The End of Empire: Dworkin and Jurisprudence in the 21st Century

22 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2004  

Brian Leiter

University of Chicago

Abstract

This essay (based on a keynote address to the inaugural conference of the new Rutgers Institute for Law and Philosophy) reviews five major developments in the field of law and philosophy over the past 30 years, examining, in particular, the place of the well-known work of Ronald Dworkin, work which has loomed larger outside the field than within. In particular, it argues that the seven most distinctive Dworkinian theses about the nature of law and adjudication have now been extensively and decisively criticized over the past three decades, so much so that Dworkin himself has abandoned several of them. While Dworkin's work was indisputably important for the development of legal positivism in the final quarter of the twentieth-century, the essay shows why it is unlikely to play much role in jurisprudence of the 21st century.

Keywords: Jurisprudence, Philosophy, Dworkin

Suggested Citation

Leiter, Brian, The End of Empire: Dworkin and Jurisprudence in the 21st Century. U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 70. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=598265

Brian Leiter (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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