Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs

Can I call this book “Dworkin’s chef d’oeuvre”? It may be. The book defends a large and old philosophical thesis: the unity of value. As he says in the introduction: “Its title refers to a line by an ancient Greek poet, Archilochus, that Isaiah Berlin made famous for us.”
Dworkin dedicated this 500-pages book to ethics, morality and politics, through the lenses of his theory of interpretation. For him, many concepts – that we are used to look at as criteria concepts – should be instead considered as interpretative concepts. Law for example, is presented as a department, a subdivision, of political morality. In other words, it is not whether morality is separate from law (as positivism arguably suggests) nor is morality necessary for a law to be law (as natural law school arguably suggests). In those two schools, law and morality presuppose each other as distinct categories of values. Dworkin instead was ambitious to suggest the unity of value – through interpretation, morality becomes an essential part in the way law – as an interpretative concept – is understood from the beginning. Continue reading Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs