Philosophy

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Caring about Justice

Jonathan Dancya1

a1 University of Keele

In the post-Gilligan debate about the differences, if any, between the ways in which people of different genders see the moral world in which they live, I detect two assumptions. These can be found in Gilligan's early work, and have infected the thought of others. The first, perhaps surprisingly, is Kohlberg's Kantian account of one moral perspective, the one more easily or more naturally operated by men and which has come to be called the justice perspective. (What I mean by calling this Kantian will emerge shortly.) This is the perspective whose claims Gilligan initially found suspect, not because she thought it a distorted account of the way in which male subjects operated, but because she disputed its claims to be the only account or the best or dominant one. Throughout the ensuing debate Kohlberg's account has been left in place, and challenged not for correctness but only for uniqueness.