Ronald Dworkin

Ronald Dworkin

Ronald Dworkin

Ronald Dworkin

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

Although I confidently stated in the Introduction to the second edition of this book in 1997 that there wouldn’t be a third edition, here in fact it is. Certainly the subject-matter justifies it. Dworkin has been prolific in the past 16 years, producing four important works, Sovereign Virtue (2000), Justice in Robes (2006), Is Democracy Possible Here? (2006) and, most notably, his significant work Justice for Hedgehogs (2011), besides a large number of articles and lectures. It was the publication of Justice for Hedgehogs that persuaded me. That work is intended by him to stand with Law’s Empire (1986), Sovereign Virtue, Freedom’s Law (1996) and Justice in Robes to form one large opus containing his theory of ethics, his theory of morality, his theory of politics and his theory of law, in addition to establishing his interpretive method (which is his theory of reasoning on matters of value). And so this third edition is intended bring up to date an account of his work of almost half a century (his first published piece was in 1963). In particular, I hope readers will appreciate the significance in Justice for Hedgehogs of his clear endorsement of the Humean principle separating the empirical world from that of value. In a way, all else, especially concerning law, follows.

I’m also motivated in returning to Dworkin by my continuing strong sense that he remains insufficiently challenged. It seems to me that serious writers only “pick” at his various views but don’t confront them with the attention they deserve. For example, in spite of so much sense in Hershowitz’s recent collection of essays on Dworkin (the best collection, I think), many of the writers still don’t fully grasp what I think must have been obvious before even the publication of Law’s Empire in 1986 but certainly after it, that Dworkin is not engaged in descriptive phenomenology (or, as he . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.