As a deeply religious thinker who disclaimed all rationalistic systems, Martin Buber produced an insightful critique of modern philosophical ethics, one that became productive soil for another nontraditional philosophical ethic: feminism’s care ethic. In light of the recent emphasis on the new morality, antifoundationalism, and postmodernism in ethics, the dialogical ethics of Martin Buber merits close examination.
Most important, Walters compares and contrasts Buber’s and feminism’s personalist ethics in light of two considerations: the lack of attention by feminist writers to the feminist-Buber linkage and the long-standing and general inattention by twentieth-century thinkers to the ethical dimensions of Buber’s thought.
James W. Walters is a professor of religion at Loma Linda University. In 1990 he organized the Ethics and Aging Project in Southern California, a public discussion of the ethical challenges facing society as the population of the elderly grows. He also serves as a member of the ethics committee at the Loma Linda University Medical Center.