Professor Brake's research interests include: ethics, applied ethics, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of sex and lLove, LGBT philosophy.
Professor Brake joined Rice's Philosophy Department in the Summer of 2019. Prior to that, she taught at Arizona State University and the University of Calgary. Professor Brake completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in 1999, and a BA in Classics and English at Oxford University in 1993.
The chapters of this book, which are by liberal and feminist philosophers, address 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 friendships. In response, Chapter 1 argues that marriage law can be justified without illiberal appeal to an ideal relationship type, and Chapter 2 argues that the liberal values justifying same-sex marriage do not justify further extension. Other chapters argue for new legal forms for intimate relationships. Chapter 3 argues that piecemeal directives rather than relationship contracts should replace marriage, and Chapter 4 argues for separating marriage and parenting, with parenting rather than marriage becoming the family’s foundation. The fifth chapter argues for a non-hierarchical friendship model for marriage. The next one argues that polygamy should be decriminalized but that the liberal state need not recognize it, while Chapter 7 argues that polygamy could be legally structured to protect privacy and equality. The eighth chapter argues for temporary marriage as a legal option, while the chapter that follows argues that marital commitments are problematic instruments for securing romantic love. These essays challenge contemporary understandings of marriage and the state’s role in it.