[[abstract]]This study adopts phenomenology as the analytical framework to examine, as the subject of ethics, how the families of mental patients confront the predicaments and challenges brought forth by the disease. The findings indicate that the families are binded in an obligatory relationship with the patients. The families of mental patients want to stay close to the illness on one hand, but tend to push them away on the other hand. The dilemma and impasse of the caring position, and the activeness and the passiveness of ethical actions show the shift and conversion of the subject of ethics. Therefore, we perceive the subject of ethics not as a set of stabilized, existing traits, but a hidden, undefined, changing state of being. Moreover, it may differ depending on where it is situated. Secondly, the field investigation showed that madness itself is surrounded by experiences of negation. The families of mental patients also dealt with the negativity of madness with negation. In other words, their caring behaviors are non-positive affirmations. Therefore, the actions of ethics are often operated by deviation and directional changes in an indirect way. By analyzing the lack and the production of the desire, this study interprets how the subjects of ethics develop ethical actions with personal meanings between the lack and the production of the desire.
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