In Dworkin’s master work, the central thesis is that all areas of value depend on one another. This is one, big thing that the hedgehog knows, in contrast to the fox, who knows many little things. Dworkin’s understanding of the relationship—between ethics, morality, and political morality—is significantly revised and also greatly elaborated. He argues that “dignity” is the essential core of living well and that a satisfactory account of dignity would, in turn, point to two principles. The first states that it is objectively important that each person’s life go well; and the second that each person has a special responsibility for identifying what counts as success in his or her own life. Dworkin believes that values cohere and that in order to defend that coherence he has to take up a broad variety of philosophical issues that are not normally treated in one book. He discusses the metaphysics of value, the character of truth, the nature of interpretation, the conditions of agreement and disagreement, the phenomenon of moral responsibility and the problem of free will as well as more substantive issues of ethical, moral and legal theory.
International lawyers have long recognised the importance of interpretation to their academic discipline and professional practice. As new insights on interpretation abound in other fields, international law and international lawyers have largely remained wedded to a rule-based approach, focusing almost exclusively on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Such an approach neglects interpretation as a distinct and broader field of theoretical inquiry. Interpretation in International Law brings international legal scholars together to engage in sustained reflection on the theme of interpretation. The book is creatively structured around the metaphor of the game, which captures and illuminates the constituent elements of an act of interpretation. The object of the game of interpretation is to persuade the audience that one's interpretation of the law is correct. The rules of play are known and complied with by the players, even though much is left to their skills and strategies. There is also a meta-discourse about the game of interpretation - 'playing the game of game-playing' - which involves consideration of the nature of the game, its underlying stakes, and who gets to decide by what rules one should play. Through a series of diverse contributions, Interpretation in International Law reveals interpretation as an inescapable feature of all areas of international law. It will be of interest and utility to all international lawyers whose work touches upon theoretical or practical aspects of interpretation.
Ronald Dworkin is widely accepted as the most important and most controversial Anglo-American jurist of the past forty years. And this same-named volume on his work has become a minor classic in the field, offering the most complete analysis and integration of Dworkin's work to date. This third edition offers a substantial revision of earlier texts and, most importantly, incorporates discussion of Dworkin's recent masterwork Justice for Hedgehogs. Accessibly written for a wide readership, this book captures the complexity and depth of thought of Ronald Dworkin. Displaying a long-standing commitment to Dworkin's work, Stephen Guest clearly highlights the scholar's key theories to illustrate a guiding principle over the course of Dworkin's work: that there are right answers to questions of moral value. In assessing this principle, Guest also expands his analysis of contemporary critiques of Dworkin. The third edition includes an updated and complete bibliography of Dworkin's work.
The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life. Legal philosophy, or jurisprudence, explores the notion of law and its role in society, illuminating its meaning and its relation to the universal questions of justice, rights, and morality. In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks analyses the nature and purpose of the legal system, and the practice by courts, lawyers, and judges. Wacks reveals the intriguing and challenging nature of legal philosophy with clarity and enthusiasm, providing an enlightening guide to the central questions of legal theory. In this revised edition Wacks makes a number of updates including new material on legal realism, changes to the approach to the analysis of law and legal theory, and updates to historical and anthropological jurisprudence. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In a world full of armed conflict and human misery, global justice remains one of the most compelling missions of our time. Understanding the promises and limitations of global justice demands a careful appreciation of international law, the web of binding norms and institutions that help govern the behaviour of states and other global actors. This book provides a new interdisciplinary approach to global justice, one that integrates the work and insights of international law and contemporary ethics. It asks whether the core norms of international law are just, appraising them according to a standard of global justice derived from the fundamental values of peace and the protection of human rights. Through a combination of a careful explanation of the legal norms and philosophical argument, Ratner concludes that many international law norms meet such a standard of justice, even as distinct areas of injustice remain within the law and the verdict is still out on others. Among the subjects covered in the book are the rules on the use of force, self-determination, sovereign equality, the decision making procedures of key international organizations, the territorial scope of human rights obligations (including humanitarian intervention), and key areas of international economic law. Ultimately, the book shows how an understanding of international law's moral foundations will enrich the global justice debate, while exposing the ethical consequences of different rules.
Despite nearly sixty years of European integration, neither nations nor national loyalties have withered away. On the contrary, national identity rhetoric seems on the rise, not only in politics but also in legal discourse. Lately we have seen a rise in the number of Member States invoking their national identity in an attempt to justify a derogation from a requirement imposed on them by a Treaty article or an EU legislative act, or to legitimize a particular national reading of such an EU norm. Despite this, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has yet to develop a coherent approach to such arguments, or express a vision of the role national identity should play in EU law. Elke Cloots undertakes this task by providing a principled and coherent scheme for the adjudication of disputes involving claims based on the national identity of a Member State. Should arguments involving national identity be legally relevant? If yes, how should the ECJ approach such identity-related interests? Cloots crafts a normative framework to assist the ECJ in striking the right balance between European integration and respect for the identity concerns at issue. The book combines rigorous theoretical inquiry with thorough analysis of the European Treaties and case law, with particular attention paid to litigation involving domestic measures concerning the national system of government, constitutional rights protections, and language policy. Clarifying the issues at stake and presenting a solution to these problems, this book will be an invaluable resource for the academics, lawyers, and policy makers in the field.
With its clear and entertaining writing style, Understanding Jurisprudence is the perfect guide for students new to legal theory and looking for an accessible introduction to the subject. Key theories and theorists are introduced in a compact and easy-to-read format, offering an engaging account of the central ideas without oversimplification. Key quotes from leading scholars are included throughout the text, introducing you to their work and its impact on legal philosophy, while further reading suggestions help you to navigate the broad range of literature available in this area. Each chapter concludes with a series of critical questions designed to encourage you to think analytically about the law and the key ideas and debates which surround it. New to this editionRevised to include the most recent scholarship in several areas of jurisprudence, and to reflect the social and political developments that have influenced the law and legal theoryExpanded chapters on natural law, legal positivism, realism, rights, and theories of justiceNew and enhanced discussions of the rule of law, global justice, virtue ethics, human and animal rights, the economic analysis of law, and postmodernist theoriesUpdated suggested further reading lists and questions at the end of each chapter
The rule of law is widely perceived to be a public law doctrine, concerned with the way in which governmental authority conforms to the dictates of law. The goal of this book is to challenge this presumption. The chapters in this volume all consider the idea that the rule of law concerns the nature of law generally and the conditions under which any relationship - that among citizens as well as that between citizens and the state - becomes subject to law. Addressing two major questions, they ask if our understanding of the rule of law is enriched by considering how and to what degree it is expressed or realized in private law, and whether our understanding of the private law is enriched by adding the principles of the rule of law to the traditional list of core private law concepts. Bringing together leading philosophers of private and public law, this volume examines key questions in a little-explored field, and will be essential reading for all those interested in the rule of law and in private law theory.