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Law's empiricism of the object: how law recreates cultural objects in its own image

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Watch an antique or collectables show on television, and more often than not, one segment is

    devoted to testing the knowledge of an expert panel (and sometimes members of the public) with

    a problem or 'mystery' object. The object of the exercise (no other word will do so the pun must

    stay), is to find out what the object actually is, what it was used for, and when it was used.

    Sometimes the experts know what it is, but more often than not, the host has to tell them. The

    only way an object can provide some kind of objective knowledge about itself is in terms of a

    weighing and measuring exercise, but without more, the object is bare, meaningless, and lifeless.

    The appearances of objects can be deceiving, as Mieke Bal is telling us, because pure and certain

    objects are meaningless without context, meaning, value, or significance. Meanings and values

    discursive factors - have to be imposed on these objects in order to make sense of them as

    objects of culture or objects of value. The only things that an object can tell us with precision are

    those things we impose upon it.

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • M. Leiboff, ''Law''s empiricism of the object: how law recreates cultural objects in its own image'' (2007) 27 The Australian Feminist Law Journal 23-50.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2439&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1434

Number Of Pages


  • 27

Start Page


  • 23

End Page


  • 50

Volume


  • 27

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • Watch an antique or collectables show on television, and more often than not, one segment is

    devoted to testing the knowledge of an expert panel (and sometimes members of the public) with

    a problem or 'mystery' object. The object of the exercise (no other word will do so the pun must

    stay), is to find out what the object actually is, what it was used for, and when it was used.

    Sometimes the experts know what it is, but more often than not, the host has to tell them. The

    only way an object can provide some kind of objective knowledge about itself is in terms of a

    weighing and measuring exercise, but without more, the object is bare, meaningless, and lifeless.

    The appearances of objects can be deceiving, as Mieke Bal is telling us, because pure and certain

    objects are meaningless without context, meaning, value, or significance. Meanings and values

    discursive factors - have to be imposed on these objects in order to make sense of them as

    objects of culture or objects of value. The only things that an object can tell us with precision are

    those things we impose upon it.

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • M. Leiboff, ''Law''s empiricism of the object: how law recreates cultural objects in its own image'' (2007) 27 The Australian Feminist Law Journal 23-50.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2439&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1434

Number Of Pages


  • 27

Start Page


  • 23

End Page


  • 50

Volume


  • 27

Place Of Publication


  • Australia