Natalie Stoljar

Academic title(s): 

Professor & Director, Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies;

Joint appointment with Department of Equity, Ethics & Policy (Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences)

Natalie Stoljar
Contact Information

855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2T7

Email address: 
natalie.stoljar [at]
Leacock 925
Office hours: 

By appointment.

Research areas: 
Feminist Philosophy
Philosophy of Law
Political Philosophy
Moral Philosophy

Natalie Stoljar received a BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) from the University of Sydney and a PhD from Princeton University. She came to McGill in 2006 after holding positions at the Australian National University, Monash University and the University of Melbourne. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Equity, Ethics & Policy, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. She was Chair of the Department from 2008-2012 and Interim Director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy in 2018-2019. She has been Director of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies since 2020. Prof. Stoljar is an Associate Editor of Philosophical Studies and Subject Editor for Gender and Feminism for The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Her research is in feminist philosophy, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. In social and political philosophy, her work focuses on relational conceptions of autonomy. She is co-editor (with Catriona Mackenzie) of Relational Autonomy. Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency and the Social Self (OUP 2000) and (with Kristin Voigt) of Autonomy and Equality: Relational Approaches (Routledge 2021). In feminist philosophy, she has written on feminist metaphysics, especially gender essentialism, realism and nominalism. In the philosophy of law, her research interests include legal interpretation, constitutional interpretation and judicial review, and the methodology of law. A recent project in the philosophy of law concerns procedural justice and the ethical dimensions of legal processes such as those of trust and respect. Her research has been funded by SSHRC Insight Grants, e.g. 'Silencing, Objectification and Negative Social Scripts. Do They Undermine Autonomy?' (2016-2021), and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (with Kristin Voigt), 'Relational Equality and Relational Autonomy' (2016-2019).

Prof. Stoljar regularly teaches the Department’s philosophy of law courses (PHIL 348 and PHIL 648).

Selected publications: 
  • Stoljar, N. Accepted. ‘Distributive and Relational Vulnerability,’ in C. Porro and C. Straehle (eds), Vulnerability and Relational Equality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. TBA

  • Stoljar, N. In Press. ‘Social Justice,’ in K. Koslicki and M. Raven (eds), Routledge Handbook of Essence in Philosophy (New York: Routledge), pp. TBA

  • Stoljar, N. In Press. ‘The Perfectionist Challenge to Relational Theories of Justice,’ in J. D. Rooney and P. Zoll (eds), Beyond Classical Liberalism. Freedom and the Good (New York: Routledge), pp. TBA

  • Stoljar, N. 2023. ‘Social, Moral or Ameliorative? Understanding Constraints on Legal Interpretation,’ in T. Bustamante and M. Martin (eds), New Essays on the Fish-Dworkin Debate (Oxford: Hart Publishing), pp. 183-204.

  • Stoljar, N. 2023. ‘Dialogical Trust and Procedural Justice,’ in D. Collins, I. V. Jovanović and M. Alfano (eds), The Moral Psychology of Trust (Lexington Books), pp. 159-177.

  • Stoljar, N. 2022. ‘Ineffective Intentions. How Oppressive Scripts Undermine Autonomy,’ in B. Colburn (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Autonomy (New York: Routledge), pp. 257-269.

  • Stoljar, N. & C. Mackenzie. 2022. ‘Relational Autonomy in Feminist Bioethics,’ in W. Rogers, S.Carter, V. Entwistle, C. Mills, and J. L. Scully (eds), Routledge Handbook of Feminist Bioethics (New York: Routledge), pp. 71-83.

  • Stoljar, N. and K. Voigt. 2021. 'Regarding Oneself as an Equal,' in N. Stoljar and K. Voigt (eds), Autonomy and Equality: Relational Approaches (New York: Routledge), pp. 145-168.

  • Stoljar, N. 2021. ‘Autonomy: Relational Conceptions.’ In G. Laurie, E. Dove, A. Ganguli-Mitra, C. McMillan, E. Postan, N. Sethi, and A. Sorbie (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Health Research Regulation (Cambridge University Press), pp. 27-36.

