Ronald Dworkin (Jurists : Profiles in Legal Theory Series)

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9780804719971: Ronald Dworkin (Jurists : Profiles in Legal Theory Series)

An overall account of the legal and political philosophy of an increasingly influential lawyer and philosopher in both the US and the UK - Ronald Dworkin. Dworkin's works are now standard reading for courses on jurisprudence and political theory and all practical lawyers will have struggled with his highly complex ideas at some point; yet no in depth analysis of his theories has been made to date. In this book Stephen Guest attempts to explain and illustrate Dworkin's legal philosophy as clearly and as coherently as possible. In a short introduction he gives a brief biography of Dworkin and describes the intellectual context within which his theories have emerged. He shows how Dworkin's ideas encompass nothing less than a complete theory of legal and political reasoning, relevant to both the US and UK legal systems, and emphasizes Dworkin's increasing importance to the practical lawyer.

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From the Back Cover:

This is a lucid and comprehensive introduction to, and critical assessment of, Ronald Dworkin's seminal contributions to legal and political philosophy. His theories have a complexity, originality, and moral power that have excited a wide range of academic and political thinkers, and even those who disagree with him acknowledge that his ideas must be confronted and given serious consideration. His enormous output of books and papers and his formidable profusion of lectures and seminars throughout the world, in addition to his teaching duties at Oxford and New York University, have made him a giant figure in contemporary thought. In short, Dworkin's theory of law is that the nature of legal argument lies in the best moral interpretation of existing social practices. His theory of justice is that all political judgments ought to rest ultimately upon the injunction that people are equal as human beings, irrespective of the circumstances in which they are born. Dworkin does not fit into an orthodox category. His theory of law is radical in that it sees legal argument primarily about rights yet conservative in seeing it as constrained by history. He is libertarian both in valuing ambition and in asserting a right to pornography, yet socialist in believing that no person has a right to a greater share of resources than anyone else. In particular, he advocates a system that would tax people on the resources they accumulate solely through their talent alone. Because Dworkin writes for a number of audiences--sometimes the general public, sometimes academic lawyers, sometimes philosophers and economists--it is often difficult to identify the different strands of his thought. The book aims to makehis theories clear and accessible and to give an overall picture of his thinking that is sympathetic yet rigorously argued. This is the sixth book in the series Jurists: Profiles in Legal Theory.

About the Author:

Stephen Guest is Professor of Legal Philosophy at University College London.

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Editorial: Stanford Univ Pr (1992)
ISBN 10: 0804719977 ISBN 13: 9780804719971
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