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Ronald Dworkin


  • Page extent: 198 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.27 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521664127)

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Ronald Dworkin

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; he has spawned a substantial literature about the relation between luck and responsibility in distributive justice; he has reframed debates about the sanctity of life. His work has also been the focus of many recent discussions of both democracy and the rule of law. This volume contains new essays on Dworkin’s key contributions by writers who have themselves made important interventions in the debates.

Arthur Ripstein is professor of law and philosophy at the University of Toronto. An associate editor of Philosophy & Public Affairs, he is the author of Equality, Responsibility and the Law and co-editor of Practical Rationality and Preference and Law & Morality.

Contemporary Philosophy in Focus

Contemporary Philosophy in Focus offers a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Each volume consists of newly commissioned essays that cover major contributions of a preeminent philosopher in a systematic and accessible manner. Comparable in scope and rationale to the highly successful series  Cambridge Companions to Philosophy, the volumes do not presuppose that readers are already intimately familiar with the details of each philosopher’s work. They thus combine exposition and critical analysis in a manner that will appeal to students of philosophy and to professionals as well as to students across the humanities and social sciences.


    Jerry Fodor edited by Tim Crane
    Saul Kripke edited by Alan Berger
    David Lewis edited by Theodore Sider and Dean Zimmermann
    Alvin Plantinga edited by Dean-Peter Baker
    Bernard Williams edited by Alan Thomas


    Stanley Cavell edited by Richard Eldridge
    Paul Churchland edited by Brian L. Keeley
    Donald Davidson edited by Kirk Ludwig
    Daniel Dennett edited by Andrew Brook and Don Ross
    Thomas Kuhn edited by Thomas Nickles
    Alasdair MacIntyre edited by Mark Murphy
    Hilary Putnam edited by Yemina Ben-Menahem
    Richard Rorty edited by Charles Guignon and David Hiley
    John Searle edited by Barry Smith
    Charles Taylor edited by Ruth Abbey

Ronald Dworkin

Edited by

University of Toronto

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013-2473, USA
Information on this title:

© Cambridge University Press 2007

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2007

Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Ronald Dworkin / edited by Arthur Ripstein.
   p. cm. – (Contemporary philosophy in focus)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN-13: 978-0-521-66289-5 (hardback)
ISBN-10: 0-521-66289-3 (hardback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-521-66412-7 (pbk.)
ISBN-10: 0-521-66412-8 (pbk.)
1. Dworkin, Ronald. 2. Law – Philosophy. 3. Law – United States – Philosophy.
I. Ripstein, Arthur. II. Title. III. Series.
K230.D92.R66 2007
340′.1 – dc22      2006038179

ISBN 978-0-521-66289-5 hardback
ISBN 978-0-521-66412-7 paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication
and does not guarantee that any content on such
Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


Contributors page ix
Introduction: Anti-Archimedeanism 1
1 The “Hart–Dworkin” Debate: A Short Guide for the Perplexed 22
2 The Rule of Law as the Rule of Liberal Principle 56
3 Liberty and Equality 82
4 Rights, Responsibilities, and Reflections on the Sanctity of Life 109
5 Hercules, Abraham Lincoln, the United States Constitution, and the Problem of Slavery 136
Bibliography 169
Index 177


DAVID DYZENHAUS is a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Toronto. His most recent publication, The Constitution of Law: Legality in a Time of Emergency (Cambridge, 2006), is a revised version of the JC Smuts Lectures given to the Faculty of Law of Cambridge University in 2005.

JAMES E. FLEMING is Leonard F. Manning Distinguished Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. He is author of Securing Constitutional Democracy: The Case of Autonomy (University of Chicago Press, 2006), coauthor of American Constitutional Interpretation (3rd ed., Foundation Press, 2003), and coauthor of Constitutional Interpretation: The Basic Questions (Oxford University Press, 2007). He also has published a number of articles in law reviews and books, and he is Faculty Moderator of Fordham Law Review. During the 1999–2000 year, he was a Faculty Fellow in Ethics at the Harvard University Center for Ethics and the Professions.

SANFORD LEVINSON is the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood Jr. Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School and a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. He has also visited at the Harvard, Yale, NYU, Boston University, Hebrew University, and Central European University schools of law. Among his many publications are Constitutional Faith (Princeton, 1988), Wrestling with Diversity (Duke, 2003), and Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the US Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It) (Oxford, 2006). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.

ARTHUR RIPSTEIN is a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Toronto. He was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at Princeton in 1995–1996 and held a Connaught fellowship in the spring term of 2000. In addition to numerous articles in legal theory and political philosophy, he is the author of Equality, Responsibility and the Law (Cambridge, 1999) and coeditor of Law and Morality (Toronto, 1996, 2nd ed., 2001) and Practical Rationality and Preference (Cambridge, 2001). He is currently writing a book on Kant’s legal and political philosophy. He is an associate editor of Philosophy & Public Affairs.

SCOTT J. SHAPIRO is professor of law and professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2001–2002, he was a visiting professor at Yale Law School and the following year a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is the editor (with Jules Coleman) of the Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy and is a member of the advisory board of Legal Theory. He is currently writing a book that aims to defend a positivistic conception of law by drawing on recent work in the philosophy of action, in particular the theory of shared agency.

BENJAMIN C. ZIPURSKY is the James H. Quinn Chair of Legal Ethics at Fordham Law School, where he has taught since 1995. He is the author (with John C. P. Goldberg and Anthony Sebok) of Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress (Aspen, 2004) and numerous articles and book chapters in torts, jurisprudence, and constitutional law. Professor Zipursky has taught as a visitor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and New York University Department of Philosophy.

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