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Law's Empire

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  264 ratings  ·  20 reviews
With the incisiveness and lucid style for which he is renowned, Ronald Dworkin has written a masterful explanation of how the Anglo-American legal system works and on what principles it is grounded. "Law s Empire" is a full-length presentation of his theory of law that will be studied and debated by scholars and theorists, by lawyers and judges, by students and political a ...more
Paperback, 470 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Belknap Press (first published 1986)
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Joe
Apr 04, 2014 Joe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: law
Though undoubtedly a classic in contemporary jurisprudence, Dworkin's Law's Empire suffers from trying to make his argument superficially attractive than logically sound per se. At many stages, he abuses the technique of taking a fundamentally controversial assumption and prefacing it with 'as shown' or 'as we have seen' when such showing or sight has been in the best interpretation obscure, and in the worst completely absent.

With that said, there are many areas in which the book excels. His cri
...more
Margaret Zhang
May 14, 2013 Margaret Zhang rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Margaret by: Professor Claire Finkelstein, University of Pennsylvania Law School
As my professor (Prof. Claire Finkelstein) said, Dworkin's writing is "slippery." Although elegant, Dworkin's interpretive conception of law leaves too much room for error, in my opinion.

Nonetheless, I would certainly say that this is likely required reading for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary American jurisprudence.
Wolfgang Jiang
这本书我读过中文译本,也读过英文原版。从语言风格上来讲,相较于哈特教授《法律的概念》它的表达更为通俗易懂。这本书挑战了哈特的法实证主义理论,证明了“法律原则”与“法律规则”的共存。但它的“唯一答案”的结论对大多数法律人来说有些不可理解。中国政法大学的刘星教授在自己的著作《法律是什么》中总结到:“哈特理论的终点是德沃金理论的起点”。

I have read the Chinese translated form of this book as well as the original edition. In term of the language, this book is easier to understand compare to Hart's The Concept of Law. This book challenge Hart's legal positivism, proves that the coexisting of legal rules and legal principles. However, it's "only answer" conclusion is
...more
B
Oct 05, 2013 B rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, westend
Well, I didn't understand this. No, I sure did not.

Law's Empire is repeatedly cited for a couple of key takeaways in secondary literature. I actually am not sure that I would have divined those takeaways from the actual text.

One thing that kept happening Law's Empire was that Dworkin would finish a package and conclude that he had made a very large point. If the point were made, I would agree it would be very large. But it never quite seems to get there. And yet Dworkin's argument is based on a
...more
Mark McFaddyn
Quite readable, but the concepts are deep. Dworkin is a philosopher, and to fully understand his theories of law requires a good bit of work, and a decent understanding of the law and of philosophy. I enjoyed his style of writing: deep but conversational, academic but accessible. And I found myself more and more drawn to his theories the more I studied him. He certainly challenges the status-quo theory of Positivism, which is much needed. Too many accept legal positivism too readily.
Markus McDowell
Jul 05, 2014 Markus McDowell rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Law students, practitioners
Shelves: law-related
Quite readable, but the concepts are deep. Dworkin is a philosopher, and to fully understand his theories of law requires a good bit of work, and a decent understanding of the law and of philosophy. I enjoyed his style of writing: deep but conversational, academic but accessible. And I found myself more and more drawn to his theories the more I studied him. He certainly challenges the status-quo theory of Positivism, which is much needed. Too many accept legal positivism too readily.
Brandon Reis
I really love the argument Dworkin establishes throughout this book. Though I do have to say his argument gets weak in the end, overall he makes very important notes on the integrity of law. What I enjoyed the most was how easy of a read this was. I encourage all people interested in learning about integrity and interpretation in the law to pick up this book first!
Bisser Dyankov
Must-read for all who want to be active citizens. However, it represents an intellectual complexity that might be cumbersome for those who have little knowledge of law. This is not because of terminology but of the pace and complexity of structuring both legal and logical arguments.
Aaron Crofut
Chapters 2 and 7 are worth reading, the main idea being that judges should interpret law in a way that creates the least contradictions in itself. The rest...meh. A lot of economic talk from a guy who doesn't get economics.
Anjan
Oct 05, 2013 Anjan added it
Back on the shelf without a complete dissection. Dworkin is one dense dude. Apparently there is a slimmer tome that explains this and other texts. gonna check it out.
Jason
Awful stuff. His presentation is totally incoherent. While I found his chain novel idea interesting, I find most of his notions unreasonable.
Yahya
كتاب يعد مرجعياً في فلسفة القانون ، أسلوبه الكتابي يشجع أن يكون مرجعاً أكثر من كتاب يُقرأ من أوله إلى آخره ، وبالجملة هو يعد مدخلاً في هذا الباب ..
Charles
Dworkin's definitive book. It's really good. Forced me to realize that a fairly significant critique I had of him was unfounded.
Lawrence
If I had not read some of Dworkin's later work, this book would have convinced me that he was a complete fool.
Reeder
Interesting and well written book on legal theory, though I think he's wrong.
Craig J.
Law's Empire (Legal Theory) by Ronald Dworkin (2003)
Takeshi Aoi
Read this if you have a thesis to complete.
Brandon
Much more compelling the second time I read it.
Crystal Chen
Nov 07, 2010 Crystal Chen is currently reading it
Shelves: jurisprudence
unique way of thinking
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Mar 03, 2013 sally marked it as to-read
John jurisprudence
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Ronald Dworkin, QC, FBA was an American philosopher of law. He was a Jeremy Bentham Professor of Law and Philosophy at University College London, Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law at New York University, and has taught previously at Yale Law School and the University of Oxford. An influential contributor to both philosophy of law and political philosophy, Dworkin received the 2007 Holberg Intern ...more
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