Você está na página 1de 6

Hypatia, Inc.

The Meshing of Care and Justice Author(s): Virginia Held Reviewed work(s): Source: Hypatia, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring, 1995), pp. 128-132 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of Hypatia, Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3810284 . Accessed: 05/01/2012 04:48
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Hypatia, Inc. and Blackwell Publishing are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Hypatia.






The Meshingof CareandJustice


related to concerns Thisessayattempts workout howjusticeandcareandtheir fit I suggestthat as a basicmoralvalue, care shouldbe the widermoral together. into justiceshouldbefitted. framework which

of Feministunderstandings justice and care have by now made clear,in my that these are differentvalues, reflecting differentways of interpreting view, moralproblemsand of expressingmoralconcern. And feminist discussionhas also made clear that neither can be dispensedwith: both arehighly important for morality.Not all feminists agree, by any means, but this is how I see the debates of the last decade on these issues (Baier 1994; Card 1991; Friedman 1993; Gilligan et al. 1988; Held 1993; Noddings 1984; Okin 1989; Tronto 1993). What remainsto be workedout, as I see it, is how justice and care and their that structures relatedconcerns fit together.How does the framework justice, and liberty mesh with the network that delineates care, equality, rights, relatedness,and trust?Or are they incompatibleviews we must, at least at a given time and in a given context, choose between? One clearly unsatisfactorypossibility is to think that justice is a value appropriateto the public sphere of the political, while care belongs to the private domains of family and friendsand charitableorganizations.Feminist analyseshave shown how faultyaretraditionaldivisionsbetween the personal and the political, but even if we use cleaned-upversionsof these concepts, we it can see how unsatisfactory is to assignjusticeto publiclife andcareto private, I myself in earlierwork may have failed to say enough along these although lines (Held 1984). I have arguedthat we need differentmoral approachesfor different domains, and have tried to map out which are suitable for which domains.And there is an initial plausibility, certainly,in thinking of justice as
vol. 10, no. 2 (Spring 1995) by VirginiaHeld Hypatia



of valuein thedomain aprimary valuein thedomain law,andcareasa primary But of the family. moreneedsto be said. in is neededin thefamily wellasin thestate: a more as Justice badly equitable division labor of between womenandmenin the household, theprotection in from in of vulnerable members domestic violenceandabuse, recognizfamily the rightsof familymembers respectfor their individuality. the to In ing of caringfor childrenor the elderly, us practice justicerequires to avoid and domination. paternalistic maternalistic At the sametime,wecanseethatcareis badly neededin thepublic domain. Welfare arean intrinsic of whatcontemporary statesprovide, programs part and no feministshouldfail to acknowledge socialresponsibilities the they state is not a feministgoal. reflect,howeverpoorly.The nightwatchman Almostall feminists that thereshouldbe muchmoresocialand recognize carethan therenow is in the United States, publicconcernfor providing in and althoughit shouldbe provided appropriate empowering waysvery different the current from of Thereshould greatly be increased system welfare. and publicconcernfor child care,education, healthcare,infusedwith the valuesof care. is whentheyarechildren, or veryold, ill, Caretaking neededby everyone andit is neededbysomemostof theirlives.Assuring careis available that to thosewho needit shouldbe a central not to politicalconcern, one imagined be a solelyprivate of and care responsibility families charities. Providing has fallendisproportionatelywomenandminorities, do the bulkof to who always unpaidor badlypaid actual workof caringfor those needing it. But in addition to a fairerdivision of responsibilities care, the care made for available the of stateneedsto be strengththrough institutions the welfare ened as well as reformed. Careandjustice,then,cannotbe allocated the to of and But and separate spheres the private the public. theyaredifferent, they arenot always compatible. Consider category "welfare" itsnarrower the of in senserather thanwhatis referred by the term"welfare to state." One wayof thinkingaboutthe issues welfare recommending and actionwould froma perspective be of surrounding and We welfare something as to justice,equality, rights. couldthenrecognize whicheachperson entitled rightunder is conditions need.Welfare of by rights would recognized basicrights be as the needed persons resources guaranteeing to live. Againstthe traditional liberal view thatfreedom negativeonly,we is wouldrecognize positiverights persons whattheyneedto actfreely. the of to in And persons need wouldbe seen as entitledto the meansto live, not as for or An of undeserving suppliants private public charity. interpretation such withinthe framework justicewouldthen be likelyto yieldmonetary of rights such checksandunemployment insurance payments associalsecurity supplemented othersuchpayments thosein need.Formany for by competent persons whoseonlymajor is lack problem a lackof moneyor a temporary of employ-



