Whilst feminist philosophy has frequently engaged with political theory, this original book instead considers legal theory and the practical operation of law. The work considers some of the contested meanings of what it is to be a self, a person or an individual in relation to the law of obligations. The discussion still impacts upon political theory as it concerns the way in which the question of what it is to be a woman has been defined within recent feminist theory. In order to overcome what appears to be a block in feminist legal theory, the book draws together areas of philosophy which are not normally considered within feminist or legal theory.
'Notions of self and personhood are at the heart of current feminist theory. Richardson's book combines philosophical and legal investigation to bring new and refreshing perspectives to bear on key issues to which such notions give rise in the context of conceptions of legal obligations. This is a thoroughly engaging read, accessible, persuasive and brimful of scholarly insight. I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in feminist theory, at the interface of philosophy and law.' Professor Joanne Conaghan, University of Kent, UK, and Managing Editor, Feminist Legal Studies 'Richardson's book will be an invaluable resource for feminist legal and political philosophy. She uses a range of philosophical arguments to make a persuasive case for a feminist alternative to deconstructionist and liberal arguments as to how to conceptualise women as legal subjects.' Dr Kimberley Hutchings, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK '…a rich resource for scholars whoe work engages in any way with issues of personhood and social, as well as ontological, constructions of identity…a rich resource and seedbed for other theorists and quite possibly an excellent focus for study in a graduate seminar in feminist legal/political theory.' The Law and Politics Book Review '…this book serves as a useful reminder to legal thinkers that it is worthwhile looking beyond the confines of the law in their quest to work through legal problems. In that sense, Richardson's work represents another step forward on what has already proved to be a complex and contested jurisprudential journey.' The Modern Law Review
Contents: Introduction; Emergence, dynamic systems and identity; Cornell's 'Imaginary Domain'; Tort and the technology of risk; The sexual contract; Possessive individualism; Conclusion; Bibliography; Web sites; Cases; Legislation; Index.