In recent decades, at least in certain philosophical circles, justice has lost some of its lustre as a virtue for establishing and sustaining good relationships in a society. In the view of some feminist philosophers, ethics based on justice needs to be supplemented, or even supplanted, by an ethics of care, a felt concern for the good of others and for community with them. The "cold jealous virtue of justice" (Hume) is said to be too cold, and what we need instead are warmer communal virtues and ideals. In this talk, Prof Stump argues that many of the provisions which proponents of an ethics of care are most concerned to bring into ethics (such as care for those at the bottom of the social hierarchy), are in fact to be found in Aquinas' ethics, and in a place where philosophers advocating an ethics of care would not expect to find them: subsumed under justice. For Aquinas, caring of certain sorts is integral to justice itself.
Eleonore Stump is Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University and Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, Missouri. She is a leading medieval philosopher and philosopher of religion. Her recent books include her detailed treatment of the problem of evil,Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (Oxford University Press, 2010), and her magisterial Aquinas (Routledge, 2003). She also co-edited (with Brian Davies), the Oxford Handbook of Aquinas (Oxford University Press, 2012). Prof Stump has given the Gifford Lectures (Aberdeen, 2003), the Wilde lectures (Oxford, 2006), and the Stewart lectures (Princeton, 2009). She is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central Division.