would seem recommended,and would be preferable ment, such arrangements to an arrayof social workerswho are expected to practice care but who, whether becauseof paternalistictendencies or bureaucratic constraints,often threaten the autonomyof personsin need. Many persons,however,are not competent, autonomous,and only temporarilyunemployed. Due to deficiencies of care at earlier stages or in various areasof their lives, their needs arecomplex and persistent.Inadequatelycared for as children, at home, in school, and elsewhere, or inadequatelyprovided with work and earning experience, they have grown up with more serious problemsthan a lack of money,or they sufferfromillness or disability.In such to cases care itself is needed. It should be addressed specific personsand their needs. Dealing with these needs requiresother specific persons to provide actual care and caring labor,not a machine turningout equal paymentsto all in a given category.The care should be sensitive and flexible, allowingfor the interaction of care provider and care receiver in such a way that the care receiver is empowered to develop toward needing less care when such a decreaseis part of a processof growthor trainingor recovery.When the care needed will be lasting, practicesshould evolve that precludethe provision of care from becoming dominating, and the receiving of care from becoming humiliating. Whether we employ the perspectivesof justice or care will affect how we interpret the moral problems involved and what we recommend as institutional policies or individualactions. We might try to combine care and justice into a recommendationconcerningwelfarethat each person is entitled to the care needed for appropriatedevelopment, but such a recommendationwill remainan abstractand empty formulationuntil we deal with just the kinds of very differentpolicies and practicesI've tried to outline. If we try to see justice and care as alternative interpretationsthat we can apply to the same moralproblem,as I think Carol Gilligan recommends,we can try to think of care and justice as differentbut equally valid. But we are still left with the question of which interpretationto apply when we act, or which to appeal to when we draw our recommendations.If we are merely describing the problem and possible interpretationsof it, as in alternative literary accounts of it, we could maintain both of these alternative moral and frameworks not have to choose between them. But if policy decisionsmust be made about the problem,we will sometimeshave to choose between these If interpretations. we use the analogyGilligansuggests,shouldwe see the figure as a duck or a rabbit?Moral theory should provide guidancefor choice about actions and policies, and the problem of choosing between the interpretive frameworksof justice and care often persists after we have clarified both frameworks. When the concerns of justice and care conflict, how should we try to reconcile these values? Does either have priority?Many philosophershave



