Critical and Philosophical Reflections
Edited by Leah Tomkins
Chapter 2: Do leaders need to have tender hearts? Emotion and the duty to care
The chapter examines a leader's obligation to care for followers, even when that obligation conflicts with their feelings about their followers and/or their obligations to their families and loved ones. I argue that the ethical responsibility to care is a fundamental part of most socially constructed roles of leaders. Hence, feelings of care may not be as important to leaders as acting on their duty as leaders to care. The chapter begins by exploring the meanings of care and their moral implications. It then looks at the subjective and objective nature of care in feminist ethics of care and how it compares with ethics based on justice. Lastly, given the strengths and weaknesses of an ethic of care, I examine the question: Does a leader need a tender heart, or feel care to care?
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