Making Sense of Nonsense Jurisprudence
64 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2020 Last revised: 7 Dec 2020
Date Written: September 21, 2020
Did Ronald Dworkin think morality is timeless? He did not. But he did think it was universal, right? No to that as well. Turning to jurisprudence, did he think that morality is a criterion of legal validity? No. But he thought morality is part of the law, didn’t he? Not quite. How can you say this? Is it not obvious that Dworkin was not a legal positivist, and does this not imply that he must have been a natural lawyer? Actually, he was neither. So you’re saying that Dworkin invented a new theory of law? No, his views are a version of a theory with centuries of history. Any other thoughts about Dworkin? Yes, he was a legal realist. Is this a joke? I assure you it’s not. This paper explains why, and why it matters.
Keywords: Ronald Dworkin, legal positivism, jurisprudence, common law theory, legal realism
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