'A Plural Thing': Inventing A Feminist Based Brain-Based Subject of Law

Griffith University, Socio-Legal Research Centre
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Feminist Law Journal, 2012, 37 (December), pp. 15 - 32
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A brain-based subject of law is emerging, in which neurological processes become a primary means of defining individual choice, behaviour, capacity and responsibility. This paper considers the impact of such a shift in legal subjectivity on feminist engagement with law. A reductionist take on the brain works to entrench narrow readings of law and discourage feminist reforms. However, emerging neurotechnologies such as brain scanning and neuropharmacology also have disruptive qualities that might be harnessed in the interests of feminist legal inventions and interventions. This paper looks to the disruptive aspects of neurotechnologies to argue for an alternative brain-based subjectivity in law, one that sees the brain as 'open': an organ that connects us to others, that is embedded in relationships and situated in a particular history and politics. Such an approach makes visible the gendered underpinnings of 'neurolaw' and allows for a brain-based legal subject that is open to feminist creativity
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