In this essay, the author explores the development of the “ethic of care” in philosophy and psychology, specifically the promising advancements from Gilligan and Noddings. It is clear that Bill Puka’s critique of Gilligan’s “different voice” philosophy presents a significant challenge to care ethics. What is needed is a formulation of the “feminist” insights that neither falls victim to the “regression” problem, nor requires too strong a commitment to gender roles. The answer the author developes introduces a lens that makes use of Erving Goffman’s role-playing metaphor. In the third of this essay’s three parts, the author shows how role-playing maps onto the concerns in Gilligan and Noddings’ philosophy, remaining true to their spirit but positing new relations and understandings. The ideal derived, after combining all of the relevant insights mentioned in the essay, is one that makes it possible to account for a positive concern for others, personal character growth, and awareness of shifting context.

Included in

Philosophy Commons