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ZEB-10: Ethics of Care: An Introduction (20-21)


Ethics of Care: an introduction

Nederlandese titel

Inleiding Zorgethiek

Course code



Master ZEB

Period of study

Period 1


7,5 ECTS




dr I. Van Nistelrooij

Teaching staff

Prof dr C. Leget 
Dr I. Van Nistelrooij

Contribution to final attainment levels

This course meets the final attainment levels (1) (2) (3) and (5).

Learning Objectives

  1. reproduce, explain and apply key terms of care ethics. (level remember, understand, apply) (Final attainment level: 1, 2, 3) 
  2. analyze and critically compare views of care ethical pioneers and their key insights, as well as interconnections between them (level analyze and evaluate); (Final attainment level: 1, 2, 3) 
  3. reproduce and explain mainstream ethical theories (including care ethics) and apply them to questions from the field of care and policy-making (level remember, understand, apply); (Final attainment level: 1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. explain, develop and represent care-ethical conceptualisations of care and care practices (level understand, apply); (Final attainment level: 2,3,4) 
  5. analyse problems and questions in ethical literature and critically and argumentatively compare various positions from a care ethical perspective (level analyze and evaluate). (Final attainment level: 3, 4, 5)

Content Description

The course has been set up as an introductory course for care ethics. The point of departure is its feminist roots, its contrast to different approaches of ethics and its international development since its conceptual origin. In a structured way we think through what care and care ethics are, we analyze certain key terms of care ethics like ‘relationality’, ‘practice’, ‘policy’, ‘power’ and ‘sentiments’, and look at  (the nature of and problems in) concrete care practices. How does care ethics enable us to identify and reframe problems in a different way than in mainstream social sciences and in bio-ethical approaches?


A combination of lectures, interactive plenary sessions, and small group assignments.


This introduction aims at the Dublin descriptors (1) knowledge and understanding; and (3) judgment. In this introductory course a relevant theoretical framework is constructed that both founds and will be elaborated in the Master’s program Care Ethics and Policy. In order to master this framework, the course will be examined through a literature examination (closed books) that consists of 10 (partitioned) questions.

Literature and other prescribed sources

Required reading:

Articles and book chapters that will be made available through the Electronic Learning Environment (ELO) and Joan Tronto, Moral Boundaries. A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (New York, Routledge, 1993), to be purchased by the students.

World View-, Academic and Professional Education

This course offers a critical theoretical framework that can be made fruitful and yield results in many professional contexts.

Brief explanation of cohesion with other courses

In this introductory course a theoretical framework is constructed that founds and is elaborated in the other parts of the Master.

PrerequisitesThe requirements of the Master Care Ethics and Policy
Relation between education and researchIn our education the results of our research are integrated and presented
Relation theory-practiceThis is a theoretical introduction