Feminist Philosophy of Law, Legal Positivism, and Non-Ideal Theory

The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy. New York: Routledge, pp. 701-712 (2017)

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper

12 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2019

See all articles by Leslie P. Francis

Leslie P. Francis

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Feminist philosophy of law has been shaped by debates between liberal feminists who emphasize non-discrimination and equality of opportunity and more radical feminists who offer a variety of far-reaching criticisms of the law as a structure of patriarchal power. Among philosophers, these debates have taken place largely separately from the debates in philosophy of law over legal positivism and natural law theory: whether law as it is should be distinguished from law as it ought to be. Here, I argue the issues are deeply interconnected and feminist philosophy of law is better aligned with legal positivism. My argument has four steps: a brief methodological note about non-ideal theory, an account of the conceptual separation between law and morality advocated by legal positivists, a sketch of approaches to feminist philosophy of law, and two illustrative examples.

Keywords: Feminist Philosophy of Law, Equality, Non-Discrimination

Suggested Citation

Francis, Leslie P., Feminist Philosophy of Law, Legal Positivism, and Non-Ideal Theory (2017). The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy. New York: Routledge, pp. 701-712 (2017); University of Utah College of Law Research Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3370633 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3370633

Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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