Care Ethics and the Future of Work: a Different Voice

Madelaine Ley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


The discourse on the future of work should learn from a turn in philosophy that occurred in the 1980s, one that recognizes the good life towards which ethics strives can only be reached on a foundation of caring relationships (Gillian, 1982; Noddings, 1984). Care ethics recognizes that human well-being is a group project, one that involves strong relationships, and concern for bodies and emotions. Too often, these features are left out of research exploring robotics in the workplace. This paper outlines the main tenets of care ethics, then applies the moral framework to the context of industrial and retail settings using robots. This approach sees these contexts through a relational lens, helping to identify, evaluate, and improve relationships critical to ensuring workers’ well-being. Second, care ethics considers taking care of people’s bodies beyond mere safety, examining how working with robots can exacerbate societal or economic pressures. Lastly, care ethics takes emotions as an important source of knowledge in building and supporting care. Additionally, this paper contributes to the care ethics literature by applying the framework to the context of robotized industrial workplaces, which has yet to be done.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalPhilosophy and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Care ethics
  • Embodiment
  • Emotions
  • Future of work
  • Robot ethics


Dive into the research topics of 'Care Ethics and the Future of Work: a Different Voice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this