Skip navigation

Transformations in philosophy and legal practice

Transformations in philosophy and legal practice

Finn, Suki, Marshall, Jill, Pathe-Smith, Anna and Adkins, Victoria (2023) Transformations in philosophy and legal practice. In: Bruno, G. Anthony and Vlasits, Justin, (eds.) Transformation and the History of Philosophy. Rewriting the History of Philosophy . Routledge - Taylor & Francis, London; Oxon and New York, pp. 345-360. ISBN 978-1003056409; 978-036752088; 978-036752091 (doi:

[img] PDF (Accepted book chapter (submitted))
45156_ADKINS_Transformations_in_philosophy_and_legal_practice.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 23 June 2025.

Download (471kB) | Request a copy


This chapter provides a historical account of the transformation of pregnancy through philosophical theory and legal practice. What has remained seemingly consistent across history, though, is the lack of rights a pregnant woman can enjoy. Whilst it may manifest differently across time and place, unfortunately misogynistic attitudes persist, and this is reflected in the continual degrading of the gestator (and gestation), which is reinforced by certain philosophical theorising and technological advancement. We thus urge caution in making philosophical claims about the epistemic transformation in pregnancy, given the epistemic (and other) injustices already faced by pregnant people. We recognise that there are transformations that occur because of pregnancy, but we argue that there ought not be with respect to the pregnant person's autonomy, agency, and control over their bodies. Through an analysis of legal cases, we can see that the practice falls out of line with the theory regarding how pregnant people are treated. But perhaps it is both the theory and the practice that need to change so as to bring them in line. How we theorise about pregnancy is intertwined with our cultural views, our technological advancements, and our medical and legal practices, requiring multi-disciplinary study for a more holistic overview. In this chapter, we contribute to this endeavour by bringing some such strands together, regarding the transformation that pregnancy is, that pregnancy makes, and that pregnancy has had historically, in philosophy, and in legal practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: birth; transformation; pregnancy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2024 12:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics