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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At other times, the reader feels like a quiet diner lucky to have encountered such a chatty and brilliant host at the next table on whom it is sheer pleasure hedgeehogs eavesdrop.

But the judge who interprets a past law not only aims at interpreting it correctly, but their judgment is either true or false.

Justice for Hedgehogs

Dworkin defends the common sense view that moral judgments involve assertions about value which are straightforwardly true or false. The auction ends when each has dwormin up her tokens as effectively as possible and no one would trade her package of resources for anyone else’s. A person has to care about being a good person to take Dworkin’s argument seriously.

The book takes a strong stance against scientism and its particular reductivism.


We must make the world of science safe for value. That facts do not exist in any one person’s faculties but are, instead, “suspended” in the discourse of many agents.

For those versed philosophy, you will find a lot of familiar but modern and interesting points of view and for those less so a fascinating new way of A fascinating read that isn’t overly heavy but no so light as to skim over the important topics discussed within. This book is a monume I have been slowly reading this book and it has been exactly what I needed at this time in my life.


The act of interpretation is central to moral life and the virtues of moral agents. 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. Dworkin’s book insists that historians, artists, lawyers, critics and philosophers are all engaged in interpretation.

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.

The danger in this approach is that conflicts are circumvented by fiat — arbitrary characterizations of values that are tailored to generate harmony.

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. Like Aristotle, Dworkin rightly considers ethics and politics to be two sides to the same coin, and attempts a “unity of all values” — the result of which the supposed inevitable conflict between things like liberty and equality can be reconciled into a consistent whole.

The unity of political morality depends on the fit and mutual support that obtains between liberty and equality.

If you value reason find out how to join us today. Welfarist theories seek to absolutize the equal concern principle by favoring distributions that generate equal happiness, capabilities, or opportunities for wellbeing. Daniel Roberts rated it it was amazing Dec 03, The bulk of this carefully reasoned work is devoted to working out of the implications of these concepts.

We’re having coffee in the vast, coolly modern sitting room of his four-storey Belgravia house. Jan 18, Rachel rated it really liked it. It deserves what my younger self would have been happy to give it: I felt similarly reading Justice for Hedgehogs, the year-old professor of philosophy’s grand, perhaps culminating, statement of what truth is, what life means, what morality requires and justice demands.


It takes Kant’s Categorical Imperative to a new, all encompassing level. The book works best in its breadth, in its fresh and challenging discussion of truth, interpretation and unity. After all, one article I read in preparing for this interview concerned Dworkin and Brendel: But what distribution of which resources is implied by his interpretation of equality? Under these circumstances, having the right attitude towards oneself — ‘recognition respect’ — still allows any tangible self-respect to simply dissolve.

Dec 28, Sara Van Dyck rated it really liked it.

He argues that the best interpretation of ‘living well’ will yield a way to identify and ground our duties to others. Understanding that “dignity” means something like: Again, Dworkin isn’t part of the zeitgeist. This is not primarily dworkjn psychological truism, but an interpretation of the notion of living well.

Living well is a moral responsibility of individuals and a continuing exercise of this responsibility. Dworkin also is heavily influenced by what he sees as the interpretive, interrelated character of Platonic and Aristotelian ethics without their metaphysical trappings pp.

Ronald Dworkin, Justice for Hedgehogs – PhilPapers

But is there any general interpretation of fo concept of truth and its value across different domains of inquiry? A necessary condition for true moral convictions is that these convictions, and the agent who embraces them, reconcile and unify what appear to be conflicting values.

Thus, recognizable moral virtues are required by living well, but these virtues or their opposite — moral vices — are important bases of appraisal-respect.