Reblog> In praise of muddling – great post from Anne Galloway

Over on the More-Than-Human Lab blog Anne Galloway offers some wise words on the ways we might understand care: for learning and knowledge, for one another and for ourselves.

The full post is well worth a read, but here’s a couple of the many aspects I liked…

As a human being, and as a researcher, I feel a real duty to be with the world, not against the world. This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in right and wrong, but it does mean that I think that right and wrong only ever exist as specific, local solutions to particular problems. This position is contrary to one which holds that there are objective morals that can be applied to all circumstances, and it is contrary to the position that we can, or should, ‘hate the sin, but not the sinner.’ (I can’t hate either.) Put a bit differently, I believe in allowing myself and others to muddle along, because in the end she’ll be right. (That last bit’s a wee joke, btw. Feel free not to laugh.)

Today I would call on María Puig de la Bellacasa’s reminder that: “[C]are can also extinguish the subtleties of attending to the needs of an ‘other’ required for careful relationality. All too easily it can lead to appropriating the recipients of ‘our’ care, instead of relating ourselves to them [“¦] Appropriating the experience of another precludes us from creating significant otherness, that is, from affirmingthose with whom we build a relation. How to care for the ‘oppressed’ is far from being self-evident (2012, p. 209).”

I bring this up because I want to distinguish care (which I loosely associate with compassion) from justice (which I loosely associate with passion). And here I would ally myself with Mol, Moser and Pols’ practices of care, which “may involve ‘justice’ but other norms (fairness, kindness, compassion, generosity) may be equally or more, important – and not in a foundational way, but as orientations among others (2010, p. 13).

Read the full post here.


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