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dc.contributor.authorChadha Sridhar, Ira-
dc.identifier.citationChadha-Sridhar, I. (2021). The Value of Vagueness: A Feminist Analysis. Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, 34(1), 59-84.en_US
dc.descriptionThe paper seeks discuss the problem of vagueness in language. It can be of interest to legal academics from a range of fields interested in understanding how language shapes - and is shaped by - the law.en_US
dc.description.abstractLegal systems see linguistic vagueness as a problem: it must be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. Precision is prioritised over vagueness within our concepts of law and legality. In this paper, I question the preference for precision over vagueness. I argue that vagueness is inevitable and valuable for the law by drawing from feminist philosophy – a new and important lens with which to study vagueness. I show that the precision/vagueness binary is an extension of the Cartesian dualism that prioritises abstract cognition over embodied experience. As it is vagueness that uniquely captures lived experiences and contexts, it becomes important to reclaim vagueness as a potential ‘feminist value’. The intrinsic value of vagueness can translate into instrumental benefits as well. First, when legal systems grapple with personal relationships between individuals (addressed here through ‘feminist care ethics’) and second, when they must resolve issues of discrimination (addressed through ‘intersectionality’), law benefits from vague expressions. These areas of human life, and perhaps several others, require an understanding of subjectivity, particularity and context. Precision is ineffective. I hope that these explorations can help conceptualise a feminist approach to the law-language question and show that vagueness, in the world of law, can be of value.en_US
dc.publisherCanadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, Cambridge University Pressen_US
dc.subjectLanguage and lawen_US
dc.subjectFeminist philosophyen_US
dc.titleThe value of vagueness: A feminist analysisen_US
dc.institutionJindal Global Law Schoolen_US
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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