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St Mary's Law Academic to Present at Major Conference

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Lecturer in Law at St Mary’s University, Twickenham Dr Rebecca Smith will present at the UK International Association of Legal and Social Philosophy (UK IVR) annual conference on Saturday 29th October. Hosted at the University of Leeds, the conference will bring together the UK’s leading Law and Social Philosophy academics to discuss this year’s theme of Law and Social Sustainability. The Conference aims to explore the role of legal procedures and the role of values and social goals in the consolidation and protraction of fair and sustainable communities. Dr Smith will deliver a paper entitled Ethical Independence, Moral Duty and Self-Interest in Feminist Jurisprudence. The paper seeks to reconstruct the Partiality Question, the view that there exists an inherent conflict between Kantian ideals of universalist, individualist, and impartialist rationality on the one hand, and feminist critiques of the inherent masculine bias in our very conceptions of human nature and society on the other. The paper seeks to challenge the notions that the Kantian deontological tradition of moral theory systematically excludes and devalues female partiality, affectivity, and particularism, and necessarily leaves women’s experience of moral life ungoverned, ungovernable, and subordinate. Dr Smith will argue that the challenge is no longer whether partiality can be adequately justified within a moral theory which is fundamentally impartialist, but rather, to see that it is actually demanded by it. Using a Dworkinian conception of ethical independence, she will seek to reconstruct partiality, affectivity, and particularism as not only objective, but also distinctly human and not specifically female, concerns.
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