Clamshells or Bedsteads?

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Andrew Halpin

Andrew Halpin

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

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This article offers a comparative study of the approaches of Dworkin and Aristotle to money and the market. For Dworkin the importance of this subject lies in the use he makes of the device of a hypothetical auction to provide the basis of a conception of equality of resources, compatible with liberty, and sustained by his view of ethical individualism. The technical adequacy of Dworkin's auction is considered with the assistance of an insight taken from Aristotle's comments on money, which brings to light the secondary conceptual status of money. Dworkin's attempts to produce a metric of equality of resources are found wanting. It is suggested that Aristotle's insight has repercussions for Dworkin's broader project, as well as implication for any attempt to use the market to provide a sense of value in human affairs.

Suggested Citation

Halpin, Andrew, Clamshells or Bedsteads?. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 353-366, 2000. Available at SSRN:

Andrew Halpin (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

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