Dworkin v. The Philosophers: A Review Essay on Justice in Robes

28 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2007 Last revised: 13 Nov 2023


In this review essay, I argue that Dworkin's reputation among his fellow philosophers has needlessly suffered because of his refusal to back down from his "semantic sting" argument against H. L. A. Hart. Philosophers of law have uniformly rejected the semantic sting argument as a fallacy. Nevertheless Dworkin reaffirms the argument in "Justice in Robes," his most recent collection of essays, and devotes much of the book to stubbornly, and unsuccessfully, defending it. This is a pity, because the failure of the semantic sting argument in no way undermines Dworkin's other arguments against Hart.

Keywords: Ronald Dworkin, semantics, philosophy of law, jurisprudence, semantic sting

Suggested Citation

Green, Michael S., Dworkin v. The Philosophers: A Review Essay on Justice in Robes. 2007 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW 1477-1503 (2007), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1019793

Michael S. Green (Contact Author)

William & Mary Law School ( email )

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P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
(757) 221-7746 (Phone)

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