The article presents the ethics of care by Carol Gilligan in controversy with Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Gilligan discovered that women turned to be deficient in moral development when measured by Kohlberg's scale (usually on the third stage of his six stages). She rejected the scale as derived from the study of men. Her own studies suggest that autonomy and moral rights are not so important for women as care and responsibility for persons in relationships; moral problems arise from conflicting responsibilities rather than from competing rights and rules; women have different moral priorities; morality of rights and noninterference are frightening to women because presuppose indifference; women's ethics is not the ethics of justice but the ethics of care (three stages of moral development: care for myself, care for others, the balance between the care for myself and the care for others). Later research showed that the two moral orientations are not divided between biological sexes but rather cultural genders (cultural constructions of masculinity and femininity). The ethics of care has its own problems (the care for evil). The authoress claims that both perspectives converge and are next dilemma in ethics. Moral maturity must encompass both justice and care.
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