Taking Rights Seriously
Cover of the first edition
|Subject||Philosophy of law|
|Publisher||Harvard University Press|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|Pages||xv, 293 p|
|LC Class||K240 .D9 1977|
Taking Rights Seriously is a 1977 book on philosophy of law by Ronald Dworkin. In this landmark book, Dworkin argues against the dominant philosophy of Anglo-American legal positivism as presented by H. L. A. Hart in The Concept of Law (1961) and utilitarianism by proposing that rights of the individual against the state exist outside of the written law and function as "trumps" against the interests or wishes of the majority.
Most of the book's chapters are revised versions of previously published papers. In addition to his critique of legal positivism and utilitarian ethics, Dworkin includes important discussions of constitutional interpretation, judicial discretion, civil disobedience, reverse discrimination, John Rawls' theory of justice, and the Hart-Devlin debate on legislating morality.
A revised edition of book was published in 1978 and includes a lengthy reply by Dworkin to his critics.
- Ronald Dworkin, Law's Empire. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1986.
- Marshall Cohen, ed. Ronald Dworkin and Contemporary Jurisprudence. London: Duckworth, 1984.
- John Mackie, "The Third Theory of Law." Philosophy and Public Affairs 7:1 (Autumn 1977), pp. 3-16.
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