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Marcelian charm in nursing practice: the unity of agape and eros as the foundation of an ethic of care

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In the nursing literature, a number of qualities are associated with loving care. Reference is made to, among other things, humility, attentiveness, responsibility and duty, compassion, and tenderness. The author attempts to show that charm, in the Marcelian sense, also plays a central role. It is argued that the moral foundation of charm is a unity of agape and eros. An impartial giving of the self for others is clearly of fundamental importance in an ethic of care. Including charm in the discussion points to the fact that eros also plays a crucial role. Eros produces a passion for people and for life. It is a physical and spiritual energy that animates a person in all facets of her life, including her caring work.

Keywords: agape; charm; eros; ethic of care; love; nurse–patient relationship

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-10-01

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