In Justice for Hedgehogs (JH), Ronald Dworkin has written a truly remarkable philosophical work. It advances a bold treatment of all the. Baedeker — Independence. Truth in morals — External skepticism — Morals and causes — Internal skepticism — Interpretation. Moral responsibility — Interpretation . One of the greatest legal and moral philosophers of the postwar era, Ronald Dworkin argues in his new book, Justice for Hedgehogs, that there.

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The odd result is that Dworkin’s conception of interpretation may hedgegogs wider scope than he imagines, fof scientific judgment and its framework of epistemic values. Observations on law and politics are interthreaded throughout the book, but the final section of the book on these matters seems to me rushed and less than convincing.

A position on abortion, affirmative action, or any other issue can only really be explained or clarified to someone who doesn’t share it if you have the time and ability to say more about how you came to that position and they have the patience to listen.

Book review: Justice for Hedgehogs by Ronald Dworkin

Jan 18, Rachel rated it really liked it. Criterial concepts are ones whose meaning is governed by defining criteria — properties that provide a decisive test for determining whether or not something is an instance of the concept, e. Closely linked notions of responsibility and dignity allow Dworkin to spell out a mode of seeking the right answers or we might better juustice “the best answers we can articulate right now”and also to develop dworikn of liberty, justice and democracy by bringing in a concept of fairness he develops from exploring responsibility and dignity.

Dworkin treats interpretation as a practice in the lives of individuals essential to the achievement of moral responsibility.

Ultimately justice must be concerned with two core concepts. But the judge who interprets a past law not only aims at interpreting it correctly, but their judgment is either true or false. Our moral development is a work in progress.


Here he writes about abortion with the notion of dignity in mind. In this review, I provide an account of some of Dworkin’s most provocative arguments. Can we expect one true interpretation of the meaning-cum-value of Hamlet?

This view fails to understand that liberty and equality are ‘interpretive’, not ‘criterial’ concepts; they do not possess fixed meanings and criteria prior jusfice the act of interpretation. Yes, but Dworkin argues it’s good circular, not bad circular. But whether the judgment is right or wrong in any particular case, it remains an ethical, not a moral, judgment.

Dworkin argues that a libertarian standpoint sacrifices an equal concern for the value of persons’ lives on the basis of a distorted view of the role of individual responsibility in free market distributions. And the man can write a snappy sentence, even if he does so sparingly. So I went and did what I found most fulfilling, thinking about, arguing for the things that are hard, important and rewarding. The author argues that being ethical requires you to have a central tenet that you follow.

Tor those versed philosophy, you will find a lot of familiar but modern and interesting points of view and for those less so a hedbehogs new way of thinking. The first thing to strike you about this remarkable book is its ambition. It took me a month to work my way through it, since I needed to pause and reflect frequently before moving forward. Instead, I’m overcome by unworthy thoughts.

Justice for Hedgehogs — Ronald Dworkin | Harvard University Press

Under these circumstances, having the right attitude towards oneself — ‘recognition respect’ — still allows any tangible self-respect to simply dissolve. People fod an ethical duty to themselves that is expressed adverbially: Enjoying ourselves is not enough.

The argument — surely especially unpopular in this age of austerity — that taxes should be raised is aimed squarely at middle-class Americans.

European Values in Bioethics: Being morally responsible is thinking well and rationally about our values and behavior. A successful interpretation of one’s duty to aid another ‘unifies’ the components or conditions of human dignity into a mutually reinforcing whole in a single moral act. If successful, Dworkin’s project will unify all of morality on the basis of interpretations which make human dignity the common origin of all its various duties and rights.


Impressive in its synthesis of all of the things that go into building a political theory.


It seems that Wdorkin needs a more robust interpretation of self-respect to achieve consistency with the role he gives to moral virtue and duty within his account of living well. Most users should sign in with their email address. The effort is impressive, but to decide whether he succeeds or not is something that would really take a second reading.

Academic scholarship these days is more like staying in a hotel than a home: On occasion, Dworkin simply refers to his earlier writings, assuming perhaps too optimistically familiarity on behalf of his readers.

Morality and Duties to Others Dworkin’s interpretation of duties to others aims to establish the unity of value.

Such a skeptical position contradicts moral convictions which assert that justie acts are morally prohibited and others morally required.

Agents bear the dwworkin to create integrity and unity among their moral convictions and by so doing actualize their own integrity and authenticity. In this context, there is a more straightforward moral interpretation of equal concern that may solve the problem in a manner that does not require Dworkin’s imaginary circumstances with uncertain outcomes.

Politics deals with what the members of a political community owe to one another. Dworkin’s unity of value thesis is embodied in his argument that political rights are grounded in the same principles of human dignity which underlie ethics and duties to others.