Ethics and Aesthetics of Care
Fall Term 2018, BA Philosophy, University of Basel

Lecturers: Friederike Zenker & Katharina Brandl

The term 'care' is currently used in discourses of ethics as well as aesthetics and art theory. In this seminar we will approach the concept from both sides and discuss introductory basic texts on ethics and the aesthetics of care. In addition to the weekly readings, the second part of the proseminar will discuss selected works of art shown in the exhibition Eco-Visionaries at Haus der elektronischen Künste in Basel.

Alongside the classical approaches to ethics - such as utilitarianism or Kantianism - the 'ethics of care' positions itself as an alternative voice. In its discourses, the moral quality of care is highlighted and discussed, for example, the extent to which emotions and empathy are fundamental to ethical action or how relationships are taken into account in ethics. In this seminar we would like to work out central positions of care ethics. In addition, systematic questions will be dealt with: How can care ethics be applied to ethical problem areas of the present? And: Does it stand in contrast to other ethics, especially those that are oriented towards justice, or can meaningful syntheses be shown? In addition, we will use approaches of an aesthetics of care to investigate what connections can be made between ethical and aesthetic questions in the field of care. Does the aesthetic experience enable a caring view that can open up new ethical-political perspectives on care?
The reading includes texts by C. Card, C. Gilligan, L. Gruen, J. Donovan, V. Held and S. Laugier. Compulsory literature will be announced at the beginning of the fall semester and made available on ADAM.