Feminist ethics tends to reject universals and focus on
particular emotions and relationships, often talking about the role of the
housewife and mother, for example. It requires modification because it tends
only to apply to small family groups, not offering any analysis of the larger
community. Moreover, it does not give a clear account of what 'care' actually
consists in. Aristotle can help because he regards ethics as enmeshed in
particular situations and relationships, while also suggesting the idea of a
larger community. He emphasizes the importance of personal fulfilment, which
provides a way to limit the self-sacrifice undertaken by the carer. She must
respect herself as well as others, including those outside her family group.
Groenhout thinks that 'care' could be defined, with a little help from
Aristotle, as 'that which allows ones to promote human excellence in others'.
As for modifying Aristotle, this can be achieved by including feminine
experiences in his list of virtues. Aristotle needs to recognize that caring
for a lesser individual (such as a child) can make one a better person.
Groenhout declares that her work benefits both Aristotle and care ethics, but
it is questionable whether either would thank her for the favor.