Surviving As A Form Of Life (ebook)The Ethics of Care as a Critique of the Ideal of the Successful Life Frans Vosman


Do individuals universally prioritize self-development? In this short book, Frans Vosman challenges this notion, highlighting a cultural group focused on survival. Vosman advocates using “form of life” and “cultural class” to research political ethics, challenging hegemonic ideals.

With an Introduction by Per Nortvedt

Do all individuals embrace the ideal of self-development in their lives?

Frans Vosman argues that there exists a cultural group of people who prioritize something entirely different: survival. Survival entails coping with the harsh realities of daily life and the challenges it presents.

Vosman advocates for the use of the concepts of “form of life” and “cultural class” in political-ethical research. “Form of life” allows us to move away from the ontological focus in care ethics, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of human beings and their inherent caregiving nature. “Cultural class” helps to challenge hegemonic ideals.

Survival, as a phenomenon, is so pervasive that we often fail to recognize it as a way of life. Our fixation on ideals blinds us to this reality. In this lecture, Vosman skillfully sheds light on this reality, offering intellectual clarity and deep empathy for those living under conditions of survival.

Frans Vosman (1952–2020) was a Professor of Care Ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This book includes the complete English text of his valedictory lecture delivered on June 15, 2018, along with a bibliography of his English publications. The introduction is written by Per Nortvedt.

This publication is an initiative of the Critical Ethics of Care Foundation.



The Ethics of Care as a Critique of the Ideal of the Successful Life


Frans Vosman




Digital publication (epub)






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