I am concerned with how we care for one another. More specifically, I am concerned with what it means to feel cared for by another and whether this feeling of care is morally important. I argue that the feeling of care that arises in certain caring relations is an aesthetic feeling, and this feeling is not morally arbitrary, but rather, necessary for some caring relationships. These arguments rely on the work of John Dewey. I use Dewey’s notion’s notions of expression, his elimination of the means/ends dualism, and his account of embodiment as it relates to quality to provide an account of the way care ought to be carried out as an artistic practice.
In this way, I develop a pragmatist aesthetic of care. In short, I argue that while need fulfillment is crucial to establishing a caring relationship, it is not the only thing that is required. Instead, the way needs get fulfilled is equally necessary. I take a Deweyan perspective and argue that the caregiver must pay attention to the lived present situation of another, empathic connection, and the deliberate manipulation of one’s embodiment and environment to successfully care for another.