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The Impossibility of PerfectionAristotle, Feminism, and the Complexities of Ethics$
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Michael Slote

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790821.001.0001

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Connections with Care Ethics and Romanticism

Connections with Care Ethics and Romanticism

(p.86) Chapter 5 Connections with Care Ethics and Romanticism
The Impossibility of Perfection

Micheal Slote

Oxford University Press

There seems to be a tension between the present book and care ethics, as practiced by the present author and others. Care ethics privileges thinking traditionally associated with women, but the present book argues that various goods/virtues that patriarchy assigns to only one of the genders actually apply with equal relevance to both. But fully developed care ethics takes in concepts like justice and autonomy that are traditionally associated with men and so as a form of theorizing (something also associated more with men than with women) actually achieves a balance between male and female elements. There is no tension here with the ideas of the present book. The present theory also differs from Romanticism, which allows for the possibility of perfection, but if one takes the Berlinian viewpoint together with care ethics, one can make a two-pronged attack on the Greek and Enlightenment idea that all the virtues can be harmoniously united under the aegis of reason.

Keywords:   Care ethics, Enlightenment, Carol Gilligan, Greek thought, Virginia Held, harmony, Friedrich Nietzsche, Nel Noddings, Romanticism

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