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Ethics as a politics of the ordinary

Nov 2014

The ethics of care is not based on universal principles, but draws on the experiences of everyday life and the moral problems and practices of humans in their ordinary lives. The notion of care is best expressed not in the form of a theory, but as an activity − care as action and as concern. Care is thus at the same time a practical response to specific needs, an activity necessary to maintaining connections and it is being carried out in both the private and public spheres but it is also a sensitivity to "what matters". Such an ethics draws our attention to the ordinary, to that what is there but not recognized. It offers the opportunity of expression to humans that are undervalued precisely because they undertake unnoticed, invisible tasks. This inquiry into care practices does not only present a paradigm shift in ethics but also an actual political challenge − where the human condition is redefined by vulnerability instead of autonomy, resilience and self-management.