A renowned legal scholar presents a theory of law based on Anglo-American legal principles and practices, juridical interpretations, legal precedence, and a forcefully argued concept of political and legal integrity
In Dworkin’s master work, the central thesis is that all areas of value depend on one another. This is one, big thing that the hedgehog knows, in contrast to the fox, who knows many little things. Dworkin’s understanding of the relationship—between ethics, morality, and political morality—is significantly revised and also greatly elaborated. He argues that “dignity” is the essential core of living well and that a satisfactory account of dignity would, in turn, point to two principles. The first states that it is objectively important that each person’s life go well; and the second that each person has a special responsibility for identifying what counts as success in his or her own life. Dworkin believes that values cohere and that in order to defend that coherence he has to take up a broad variety of philosophical issues that are not normally treated in one book. He discusses the metaphysics of value, the character of truth, the nature of interpretation, the conditions of agreement and disagreement, the phenomenon of moral responsibility and the problem of free will as well as more substantive issues of ethical, moral and legal theory.
How should a judge's moral convictions bear on his judgments about what the law is? In these essays, Dworkin charts a variety of dimensions in which law and morals are interwoven. He argues that pragmatism is empty as a theory of law, and that value pluralism misunderstands the nature of moral concepts.
Written by the world's best-known political and legal theorist, Freedom's Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution is a collection of essays that discuss almost all of the great constitutional issues of the last two decades, including abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, homosexuality, pornography, and free speech. Professor Dworkin offers a consistently liberal view of the Constitution and argues that fidelity to it and to law demands that judges make moral judgments.He proposes that we all interpret the abstract language of the Constitution by reference to moral principles about political decency and justice. His `moral reading therefore brings political morality into the heart of constitutional law. The various chapters of this book were originally published separately and are now drawn together to provide the reader with a rich, full-length treatment of Dworkin's general theory of law.
Ronald Dworkin is widely accepted as the most important and most controversial Anglo-American jurist of the past forty years. And this same-named volume on his work has become a minor classic in the field, offering the most complete analysis and integration of Dworkin's work to date. This third edition offers a substantial revision of earlier texts and, most importantly, incorporates discussion of Dworkin's recent masterwork Justice for Hedgehogs. Accessibly written for a wide readership, this book captures the complexity and depth of thought of Ronald Dworkin. Displaying a long-standing commitment to Dworkin's work, Stephen Guest clearly highlights the scholar's key theories to illustrate a guiding principle over the course of Dworkin's work: that there are right answers to questions of moral value. In assessing this principle, Guest also expands his analysis of contemporary critiques of Dworkin. The third edition includes an updated and complete bibliography of Dworkin's work.
A landmark work of political and legal philosophy, Ronald Dworkin's Taking Rights Seriously was acclaimed as a major work on its first publication in 1977 and remains profoundly influential in the 21st century. A forceful statement of liberal principles - championing the legal, moral and political rights of the individual against the state - Dworkin demolishes prevailing utilitarian and legal-positivist approaches to jurisprudence. Developing his own theory of adjudication, he applies this to controversial public issues, from civil disobedience to positive discrimination. Elegantly written and cuttingly insightful, Taking Rights Seriously is one of the most important works of public thought of the last fifty years.
A full discussion on his understanding of rights as "trump cards" which privilege the individual claim over the group policy; the critique of legal positivism; the history of a legal institution according to the analogy of a chain novel; and the insistence upon a theory of adjudication that is both constructive and yet faithful to the deepest intentions of legal documents.