1st Edition

Nussbaum and Law

By Robin West Copyright 2015

    The essays collected in this volume reflect the profound impact of Martha Nussbaum’s 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 law’s 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 Nussbaum’s philosophical oeuvre.

    Contents: Introduction: towards humanistic jurisprudence. Part I The Capabilities Approach: Disability human rights, Michael Ashley Stein; Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach and equality rights for people with disabilities: rethinking the Granovsky decision, Ravi Malhotra; Personal delegations, Alexander A. Boni-Saenz; Animals as vulnerable subjects: beyond interest-convergence, hierarchy, and property, Ani B. Satz; Capabilities and constitutions, Robin West. Part II Law and Emotions: Gender and emotion in criminal law, Katharine K. Baker; Empathy, narrative, and victim impact statements, Susan Bandes; Justice and mercy in the face of excessive suffering: some preliminary thoughts, David Gray. Part III Sexuality, Gender, Feminism and Law: Conferring dignity: the metamorphosis of the legal homosexual, Noa Ben-Asher; Feminism as liberalism: a tribute to the work of Martha Nussbaum, Tracey E. Higgins; Human capabilities and human authorities: a comment on Martha Nussbaum’s Women and Human Development, Robin West. Part IV Law and Literature: Regulatory fictions: on marriage and countermarriage, Elizabeth F. Emens; The city and the poet, Kenji Yoshino. Name index.


    Robin West is Frederick Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy at the Georgetown University Law Center and Faculty Director of the Georgetown Center for Law and Humanities, where she has taught since 1986. She previously taught at the University of Maryland School of Law from 1986-1991 and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law from 1982-1985, and served as Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School and Chicago Law School. She has written extensively on gender issues and feminist legal theory, constitutional law and theory, jurisprudence, legal philosophy, and law and humanities.