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Taking Rights Seriously: With a New Appendix, a Response to Critics

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  397 ratings  ·  12 reviews
What is law? What is it for? How should judges decide novel cases when the statutes and earlier decisions provide no clear answer? Do judges make up new law in such cases, or is there some higher law in which they discover the correct answer? Must everyone always obey the law? If not, when is a citizen morally free to disobey?

A renowned philosopher enters the d
Paperback, 392 pages
Published November 1st 1978 by Harvard University Press (first published 1977)
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Mar 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Political and Legal Philosophy
Shelves: philosophy
Do human rights exist before laws are made, or do laws create them? Are law and morality even commensurable? Dworkin argues that they are. In a twist on the usual approach, he starts with law and works back toward moral theory in a series of essays. Three of the topics he covers give examples of his thinking.

Legal Positivism:

Under the theory of legal positivism rights are thought to be purely a product of jurisprudence. Positivists like this detachment from moral reasoning, which they don‘t belie
Umesh Azad
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The idea of Rights and it's relation to human dignity is the area exploring in this fairly long work. Dworkin was introduced to me by Dr. Prathiskha Baxi in the class room. His book Law's Empire was quite fascinating in explaining the organic nature of jurisprudence. This book on the other hand goes into the social life of law; its relation to people and life. Right as given and rights as defined category of already existing notions of precondition has a unique relation in the understanding of t ...more
بعد مشوار طويل بكذب على نفسي وبقول إني خلصت الكتاب !
ما صدقت إني أقرأه ولو لم أستوعب !!
وتركت الملحق المضاف للطبعة الثانية والمتعلقة بالردود؛ ذلك أني لم استوعب بشكل وافي أطروحة الكتاب :(
لا أدري أين الخلل من الترجمة أم من عدم تماسك حجاج المؤلف أم من وعورة مسلك أفكاره أم من غموضها

عموما المؤلف يحاول ينسج طريقا ثالثا بين المدرسة الطبيعية التي ترى بوجود حقوق ذاتية فوق القانون تشكل هدفا منشودا للأنظمة، ،بين المدرسة الوضعية التي تحاول إقصاء كل قيمة متعالية لتشرعن للقانون الو
Jake Schrimpel
Oct 24, 2018 added it
Shelves: law
ch 2 - 3 against leg pos
Fatimah  Elfeitori
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep but conversational. An extraordinarily ambitious book, Dworkin stands with some of the monuments of contemporary political theory like Rawls and Habermas.
Rodny Valbuena
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book that is still making earthquakes inside legal positivism. Specially relevant on these times of civil disobedience.
Michael Burnam-Fink
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, academic
Dworkin aims at a grandly ambitious apologia for moral liberalism in this book, trying to defend an enlightenment philosophy of human rights and common welfare against attack from the Left and Right. Towards the Left, Dworkin argues against legal positivism, which says that laws are essentially arbitrary and political in nature, a matter of interest groups and power rather than justice. Towards the Right, Dworkin makes a case for judicial discretion and the use of law to advance equality even at ...more
Sergei Moska
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is surprisingly clear in its exposition. The ideas are interesting, the attack against (Hart's) legal positivism is clear, and Dworkin's own positive position shines through at the end. Caveat: Dworkin believes that he is providing both an empirical and normative account of the jurisprudential process (something he elaborates in the appendix of the 1978 edition of the book). It would take someone with a way better understanding of legal history than I to be able to say whether or not h ...more
Oct 11, 2012 rated it liked it
it turns out that Philosophy of Law is really difficult. Dworkin's a big name for the right reasons, but I don't buy this by the end. Rights are just real fuzzy-type things, if they are even really things. Legal positivism and realism are much more sober about the realities of law, even though Dworkin makes a convincing case sometimes. Still, there's too much natural law-type stuff in his account, often quite well-hidden too.

Bottom line is he throws a few curveballs that positivists
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: law
Response to positivism. Unlike Hart, Dworkin is not very clear and not always logical, but his point of view has definite merit. Some of what he is saying makes a lot of sense, but it more applicable to common law system of US and Britain than to the civil law. Which system is better - still open for debate.
Bisser Dyankov
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book for people living in societies with little-to-none experience in personal rights, importance of law and relation between the state and the citizen.
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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