FIL4355S – Care and Conflicts

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Course content

By focusing on women’s moral experiences and moral reasoning, feminist ethics contributes to renewing, rethinking and expanding our knowledge within meta-ethics, normative ethic, applied ethics and on real life moral dilemmas. In particular, theorizing on care and care work has produced a significantly different set of analytical tools than those inherited from conventional moral philosophy. New conceptualizations, methods, models and questions enable care ethicists to approach traditional ethical issues in a novel way, to bring new or neglected challenges to the forefront, as well as broaden our comprehension of what counts as ethically relevant.


This development in feminist ethics has also made possible a new approach towards conflicts and conflict resolutions. These advancements are highly relevant in today’s world, and will be the main focus of the course. We will explore how feminist care ethics deals with conflicts, and also examine the theory’s differences, strengths and weaknesses by contrasting it with other ethical theories. Thematically, the course will be organized around four topics. (1) Care and conflict in private and professional relationships (e.g. abortion, human reproduction, professional care-work). (2) Care and conflict in war and peace (e.g. violence, conflict solving, peace building). (3) Care and conflict in global relations (e.g. poverty, migrations). (4) Care and conflict with nature (e.g. vegetarianism, animal rights, land ethics).


This course is part of the The Gender and Philosophy project, offering an intensive 5 days summer course sponsored by an Erasmus+ grant, focusing on the subject of gender and philosophy from four different viewpoints. Each summer school has its own distinct theme introduced by specialists in the field of study and offers an innovative and exciting forum for discussion and learning. More about the project and the different summer schools can be found here:

Learning outcome

The learning outcome gained from this course will be

  • insight into the central normative features of a feminist ethics of care

  • the ability to critically and creatively discuss how to approach conflicts in interpersonal, social and global relationships, as well as environmental conflicts from the perspective of a feminist care ethics

developed skills in moral reasoning, critical thinking, oral and written communication.


All application must be submitted to the Gender and Philosophy Summer School. Please see the summer school web site for more information and submission details.


Recommended previous knowledge

The course is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Students are expected to have background in philosophy and/or related subjects. Students must read the required reading assignments given by each teacher. All students must have good command of the English language.


This course has the form of lectures, combined with workshops and seminars. Each day of the summer school will start with a lecture; presenting and reflecting upon different aspects of feminist care ethics. Each lecture will be followed by a workshop were the students, divided in smaller groups, apply care ethics to relevant real-life challenges, designated by the teachers. At the end of each day, each student group will present their group-work and discuss, together with their instructors, possible care ethical approaches to select ethical conflicts. The discussions will be based on the reading material, the lectures and the outcome of the workshops.


Compulsory activity:

  • Active participation during the hole of the course

Please note that teaching and the discussions on this course are based on central ideas in the feminist pedagogy of Bell Hooks where “the mutual willingness to listen, to argue, to disagree, and to make peace” serves as an ideal.


The student must write an essay of 4-5 pages (à 2300 characters, excluding bibliography and references), based on the lectures and readings. If you are doing BA, MA or PhD work connected to the topic of the course, you can write an essay where you use other materials you have been working with, but you are not expected to do so. It is sufficient to use the materials provided at the course. the responsible teacher must approve of the topic.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2017

All teaching takes place from 14.-18. August 2017


Autumn 2017

Teaching language