The law and the sublime: Rethinking the self and its boundaries

Author: Richardson, Janice

Source: Law and Critique, Volume 18, Number 2, July 2007 , pp. 229-252(24)

Publisher: Springer

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Christine Battersby has argued that it is Kant (and not Descartes) who provides the paradigm model of what it is to be a self in modernity. The Kantian self is established in opposition to its other. The body is commonly envisaged as a container, with selfhood as something that is defended against the outside. In contrast, she proposes a feminist reworking of such a model of selfhood, applicable to both men and women, in which the self and other emerge over time through patterns of relationality. This paper introduces Battersby’s work by focusing upon her early analysis of Kantian aesthetics, in particular the sublime. The aim is to draw out some of the legal and political implications of her work, particularly with regard to the common law’s developing conception of privacy. This is carried out by distinguishing her ontological position from the psychology of Carol Gilligan and then by considering the overlapping concerns of Jennifer Nedelsky in the area of legal theory.

Keywords: Battersby; Kant; Nedelsky; feminist aesthetics; privacy; self/other; sublime

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: July 1, 2007

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