2022 年 71 巻 p. 219-232
“Autonomy,” which is a key concept for diagnosing the ethical legitimacy of one’s actions, has been argued in various ways in philosophy and ethics. In one way, the concept of autonomy is perceived as individualistic in the sense it authorizes excluding interventions by other people. In another way, it is employed by feminists to protect women’s rights. Then, along with these two ways of understanding autonomy, care ethics, which began with In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan in 1982, was forced to deal with the predicament whether it should criticize the concept of autonomy as relational ethics against individualism or accept it as feminist ethics. The aim of this thesis is to raise a question about the current form of care ethics which uses the concept of autonomy as a criterion for good care to address the issue of oppression suffered by caretakers. To guide the conclusion, in the first section, I confirm that at the beginning care ethics criticized the concept of autonomy as being individualistic. Feminists criticized that by excluding the concept of autonomy, care ethics could not protect caretakers’ autonomy in oppressive situations. In the second section, I suggest that together with developing the theory of relational autonomy, care ethics incorporated the concept of autonomy as a criterion for good care in response to the feminists. In the last section, though, I criticize that incorporating the concept of autonomy into care ethics continues the ideology of autonomy and then makes a certain care relation invisible. So, I propose that care ethicists must distinguish the issue of oppression from the issue of autonomy, and that they can address the issue of oppression more adequately without using the concept of autonomy.