Klaartje Klaver, Eric van Elst and Andries J Baart
Nurs Ethics published online 22 October 2013
The online version of this article can be found at: http://nej.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/10/21/0969733013500162 Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com Additional services and information for Nursing Ethics can be found at:
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Disciplinary development, ethics of care, intradisciplinarity
With a history of just a few decades, the ethics of care is a fairly young, emerging discipline within philosophical and theological ethics.1 It is rooted and further developed in feminist ethics, moral theory, theology, and philosophy.2,3 The ethics of care is a steadily evolving discipline that has moved far beyond its original formulations. Whereas the starting point of the ethics of care was the private realm of life, such as family and maternity, it has expanded gradually to fields of law,4 political life,5 international relations,6,7 nursing and medicine,8,9 and organization of society.10 The ethics of care evolves by adapting itself to those new fields coming in contact with other disciplines. This involves the risk of messing things up and becoming contaminated as a discipline. Therefore, the challenge for researchers in the ethics of care is to expand as a strong discipline with a clear identity.
The inspiration for this article springs from our discovery of shared feelings of tension in using several disciplines while working in the ethics of care, without being trained as an ethicist, and to find a disciplinary niche. As we