Eminent moral philosopher Michael Slote argues that care ethics presents an important challenge to other ethical traditions and that a philosophically developed care ethics should, and can, offer its own comprehensive view of the whole of morality. Taking inspiration from British moral sentimentalism and drawing on recent psychological literature on empathy, he shows that the use of that notion allows care ethics to develop its own sentimentalist account of respect, autonomy, social justice, and deontology. Furthermore, he argues that care ethics gives a more persuasive account of these topics than theories offered by contemporary Kantian liberalism. Michael Slote's use of the notion of empathy also allows him to provide care ethics with its first full-scale account of moral education, and he shows that the often-voiced suspicion that care ethics supports the status quo and is counterproductive to feminist goals is actually the very opposite of the truth. A care ethics that takes empathy seriously can say what is wrong with patriarchal ideas and institutions in a highly persuasive and forward-looking way.
The most philosophically rich and challenging exploration of the theory and practice of care to date, "The Ethics of Care and Empathy" also shows the manifold connections that can be drawn between philosophical issues and leading ideas in the fields of psychology, education, and women's studies.
Introduction Chapter 1 --- Caring Based in Empathy 1. The Ethics of Care 2. The Nature of Empathy 3. Empathy and the Morality of Abortion Chapter 2 --- Our Obligations to Help Others 1. Immediacy and Distance 2. The Limits of Empathy and Obligation Chapter 3 --- Deontology 1. Empathy and Harming 2. Property, Promising, and Truthfulness Chapter 4 --- Autonomy and Empathy 1. Respect 2. Autonomy Chapter 5 --- Care Ethics vs. Liberalism 1. Defining the Issues 2. Arguments against Liberalism Chapter 6 --- Social Justice 1. The Empathy in Justice 2. Distributive Justice Chapter 7 --- Caring and Rationality 1. Is Morality Necessarily Rational? 2. Views of Practical Rationality 3. Rational Self-Concern and Instrumental Rationality 4. Caring vs. Self-Concern Conclusion