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A Quite Principled Conceit

7 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2013  

Kiel Robert Brennan-Marquez

New York University School of Law; Yale University - Information Society Project

Date Written: May 31, 2013


This essay responds to Jed Rubenfeld’s article, “The Riddle of Rape-by-Deception and the Myth of Sexual Autonomy” (122 Yale L. J. 1372). I argue that Professor Rubenfeld’s analysis falters on two separate fronts. First, although the article departs from a trenchant observation — that dominant theories of rape law are out of synch with our intuitions about rape — his proposed alternative also fails to track intuition. Second, Professor Rubenfeld offers no justification, in the first instance, for why rape law should hew to principle rather than intuition. In my view, no such justification is forthcoming: the project rests on an unfounded, and ultimately faulty, premise.

Keywords: Legal theory, Legal reason, Jurisprudence, Rape

Suggested Citation

Brennan-Marquez, Kiel Robert, A Quite Principled Conceit (May 31, 2013). University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 80, Dialogue, 2013; Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper. Available at SSRN:

Kiel Robert Brennan-Marquez (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Yale University - Information Society Project ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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