Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 493–498 | Cite as

Autonomy and its vulnerability: Ricoeur’s view on justice as a contribution to care ethics

  • Theo L. HettemaEmail author
Scientific Contribution


We examine an article of Paul Ricoeur on autonomy and vulnerability. Ricoeur presents the two notions in the field of justice as intricately woven into each other. He analyzes their interdependence on three levels of human agency. Ricoeur’s exposition has a focus on judicial judgment. After presenting Ricoeur’s argument and an analysis of his main points, the author argues that Ricoeur’s reflection lines up with some essential intentions of care ethics. Ricoeur’s contribution to care ethics is given in a delicate balance of autonomy and its vulnerability.


Autonomy Care ethics Ricoeur Vulnerability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seminary of the Alliance of Free Evangelical ChurchesProtestant Theological UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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