second generation of the care ethic Clement tries to show the mutual foundation between them. As an author of the first generation Held proposes the enmeshment between them. This metaphor means that we should cherish the difference of viewpoints between them.
Three authors agree that caring is requisite for bring up the coming generation of a just community in future. Let us call it a genetic foundation of care for justice. Okin does not only demand caring families, but also just families in order to enable the next generation to build up a just society. Clement does not only let justice found on care by the genetic foundation, but also attempts to show that care is also founded on justice. So she points out that caring should be regulated by the autonomy of the caring person. But in despite of her intention it should be called justification rather than foundation. Thus Okin and Clement stay in the genetic foundation in principle. In contrast to them Held succeeds in giving another foundation of care for justice. She insists that caring must always sustain social connection, because it depends upon the mutual recognition among the members of the society. It means that justice is founded on care, because it is without social connection that justice cannot be established and rights cannot be recognized. This explanation goes beyond the genetic foundation, because it is not only true for the coming generation, but also for the ongoing society. However it does not mean that justice could draw from care, and visa versa. Therefore Held does not advocate the integration of them, but the enmeshment. Her idea of enmeshment depicts clearly the significance and the difference of care and justice, as Gilligan shows with her metaphor of reversal figure.
Okinfs idea of just family is attractive, because the pressure of sexism on the caring person is also found in home mainly in the form of the unbalanced division of household labor. But the significance of family she emphasizes can perhaps not be deduced from the ethic of justice. The reason for it is that, as Kymlicka shows, the ethic of justice presupposes persons who are not only themselves autonomous, but also have no one dependent on them. But most of families include dependent members.
Okin propounds a feministic interpretation of Rawlsf theory of justice. According to it, his idea of original position would care for each member of it respectively as a peculiar and concrete. But it is problematic whether this interpretation would be the case. The original position is a macro level thinking experiment so that we cannot conceive of others as particular. It is in the ethic of care that people can be envisaged as the concrete others with their own life histories and situations.
Thus it proves the impossibility of the integration between the ethic of care and the ethic of justice, though it has been sought in the care vs. justice debate. It is concluded that Heldfs idea of enmeshment supplies a better insight into the possible relation between these ethical theories.
Chapter 11 Others in Caring Relation
@This chapter focuses upon the idea of others in caring relation, referring to Benner & Wrubelfs phenomenological theory of nursing. They attempt to make clear the ground for caring by interpreting Heideggerfs concept of Sorge as care and appealing to Merleau=Pontyfs idea of intercorporeality.
@Let us look over the genealogy of the phenomenological descriptions of others. We discover two opposing ideas of others in it. The first is the (apparently) understandable others encountered in our daily intercourse. The second is the others who are far from my interpretation and may not be assimilated by me. As the examples of the former we can refer to the others in the mundane attitude in Husserlfs sense or the Man in Heideggerfs analysis of mudanity. As the examples of the latter we can refer to the eregardf in Sartrefs sense at first, but more specifically to the others described by Levinas and Derrida. For Levinas and Derrida others mean the strangers, who are beyond the application of the law of pre-given community. What they bring in is called ejusticef. This idea is interesting for the framework of this book: structurally, what borders justice as the theme of it corresponds to the ejusticef in Derridafs sense, while ejusticef in the former is comparable to elawf in the latter.
@Benner and Wrubel conceive care as the fundamental feature of the being-in-the-world. But they depend on Dreyfusf reading of Heidegger, which evaluates positively the mundane. They also appeal to Merleau=Pontyfs idea of eon primordial (primordial man)f functioning on the level of bodies common to us as the ground for understanding others. In their analysis the cared others seemed to be seen as being capable to be assimilated by the caring person. Does the caring relation then remain mundane?
@Let us refer to Cornellfs remarks for and against Gilligan. She is for Gilligan because of Gilliganfs challenge to the androcentrism, but is against Gilliganfs approach to seek a guide in the characteristics of women living in our gender-biased society. Cornell thinks that it would only lead to reproduction of the pre-given femininity. Instead she appeals to Derridafs idea of coming others as strangers. The comparison between Cornell and Gilligan proves that the others depicted in the ethic of care are far from the stranger in Derridafs sense. They are common to us in being flesh and blood.
@However it does not mean caring is not beyond the companionship with the well-known people. The ethic of care demands that others should be encountered afresh in a particular caring relation. They and we live together and encounter now and here: the fact is a kind of transcendence breaking through the mundane attitude. I think that it is an insight of the ethic of care, because it never undervalues the daily life.
Chapter 12 Conclusion
@The principle of responsibility and the ethic of care share the features as follows.
1. They are founded on asymmetry of power. The orthodox type of the modern ethical theories appeals to justice and right which presuppose symmetrical relation in principle.
2. They can pay attention to the entities that have so far been treated as marginal at best: the principle of responsibility takes account of future generation and the non-human nature and the ethic of care deliberates the situation of women, children, the old, and the sick. The ethic of justice indeed could look to them, but it would then abstract asymmetry or ignore the actual inequality. For example, if man acknowledges future generation as equal as the present generation in terms of being person, then the difference of time between generations is compelled to be disregarded, owing to which though the former is gfutureh generation.
3. They emphasize the asymmetry, because they perceive vividly vulnerability of human life and transience of human life.
4. Both of them regard a newborn as the paradigm invoking our moral sense because it is most vulnerable and fragile.
5. The existence of future generation is demanded above all by them. The ethic of justice can hardly insist that future generation should be, because it fails to entitle the right to life to the unborn generations. Therefore the ethic of justice owes continuance of justice to the principle of responsibility and the ethic of care.
6. But they do not only treat a newborn respectfully because it will become a person, but also because the natural side of human being should be guarded at first: putting it in Kantian words, the homo phenomenon should be protected to respect the homo noumenon. The reason is that life should be respected as the foundation on which all depend.
7. They emphasize the function of intuition and responsiveness. In this respect they stand in contrast to the orthodox type of modern ethical theory, because it makes a point of reason rather than feeling.
The ethic of care and the principle of responsibility, however, tend to be underestimated. An example for it is seen in Honnethfs responses to Derrida and Gilligan: while he estimates the former as eothers of justicef, namely a serious challenge to the tradition of the ethic of justice such as Kantian and discourse ethics, he does not find the latter so. The most fundamental reason for the underestimation is that the principle of responsibility and the ethic of care gaze the possibility for existence to come to nothing, while the ethic of justice presupposes human beings as pre-given. For the ethic of justice, therefore, human community is already at hand and the task is to make it just. On the contrary the principle of responsibility and the ethic of care insist that it must see to it above all that human beings can be alive from now onward too. Without sharing the awareness of threat and risk, man could not appreciate the insight of these theories. In the framework of the ethic of justice, therefore, the norms of responsibility and care are misinterpreted as equivalent to mercy, benevolence, and beneficence, e.g. the second rank of norms in comparison to justice and right.
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