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Families of VirtueConfucian and Western Views on Childhood Development$
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Erin Cline

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171557

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171557.001.0001

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Feminist and Confucian Perspectives on Parents, Children, and Moral Cultivation

Feminist and Confucian Perspectives on Parents, Children, and Moral Cultivation

(p.141) 4 Feminist and Confucian Perspectives on Parents, Children, and Moral Cultivation
Families of Virtue

Erin M. Cline

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores discussions of parent–child relationships in the field of feminism and ethics, with a focus on the works of Sara Ruddick, Nel Noddings, and Virginia Held. It also compares their notions to the ideas of the Confucian philosophers. Care ethicists argue that the experience of mothering and the relationships between mothers and children serve as a unique resource for understanding capacities and development in human beings, especially concerning a capacity to care for others. Additionally, caring clearly takes precedence in the work of care ethicists, and their views on parent–child relationships are critically tied to their conceptions of caring. In contrast, Confucian views of parent–child relationships and moral cultivation do not center on women's experiences or give a single idea or role precedence. However, Confucian philosophers did not regard the topic as unimportant as they regarded it as critically important in the earliest Confucian ethical and political philosophy.

Keywords:   parent–child relationships, feminism, ethics, Sara Ruddick, Nel Noddings, Virginia Held, Confucian philosophers, mothering, development, caring

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