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- Added by: Rochelle DuFord, Contributed by:
Abstract: The current state of global poverty presents citizens in the Global North with a moral crisis: Do we care? In this essay, I examine two competing moral accounts of why those in the North should or should not give care (in the form of charity) to impoverished peoples in the Global South. Nineteen years ago feminist philosopher Nel Noddings wrote in Caring that ‘we are not obliged to care for starving children in Africa’ (1986, p. 86). Noddings’s work belongs to the arena of care ethics – the feminist philosophical view that morality is about responding to, caring for, and preventing harm to those particular people to whom one has emotional attachments. By contrast, Peter Singer’s recent work, One World, advances an impartialist view of morality, which demands that we dispassionately dispense aid to the most needy (2002, p.154). Thus this question needs answering: am I obliged to give care to desperately poor strangers, and if so, which moral framework (Singer’s impartialism, or feminism’s care ethics) gives the best account of that obligation? I argue that as an American feminist I should care for Africans with whom I will never have a personal relationship. However, this obligation can be generated without relying on the impartialist understanding of morality.
Comment: This text responds to Peter Singer and Ned Noddings on the question of global poverty (though, one need not have read either previously as she provides an overview). It would be useful in a course that focused on questions of economic justice, poverty, care ethics, or charity.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
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- Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by:
Abstract: This chapter presents a portrait of American children as situationally vulnerable and introduces the public emotion of civic tenderness as a response to the indifference that is routinely directed toward this vulnerability. Discussions of pro-social empathic emotions typically prioritize emotions like sympathy and compassion. While they are important in their own right, these pro-social emotions are responses to situations of current need. Civic tenderness is a response to situations of vulnerability. Insofar as a person or group is now in a situation of need, they had to have first been vulnerable to experiencing that need. Since vulnerability is conceptually prior to need, civic tenderness is prior to these other pro-social emotions. Through the process that I call tenderization, I explain how tenderness for poor and impoverished children’s vulnerability can be expanded to a society’s members, institutions, and systems.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format