This collection of essays by liberal and feminist philosophers addresses the question of whether marriage reform ought to stop with same-sex marriage. Some philosophers have recently argued that marriage is illiberal and should be abolished or radically reformed to include groups and non-romantic friendships. In response, Simon May argues that marriage law can be justified without an illiberal appeal to an ideal relationship type, and Ralph Wedgwood argues that the liberal values which justify same-sex marriage do not justify further extension. Other authors argue for new legal forms for intimate relationships. Marriage abolitionist Clare Chambers argues that piecemeal directives rather than relationship contracts should replace marriage, and Samantha Brennan and Bill Cameron argue for separating marriage and parenting, with parenting rather than marriage becoming, legally and socially, the foundation of the family. Elizabeth Brake argues for a non-hierarchical friendship model for marriage.
Peter de Marneffe argues that polygamy should be decriminalized, but that the liberal state need not recognize it, while Laurie Shrage argues that polygamy could be legally structured to protect privacy and equality. Dan Nolan argues for temporary marriage as a legal option, while Anca Gheaus argues that marital commitments are problematic instruments for securing the good of romantic and sexual love. Taken together, these essays challenge contemporary understandings of marriage and the state's role in it.
Elizabeth Brake is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University. Her book, Minimizing Marriage (Oxford University Press, 2012), won an Honorable Mention for the 2014 APA Book Prize. She has also written on parental rights and obligations, liberal theory, Kant and Hegel, and is currently working on a project on disaster ethics. She has held a Murphy Institute Fellowship at Tulane and a Canadian SSHRC Grant.
Acknowledgements ; Contributors ; Introduction ; Elizabeth Brake ; Chapter 1: Liberal Neutrality and Civil Marriage ; Simon C?bulea May ; Chapter 2: Is Civil Marriage Illiberal? ; Ralph Wedgwood ; Chapter 3: The Limitations of Contract: Regulating Personal Relationships in a Marriage-Free State ; Clare Chambers ; Chapter 4: Is Marriage Bad for Children? Rethinking the Connection between Having Children, Romantic Love, and Marriage ; Samantha Brennan and Bill Cameron ; Chapter 5: Equality and Non-Hierarchy in Marriage: What Do Feminists Really Want? ; Elizabeth Brake ; Chapter 6: Liberty and Polygamy ; Peter de Marneffe ; Chapter 7: Polygamy, Privacy, and Equality ; Laurie Shrage ; Chapter 8: Temporary Marriage ; Daniel Nolan ; Chapter 9: The (Dis)value of Commitment to One's Spouse ; Anca Gheaus ; Bibliography ; Index