Dworkin on the Semantics of Legal and Political Concepts
European University Institute; Rutgers University School of Law, Camden; Swansea University School of Law
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 545-557, 2006
In a recent comment on H.L.A. Hart's 'Postscript' to 'The Concept of Law', Ronald Dworkin claims that the meaning of legal and political concepts may be understood by analogy to the meaning of natural kind concepts like tiger, gold and water. This article questions the efficacy of Dworkin's claims by challenging the use of natural kinds as the basis for a semantic theory of legal and political concepts. Additionally, even if there are natural kinds, Dworkin's arguments for their efficacy in jurisprudence are problematic and unpersuasive. One problem for Dworkin is that his embrace of natural kinds undermines the fit side of his fit/justification model of adjudication. Finally, because in matters of value there is no methodological equivalent to the scientific method, there is little hope of finding hidden essences to explain the meaning of legal and political concepts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: Legal theory, jurisprudence, meaning, Dworkin
JEL Classification: A19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 17, 2006
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.328 seconds