Law and Critique 11 (1):47-71 (2000)

This paper has arisen from my interest in questions ofsubjectivity of primary concern to contemporaryfeminist jurisprudence. Rather than side with anyparticular view represented in the debates surroundingthese questions, I have used Foucault's concept ofepisteme to explore the tradition of feministlegal thought. By focusing upon seventeenth-centurywomen's writings in which the earliest statementslinking law to women's oppression are to be found, thepaper argues that knowledge claims about law'sassociation with women's oppression are predicated notupon the positing of a sovereign feministconsciousness, but upon the specific positivities ofknowledge which existed at the time. Theunderstanding of the birth of the feminist legaldiscourse in terms of the specific conditions of itspossibility, although historically contextualised,raises questions about the hitherto seeminglyunassailable adherence to subjectivist epistemologywhich the current feminist engagement with lawmaintains.
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DOI 10.1023/a:1008920005319
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