Gender and the Analytical Jurisprudential Mind
32 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 25, 2015
Why does contemporary jurisprudence have so little to say about law and gender? I think that is because gender is not relevant to theories of the nature of law. Joanne Conaghan disagrees. She says the methods of analytic philosophy screen out gender by abstracting concepts from social contexts, smuggling in hidden values, and ignoring empirical evidence. My own work on the law of marriage is said to exemplify this. But Conaghan is comprehensively mistaken in her diagnosis. She misunderstands analytic jurisprudence, misunderstands the relation between sex and gender, and misunderstands the role of social facts in legal philosophy. Feminist legal theory is made poorer if it accepts the caricature she offers. Legal scholars should be more open to the contributions of analytic philosophy to feminist inquiry.
Keywords: jurisprudence, legal philosophy, feminism, feminist philosophy, gender, Joanne Conaghan
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