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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In reading this book, as with many philosophical works, it is best to read the introductory chapter carefully and return to it together with the concluding epilogue. One is respect for the importance of other people’s lives.

Living well is not identical with having a good life, though it involves striving for a good life. In the political context, these principles are interpreted to ground a universal right to equal concern and to equal respect.

Lists with This Book.

Dworkin is scrupulously fair about thoughtfully presenting the ideas of those whose positions he intends to refute, often expanding on their ideas and philosophies in extensive endnotes. Dworkin defends an account of moral inquiry as a practice of interpreting central normative concepts, such as responsibility, duty, and justice.

Dworkin makes an intellectual case for being a morally responsible person, but he fails to provide a compelling emotional reason see Martha Nussbaum for that. This is not primarily a psychological truism, but an interpretation of the notion of living well. And the other yedgehogs equal concern for their lives. It is not easy to work out in this book whether there is at the abstract level i. And this big thing is Let’s put aside Daily Mail moralising: First, it and we must show equal concern for the fate of every person over whom it claims dominion, just as each of us much acknowledge that our own life and how we live it is of great importance.

My focus will center on his notion of interpretation and his conceptions of ethics ‘living well’morality ‘duties of others’and politics ‘political rights, equality, liberty, democracy, and law’as his practical conceptions provide the best test of his accounts of moral truth and interpretation. Like Aristotle, Dworkin rightly considers ethics and politics to be two sides to the justicd coin, and attempts a “unity of all values” — the result of which the supposed inevitable conflict between things like liberty and equality can be dworiin into a consistent whole.


Justice for Hedgehogs has similar how-many-angels-can-dance on-a-pinheadpassages, but it’s grander in vision. His account of ethics begins with a view of agents who take responsibility for acting on moral convictions and interpreting what they imply in concrete settings of life.

Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law All Journals search input. Imagine you’re in a lifeboat and you have to decide which of two children is to go overboard to their deaths. What he means fog roughly this: Impressive in uustice synthesis of all of the things that go into building a political theory.

Jan 05, Mason rated it really liked it.

The author argues that being ethical requires you to have a central tenet that you follow. The upshot is that equal concern should focus on resources of general value such as wealth because their distribution allows personal responsibility for determining one’s ends or notion of well-being, as well as the conduct one chooses to use such resources to attain one’s ends. Don’t be deceived by the title, Justice for Hedgehogs by Ronald Dworkin is not light reading, but it is not a dense philosophical tome either.

To answer this question we require an interpretation that identifies some more fundamental value that underlies and fixes the value of liberty and thus can determine which concrete liberties have this value and which do not. I’m not going to summarize it here other than to say if you are really interested read the review that I tagged above. Dworkin subsumes these two concepts under the overarching idea of dignity.

People know in two ways, for Dworkin: Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? Freddie Ayer argued that moral judgments are just grunts of approval or disapproval. His glittering intellectual career. The right to equal concern, or ‘equality’, is grounded in the right of all persons to have their lives treated as equally valuable.

Justice for Hedgehogs by Ronald Dworkin

Instead, ethical inquiry should abandon the quest to define the meaning, logic, or function of moral language and seek value-laden interpretations of moral concepts that determine their application to cases.


Find it on Scholar. The Story of the Last Slave Zora Neale Hurston’s book is a rediscovered masterpiece of literary journalism from the s.

Charles Peirce, mentioned all-too-briefly, is another thinker with a large influence on Dworkin pp Abdullah Mohsin rated it really liked it Jul 10, Every time you make a moral or political judgment about, say, gay marriages, you’re making an interpretation.

For example, religious freedom is based on an interpretation of personal responsibility that implies ‘ethical independence.

The Independence of Value Half of JH is devoted to a meta-ethical inquiry in which Dworkin establishes the autonomy of moral judgment, true moral convictions hedfehogs the aim of such judgment, and ‘interpretation’ as the sole and sufficient guide to truths about value. The problem is how to identify these interests and political rights. Inferentialist Metaethics, Bifurcations and Ontological Commitment.

For example, investment bankers make highly risky decisions that harm the value of assets held by people with no control over these decisions. It’s a wiser Dworkin, who’s learned how to use footnotes. We must be mindful of Dworkin’s point that living well does not require the sorts of achievements and ‘success’ implied dwrokin ‘a good life’.

Such resources will have different monetary costs and values, thus different prices to insure. I think Dworkin has a tendency to favor a careful, even legalistic formulations even if repeated to mildly soporific effect over short, snappy phrases.

Go elsewhere for Dworkin’s political theory proper.


This phenomenon may ground an ‘internal’ skepticism or relativism concerning ‘the’ meaning of the play, independent of context. Uncommon decency We must reclaim hedgehogd language of human rights, says Conor Gearty Read more. Authenticity is taking responsibility for making one’s own moral judgments and accepting accountability for acting consistently on them. That is why he claim that ethics should not be viewed as a “colony” of metaphysics and should be studied on its own terms.

Suzy Killmister – – Journal of Medical Ethics 36 3: Sign yedgehogs Create an account.