supposed that justice is the primaryvalue of political institutions, but the example concerning welfare that I have been discussing is one from an importantfunction of the moder state, and it did not yield the clear priority of justice over care. To suppose that the "justicesystem"of courts and law enforcement is the primaryfunction of the contemporarystate is surely unhelpful;to what extent it should or shouldnot be would be among the very by questionsto be addressed an adequatelyintegratedethic. One possibilityI have consideredin the past is that justice deals with moral beneath which we should not sink minimums,a floor of moral requirements as we avoid the injusticesof assaultand disrespect.In contrast,care dealswith what is above and beyond the floor of duty. Caring well for children, for instance, involves much more than honoring their rights to not be abusedor deprivedof adequatefood;good carebringsjoy and laughter.But as a solution to our problem, I am coming to think that this is not clear. Perhapsone can have ever more justice in the sense of more and more understanding rights, of equality,and respect. And certainlythere are minimumsof care that mustbe providedfor personsto live, though excellent care will far exceed them. Another possiblemetaphoris that justice andrightsset moreor less absolute boundsor moralconstraintswithin which we pursueour variousvisions of the good life, which wouldfor almosteveryoneinclude the developmentof caring relationships.But this metaphorcollapsesformanyof the samereasonsas does that of justice as a floor of moralminimums.For instance, if there is anything that sets nearabsoluteconstraintson ourpursuitof anything,includingjustice, it is respondingto the needs of our children for basic care. I now think-somewhat tentatively--that care is the wider moral frameworkinto which justiceshouldbe fitted.Careseemsto me the most basicmoral value. As a practice, empiricallydescribed,we can say that without care we cannot have life at all. All human beings requirea great deal of care in their earlyyears,and most of us need and want caringrelationshipsthroughoutour lives. As a value, care indicateswhat manypracticesought to involve. When, for instance, necessities are provided without the relational human caring children need, children do not develop well, if at all. And when, in society, individuals treat each other with only the respect that justice requires,the social fabricof trustand concern can be missingor disappearing. Though justice is surelya most importantmoralvalue, much life has gone on without it, and much of that life has been moderatelygood. There has, for instance, been little justice within the family,but much care;so we can have care without justice. Without care, however, there would be no persons to respect, either in the public system of rights-even if it could be just-or in the family. But care is not simply causallyprimary,it is more inclusive as a value. Within a network of caring, we can and should demand justice, but justice should not then push care to the margins,imaginingjustice'spolitical embodimentas the model of morality,which is, I think, what has been done.



Froma perspectiveof care, personsare relational and interdependent,not the individualisticautonomousagentsof the perspectiveof justice and rights. This relationalview is the betterview of humanbeings,of personsengagedin developing human morality.We can decide to treatpersonsas individuals,to be the bearersof rights, for the sake of constructingjust political and other institutions. But we should not forget the reality and the morality this view obscures.Personsarerelationaland interdependent.We can and shouldvalue autonomy, but it must be developed and sustained within a frameworkof relationsof trust. At the levels of global society and of our own communities, we should of develop frameworks caring about and for one another as human beings. These will of course be differentfromcaringabout and for the human beings who are membersof our families or who are friends.We should care for one anotheraspersonsin need of a habitableenvironmentwith a sufficientabsence of violence and with sufficientprovisionof carefor human life to flourish.We need to acknowledgethe moralvalues of the practicesand family ties underlying the caringlaboron which human life has alwaysdepended,and we need to consider how the best of these values can be better realized. Within a recognizedframeworkof care we should see persons as having rights and as But deservingjustice, most assuredly. we shouldembed this picture,I think, in the widertapestryof human care. Of course, in these short remarks,I cannot elaborateor fill in this tapestry. What I am tryingto do is to suggestthe directionsin which I think we should be heading as we explore these issuesof feminist morality.

Harvard University Baier,Annette. 1994. Moralprejudices: Essayson ethics.Cambridge: Press. ethics. Lawrence: Card,Claudia,ed. 1991. Feminist UniversityPressof Kansas. on are relationships Friedman, perspectives personal for? Marilyn.1993. What friends Feminist Ithaca:Comell UniversityPress. andmoraltheory. the eds. Gilligan,Carol,JanieVictoriaWard,andJillMcLeanTaylor, 1988.Mapping moral to domain:A contribution women'sthinking psychological theoryand education. of School of Education. Harvard Cambridge: UniversityGraduate FreePress. socialaction.New York: and Justifying Held, Virginia.1984. Rights goods: . 1993. Feministmorality:Transforming culture, society, and politics.Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press. A to approach ethicsandmoraleducation. Berkeley: Noddings,Nel. 1984. Caring: feminine Universityof CaliforniaPress. and BasicBooks. Okin, SusanMoller. 1989.Justice, gender, thefamily.New York: A boundaries: political Tronto,JoanC. 1993. Moral argument an ethicofcare.New York: for Routledge.

Você também pode gostar