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1. Where are you working at this moment?

I work at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, USA.  My title is Associate Vice President of Academic Centers and Programs and I am a Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies.

2. Can you tell us about your research and its relation to the ethics of care? 

My work with care has taken on three directions:

  1. Exploring the embodied nature of caring.
  2. Framing care as a performative endeavor.
  3. Applied aspects of care.

In Embodied Care (University of Illinois Press, 2004), I argued that human bodies facilitate caring and that our bodies contain prenoetic caring knowledge.  My most recent work, which builds on the notion of embodied care, frames care as performative and thus views care as more than an ethical theory but an ontological and epistemological theory as well.  Finally, an ongoing stream of my work has been to apply care theory to social and political policies and practices as in the anthologies, Socializing Care (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Feminism and Hospitality (Lexington Books, 2010), and Applying Care to Business Ethics (Springer, 2011)

3. How did you get involved into the ethics of care?

I was first exposed to the theories during the course of study leading to my first Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics (University of Southern California, 1994) and then the focus of my second Ph.D. in Philosophy was developing the notion of embodied care.  If find care theory a compelling way to understand identity, knowledge creation, as well as morality.

4. How would you define ethics of care?

I prefer to think of “care theory” rather than the ethics of care.  The reason is that I find care does a different kind of work than other forms of ethics.  Rather than simply answering the question, “what is the right thing to do?”, care addresses what I know and who I am as well as how to act toward one another.  I view care as possessing elements of postmodernism in that it defies neat categories of understanding.

Care is fundamentally, an embodied, performative, and imaginative endeavor that has significant implications for what we know, who we are, and the nature of the good.

5. What is the most important thing you learned from the ethics of care?

Ethics is more than rules, rights, or consequences.  We cannot address issues of morality without integrating issues of identity and epistemology as well.

6. Whom do you consider to be your most important teacher(s) in this area?

Nel Noddings

7. What works in the ethics of care do you see as the most important?

8. Which of your own books/articles should we read?



9. What are important issues for the ethics of care in the future?

Care theory needs to be more than an academic pursuit.  It is gaining popularity but only among some academics.  Care needs to be a social and political value that helps repair our world.  Traditional Western approaches to ethics are inadequate to address the challenges of our diverse social existence.

10. In Tilburg our ambition is to promote ethics of care nationally and internationally. Do you have any recommendations or wishes?

I wish to be supportive.  Tilburg’s mission is much needed and I would like to see it be successful.

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