Decentering ethics: Challenging privileges, building solidarities. Keynote speakers: Vrinda Dalmiya (University of Hawaii) and Sandra Laugier (Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne). University of Ottawa, Ontario (Canada).
Local organizers: Sophie Bourgault (University of Ottawa) and Fiona Robinson (Carleton University).
Care ethics first emerged as an attempt to ‘decenter’ ethics; feminist philosophers like Carol Gilligan argued that women’s moral experiences were not reflected in the dominant, masculinist approaches to ethics, which were centered on a rational, disembodied, atomistic moral subject, able to self-legislate or engage in moral calculus to determine principles of right action. Care ethics challenged this model by positing ethics as relational, contextualized, embodied and realized through practices, rather than principles. Over the past decades, many care ethics scholars have sought to further this project by considering care politically, in relation to the various intersecting hierarchies of power and privilege that inhere in the context of modernity. At this time of political and ecological crisis, there is an even more urgent demand to reflect on this project of decentering ethics and to ask what further work there is to be done. To what extent has care ethics been (un)successful in decentering ethics, challenging privilege and building solidarities? How can ethics – and care ethics in particular – address questions of race, indigeneity, class and gender? How can a care ethics approach help us to reflect on the question of privilege – of moral subjects and of moral/political theorists – while also creating spaces to build solidarities?
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CERC 2020 organizing & scientific committees: Sophie Bourgault, Monique Lanoix, Stéphanie Mayer, Inge van Nistelrooij, Fiona Robinson, Joan Tronto, Merel Visse