  • Stoljar, N. 2020. 'Disgust or Dignity? The Moral Justification of Harm Reduction' Health Care Analysis

  • Stoljar, N. 2020. 'Racial Profiling as Pejorative Discrimination,' in D. Meyerson, C. Mackenzie and T. MacDermott (eds), Procedural Justice and Relational Theory. Empirical, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives (Routledge), pp. 213-231. 

  • Stoljar, N. 2019. 'Guest Editor's Introduction' Australasian Philosophical Review 3, no. 1: 1-4.

  • Stoljar, N, 2018. ‘Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy,’ in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), E. N. Zalta (ed.)

  • Stoljar, N. 2018. ‘Gender and the Unthinkable.’ In P. Garavaso (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Feminism (Bloomsbury), pp. 123-143.

  • Stoljar, N. 2018. ‘Answerability: A Condition of Autonomy or Moral Responsibility or Both?’ in K. Hutchinson, C. Mackenzie and M. Oshana (eds) The Social Dimensions of Moral Responsibility (Oxford University Press), pp. 231-252.

  • Stoljar, N. 2017. ‘Discrimination and Intersectionality,’ In K. Lippert-Rasmussen (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Discrimination (Routledge), pp. 68-79.

  • Stoljar, N. 2017. ‘Relational Autonomy and Perfectionism’ Moral Philosophy and Politics: 4: 27–41.

  • Stoljar, N. 2016. ‘The Metaphysics of Gender,’ in K. Lippert-Rasmussen, K. Brownlee and D. Coady (eds), Blackwell Companion to Applied Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell), pp. 211-223.

  • Stoljar, N. 2015. ‘Living Constantly at Tiptoe Stance: Social Scripts, Psychological Freedom and Autonomy,’ in M. Oshana (ed.), Personal Autonomy and Social OppressionPhilosophical Perspectives (Routledge), pp. 105-123.

  • Stoljar, N. 2014. ‘Autonomy and Adaptive Preference Formation,’ in M. Piper and A. Veltman (eds) Autonomy, Oppression and Gender (Oxford University Press), pp. 227-254.

  • Stoljar, N. 2013. ‘What Do We Want Law to Be? Philosophical Analysis and the Concept of Law,’ in W. Waluchow and S. Sciaraffa (eds), Philosophical Foundations of The Nature of Law (Oxford University Press), pp. 230-260.

  • Stoljar, N. 2012. ‘In Praise of Wishful Thinking. A Critique of Descriptive-Explanatory Theories of Law’ Problema. Anuario de Filosofía y Teoría del Derecho 6: 51-79.

  • Stoljar, N. 2011. 'Informed Consent and Relational Conceptions of Autonomy’ The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36: 275-384.

  • Stoljar, N. 2011. ‘Different Women. Gender and the Realism-Nominalism Debate,’ in C. Witt (ed.) Feminist Metaphysics. Explorations in the Ontology of Sex, Gender and the Self (Springer Verlag), pp. 27-46.

  • Stoljar, N. 2009. ‘Waluchow on Moral Opinions and Moral Commitments,’ Problema. Anuario de Filosofía y Teoría del Derecho 3: 101-132.

  • Stoljar, N. 2003. ‘Interpretation, Indeterminacy and Authority: Some Recent Controversies in the Philosophy of Law,’ Journal of Political Philosophy 11: 470-498.

  • Stoljar, N. 2001. ‘Vagueness, Counterfactual Intentions and Legal Interpretation,’ Legal Theory 7: 445-463.

  • Stoljar, N. 2000 ‘Autonomy and the Feminist Intuition.’ In C. Mackenzie and N. Stoljar (eds) Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency and the Social Self (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

  • Stoljar, N. 1998. ‘Counterfactuals in Interpretation: The Case Against Intentionalism,’ Adelaide Law Review 20: 29-55.

  • Stoljar, N. 1995. ‘Essence, Identity and the Concept of Woman,’ Philosophical Topics: 23 261-93.

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