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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Hedgwhogs to Read Currently Reading Read. There isn’t really much more to say without making this an essay so I won’t go into specifics. Academic scholarship these days is more like staying in a hotel than a home: Interpretive truth differs from scientific truth in that it is found through argument and in that its concepts are interrelated.

The fox knows many things, the Greeks said, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. Dworkin for his part takes the side of the hedgehog. The title refers to a distinction political philosopher Isaiah Berlin made between hedgehogs and foxes, based on an ancient Greek parable. Is it worse to deliberately kill another than to let him or her die?

Morals deals with the question of how persons ought to treat one another, and their duties in this regard. They’re part of my life, for which I take responsibility.

A public policy that requires this subsidy may dworkni the value of personal responsibility and my freedom to use my resources as I choose. Living well also involves self-respect — an fkr one takes to one’s life and self. He would be in that elevator chatting away. Apr 29, Philip Chaston rated it really liked it.

And then I should have added that this is true of all interpreters — poets, painters, perhaps even professors with two intimidating-sounding jobs.

I hate it when people say: Another key concept is of moral responsibility: Presumably honesty, fairness, integrity, sincerity, and respect for others are objectively valuable goods and part of what one strives for in the attempt to live well. I read only about half of it, but there were chapters that I read over three times.


Oct 10, Bruce rated it it was amazing. Consider the conflicts between liberty and equality which may arise from the requirement that all agree to subsidize a minimal monetary level of coverage for all. Daniel Roberts rated it it was amazing Dec 03, But does this interpretation of human dignity explain why the notion of a good life does not also require a life of dignity?

But how do particular moral claims stand or fall? Dworkin’s rich interpretation of the principles of human dignity seems to blunt his sharp account of the difference between acts and omissions. They invaded and occupied all the honorifics—reality, truth, fact, ground, meaning, knowledge, and being—and dictated the terms on which other bodies of thought might aspire to them, and skepticism has been the inevitable result.

Dworkin interprets it as an attitude of caring how one lives, recognizing the objective value of living well, and living in light of a conception of the sort of person one aspires to be.

The importance principle focuses the agent’s hedtehogs on the impact of action or inaction on the life of the person in need. It shows a healthy skepticism of any claim to know the single truth. He must think it’s better and the question is why.

Dignity — Free will and responsibility — Morality. The author argues that being ethical requires you to have a central tenet that you follow. The image is quite adorable but that is not the point that the author is trying to make. Dworkin’s discussion of interpretive judgment covers various fields of inquiry. 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.

Uncommon decency We must reclaim the language of human rights, says Conor Gearty Read more. The Moral Fixed Points: This book is a monume I have been slowly reading this book and it has been exactly flr I needed at this time in my life. There is no meeting of minds even in the grander reception spaces, given over as these invariably now are to fundraising and graduate recruitment drives or pretences at welcoming poorer students.


The right to equal respect is grounded in the right of all persons to exercise personal responsibility over their own lives — which in the political context implies gedgehogs basic liberties for all.

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. Dignity requires self-respect and authenticity–two things religion, authoritarian political systems, and capitalism denies people.

Book review: Justice for Hedgehogs by Ronald Dworkin | New Humanist

While I really haven’t had a chance to digest his arguments, I think his book stands with some of the monuments of contemporary political theory like Rawls and Habermas who till roughly the same field.

Sign in to use this feature. Sign In or Create an Account. There is a high degree of uncertainty in any answer, he concedes, but we may hevgehogs that there is some minimal level of coverage all would choose and be willing to subsidize.

Rainer Forst – – Columbia University Press. As moral realist and value pluralist by inclination, I found Dworkin always complicates my intuitions and that, is a very hedgehofs thing. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. And yet, when Dworkin — a Rhode Island-born graduate of Harvard and Oxford, one-time New York clerk to the marvellously named Judge Learned Hand — started teaching at US law schools in the s, he found lots of people who would say such things.

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. It is a hedgehlgs and wonderful work.

Justice for Hedgehogs

The bulk of this carefully reasoned work is devoted to working out of the implications of these concepts. Morality is the duty owed to others.

We’re two hours into a conversation that has ranged over US taxation policy, gay marriages and justie.