Normative Jurisprudence aims to reinvigorate normative legal scholarship that both criticizes positive law and suggests reforms for it, on the basis of stated moral values and legalistic ideals. It looks sequentially and in detail at the three major traditions in jurisprudence – natural law, legal positivism and critical legal studies – that have in the past provided philosophical foundations for just such normative scholarship. Over the last fifty years or so, all of these traditions, although for different reasons, have taken a number of different turns – toward empirical analysis, conceptual analysis or Foucaultian critique – and away from straightforward normative criticism. As a result, normative legal scholarship – scholarship that is aimed at criticism and reform – is now lacking a foundation in jurisprudential thought. The book criticizes those developments and suggests a return, albeit with different and in many ways larger challenges, to this traditional understanding of the purpose of legal scholarship.
The essays collected in this volume reflect the profound impact of Martha Nussbaums philosophical writings on law and legal scholarship. The capabilities approach that she has largely authored has influenced the approach scholars take to the law of disabilities, both in the United States and in Canada, as well as to international human rights and to domestic private laws protections of vulnerable populations. Her analyses of the relationship between our emotions and our thought and action has triggered a re-assessment of the legal regulation and recognition of emotion in a range of fields, most particularly in the field of criminal law; and her writing on the nature of dignity has informed an understanding of the emerging civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens worldwide. Our appreciation of the role of narrative in legal thought and discourse and the contributions of literature to law and legal culture, have also been broadened and deepened by her contributions. Taken together, and including the introduction by the editor, the essays collected in this volume demonstrate the far-reaching impact of Nussbaums philosophical oeuvre.
Over the past decade, mainstream feminist theory has repeatedly and urgently cautioned against arguments which assert the existence of fundamental—or essential—differences between men and women. Any biological or natural differences between the sexes are often flatly denied, on the grounds that such an acknowledgment will impede women's claims to equal treatment. In Caring for Justice, Robin West turns her sensitive, measured eye to the consequences of this widespread refusal to consider how women's lived experiences and perspectives may differ from those of men. Her work calls attention to two critical areas in which an inadequate recognition of women's distinctive experiences has faile...
Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender examines contemporary debates about the meaning and value of marriage. The book analyzes arguments for traditional marriage, including those of neonaturalists, utilitarians, and communitarians or virtue theorists. The volume also considers a range of feminist, welfarist, and liberationist arguments for ending the institution altogether. It evaluates two major reform movements: one focused on expanding marriage to include same-sex couples and the other focused on the use of law to render marriage more internally just. The book concludes with a plea to activists to redirect "marriage equality" movements toward the creation of an entirely secular "civil union law" that would respect a broader range of private life-long commitments, including but not limited to same- and opposite-sex couples, without threatening the role of religious marriage in the lives of those who embrace it and without penalizing nonparticipants.