Macalester Journal of Philosophy

Article Title

The Caring Contract


This paper attempts to offer a resolution to the objections raised against established accounts of contractarianism (as well as those against ethics of care) by synthesizing the deontological concepts of reason, rights and impartiality with the care ethicist’s tool box of emotion, sensitivity and partiality. Asserting that empathy provides both objective and substantive grounds for moral contract making, that personal relations should be conceptualized as a continuum and providing a working hypothesis which links personhood with caring motives, a number of contractual principles are proposed which can account for the problems of Emotions & Moral Motivation, Relationships & Partiality and Degrees of Merit & Guilt.