Books

My first book, The Core of Care Ethics, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. You (or your library) can buy it here. The book was motivated by the fact that the moral and political theory known as ‘the ethics of care’ has flourished in recent decades, yet we remain without a succinct statement of its core theoretical commitment(s). The book argues for a simple care ethical slogan: dependency relationships generate responsibilities. It uses this slogan to unify, specify and justify the wide range of views found within the care ethics literature. It’s based heavily on parts of my PhD thesis.

According to Joan Tronto, “After Collins’ reformulation, moral philosophers no longer can ignore care ethics. It is also essential reading for supporters of care ethics. This is a smart and indispensable book.” According to Daniel Engster, “The Core of Care Ethics is an original and insightful book. Collins offers rigorous and detailed analyses of many of the core concepts of care ethics and in the process brings greater analytical precision to them. Care theorists will benefit immensely from engaging with Collins’s arguments.”

I’m starting to think about a second book, tentatively titled Modelling Collective Obligations. Moral obligations are regularly attributed to collectives: states are obliged to defend human rights; the affluent are obliged to alleviate global poverty; humanity is obliged to curb carbon emissions. Are such attributions philosophically defensible or mere political rhetoric? To answer this, we need a model that can take in details about the collectives involved in real-world political problems and produce conclusions about (i) which of these collectives can have obligations and (ii) what this implies for each collective’s members. tripartite model of collective obligation. I want to develop a ‘tripartite’ model, which will treat collective obligations differently depending on whether the collective is ‘diffuse’, ‘goal-directed’, or ‘agential’.