Philosophically speaking, there are two main traditions of thought that tackle care. One is phenomenological, and more specifically Heideggerian. The other is feminist ethics, and its critique of Kantian traditions in ethics and liberal-democratic traditions in political philosophy. Historically speaking, the first centres on Heidegger's discussion in Being and Time of care as Sorge, the existential attitude which defines all human being as concerned with its future. Heidegger's concept appears to draw on Spinoza's notion of conatus, the endeavour of an entity to persist in its own being, and thereby reaches back to the Aristotelian concept of the formal cause, that which it is to be a given entity.
|Circles of Care, from http://chelspoeticallyspeaking.wordpress.com|