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Matters of Care

Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds

2017
Author:

María Puig de la Bellacasa

Matters of Care

Challenging the view that caring is only human

Matters of Care presents a powerful challenge to conventional notions of care, exploring its significance as an ethical and political obligation for thinking in the more than human worlds of technoscience and naturecultures. A singular contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary debate, it expands agency beyond the human to ask how our understandings of care must shift if we broaden the world.

Through its observations and appreciations of the worlds in which many forms of care happen, this bold and synthetic book makes two transforming contributions to contemporary theorizing as it subtly invites everyone to appreciate the centrality of posthuman thinking. Feminists and posthumanists can no longer speak past each other: here’s why.

Joan C. Tronto, University of Minnesota

To care can feel good, or it can feel bad. It can do good, it can oppress. But what is care? A moral obligation? A burden? A joy? Is it only human? In Matters of Care, María Puig de la Bellacasa presents a powerful challenge to conventional notions of care, exploring its significance as an ethical and political obligation for thinking in the more than human worlds of technoscience and naturecultures.

Matters of Care contests the view that care is something only humans do, and argues for extending to non-humans the consideration of agencies and communities that make the living web of care by considering how care circulates in the natural world. The first of the book’s two parts, “Knowledge Politics,” defines the motivations for expanding the ethico-political meanings of care, focusing on discussions in science and technology that engage with sociotechnical assemblages and objects as lively, politically charged “things.” The second part, “Speculative Ethics in Antiecological Times,” considers everyday ecologies of sustaining and perpetuating life for their potential to transform our entrenched relations to natural worlds as “resources.”

From the ethics and politics of care to experiential research on care to feminist science and technology studies, Matters of Care is a singular contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary debate that expands agency beyond the human to ask how our understandings of care must shift if we broaden the world.

Matters of Care

María Puig de la Bellacasa is associate professor in science, technology, and organization at the University of Leicester School of Management.

Matters of Care

Through its observations and appreciations of the worlds in which many forms of care happen, this bold and synthetic book makes two transforming contributions to contemporary theorizing as it subtly invites everyone to appreciate the centrality of posthuman thinking. Feminists and posthumanists can no longer speak past each other: here’s why.

Joan C. Tronto, University of Minnesota

Matters of Care

Contents
Introduction: The Subtle Thought of Care
Part I. Knowledge Politics
1. Assembling Neglected “Things”
2. Thinking with Care
3. Touching Visions
Part II. Speculative Ethics in Antiecological Times
4. Alterbiopolitics
5. Soil Times: The Pace of Ecological Care
Coda
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index