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Feminist Ethics and the Ethics of Care Alison Jaggar: • Feminist ethics is defined by a distinctive focus on women’s issues. • Feminist ethics has been misconstrued by proponents and critics. • Many feminist writers maintain that the values and virtues inherent in most traditional moral theories reflect a typically masculine perspective. Jan Crosthwaite: Gender and Bioethics • Feminism has a unifying theme: “the concern to understand and eliminate the oppression of women in all its guises.” • Feminists have drawn attention to gender-based inequality and discrimination and to long-held but unsupportable assumptions about the proper roles and moral status of women. • Feminists have critiqued traditional notions of ethical (and bioethical) theorizing, moral agents, and concepts of justice. Annette C. Baier: “The Need for More than Justice” • Makes a case for moral theories that can accommodate both an ethic of justice (thought by some to be the traditional male view) and an ethic of care (the alleged female view). • “The best moral theory has to be a cooperative product of women and men, has to harmonize justice and care.” Virginia Held: The Ethics of Care • The ethics of care: A distinctive moral perspective that arose out of feminist concerns and grew to challenge core elements of most other moral theories. • Traditional theories emphasize abstract principles, general duties, individual rights, impartial judgments, and deliberative reasoning. • The ethics of care shifts the focus to the unique demands of specific situations and to the virtues and feelings that are central to close personal relationships— empathy, compassion, love, sympathy, and fidelity.