By Robert P. George
This paintings brings jointly best defenders of ordinary legislations and Liberalism for a sequence of frank and full of life exchanges touching upon serious problems with modern ethical and political conception. The booklet is a phenomenal instance of the fruitful engagement of traditions of considered basic concerns of ethics and justice.
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Extra info for Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality: Contemporary Essays
Feminism is indirectly acknowledged but “liberalized” in that violence against women is categorized as socially dysfunctional. As if the marriage of liberal feminism and 1950s structural functionalism were not awkward enough, the text goes on to add yet another, quite incommensurable rationale for governing pornography: the Christian theory of the flesh. Unlike some Catholic francophone members of the Supreme Court, who engage in overt value-waving,3 Sopinka—like the other non-Catholic judges—does not parade his commitment to family values.
A brief discussion of the famously stained blue dress worn by Monica Lewinsky shows that the “analytical” mind that works with some scientific knowledge but mostly with directly observable, particular clues is an epistemology that is by no means exclusive to detectives or forensic technicians. The study of the world’s clues has been marginalized from science ever since the Scientific Revolution cast aspersions on the “correspondences” and “affinities” of Renaissance cosmology, but the quest for clues-based truth is by no means extinct.
Hyde shows that legal truths about bodies are not always sexual or racial: lawsuits that involve ascribing a value to certain body parts or bodily functions, for example, provide Hyde with a rich site on which to analyze legal mechanisms for naming and evaluating those aspects of embodied existence that are neglected by psychoanalysis, feminism, and postcolonial studies. Hyde’s work shows that feminist and queer legal analyses that persist in talking about “law and the body” are misleading in two ways: they homogenize law, and they have the effect of reproducing the myth that sexuality—and/or race—is the truth about the body.