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Ronald Dworkin


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Ronald Dworkin occupies a distinctive place in both public life and philosophy. In public life, he is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and other widely read journals. In philosophy, he has written important and influential works on many of the most prominent issues in legal and political philosophy. In both cases, his interventions have in part shaped the debates he joined. His opposition to Robert Bork's nomination for the United States Supreme Court gave new centrality to debates about the public role of judges and the role of original intent in constitutional interpretation. His writings in legal philosophy have reoriented the modern debate about legal positivism and natural law. In political philosophy, he has shaped the ways in which people debate the nature of equality and has reframed debates about the sanctity of life.


Introduction: anti-Archimedeanism Arthur Ripstein; 1. The 'Hart-Dworkin' debate: a short guide for the perplexed Scott J. Shapiro; 2. The rule of law as the rule of liberal principle David Dyzenhaus; 3. Liberty and equality Arthur Ripstein; 4. Rights, responsibilities, and reflections upon the sanctity of life James E. Fleming and Benjamin C. Zipursky; 5. Hercules, Abraham Lincoln, the United States Constitution, and the problem of slavery Sanford Levinson.


"This slim but thought-provoking collection of essays on the legal and political and moral philosophy of Ronald an admirable addition to the literature on one of the pre-eminent philosophers alive today."
-Matthew Kramer, Cambridge University, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"...effectively explains Dworkin's philosophy and offers so many avenues for engaging with Dworkin's contributions to the several, great philosophical questions with which he has for so long been concerned."
-Joseph R. Reisert, Department of Government, Colby College, Law & Politics Book Review


Arthur Ripstein, Scott J. Shapiro, David Dyzenhaus, James E. Fleming, Benjamin C. Zipursky, Sanford Levinson

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