ePiLogue
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sElf/othEr/World
Forging​Connections​and​Fostering​Democratic​Care
The​ preceding​ pages​ have​ conceptualized​ and​ advocated​ a​
democratic​ethos​focused​on​collaborative​care​for​the​world.​
This​argument​was​developed​largely​by​distinguishing​care​
for​the​world​from​the​sorts​of​dyadic​care​relations—care​for​
the​self​and​care​for​the​Other—that​define​Foucauldian​and​
Levinasian​ ethics.​ In​ particular,​ I​ have​ contended​ that​ this​
democratic​modality​of​care​involves​unique​practitioners,​re-
cipients,​and​aims,​all​of​which​set​care​for​the​world​apart​
from​even​the​most​admirable​forms​of​self-​care​or​active​con-
cern​for​another.​Indeed,​the​claim​has​been​one​not​only​of​
distinction​but​also​of​tension:​the​orientations​encouraged​
by​Foucauldian​and​Levinasian​ethics,​the​most​prominent​in​
the​turn​to​ethics,​may​need​to​be​resisted,​even​overcome,​if​
democratic​care​is​to​be​enacted.
Without​abandoning​this​claim,​I​want​to​muddy​these​lines​
a​bit.​If​the​earlier​analysis​often​sought​to​keep​care​for​the​
self,​Other,​and​world​separate​in​order​to​illuminate​the​con-
tours​ of​ a​ world-​centered​ democratic​ ethos,​ this​ depiction​
runs​ the​ risk​ of​ overdrawing​ those​ distinctions,​ suggesting​
that​an​unbridgeable​divide​separates​different​ethical​prac-
tices​of​care​from​one​another.​It​is​wrong,​I​have​argued,​to​
collapse​these​modes​of​care,​to​conflate​therapeutic,​chari-
table,​and​democratic​relations,​as​though​care,​of​whatever​
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