Taking Rights Seriously

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Taking Rights Seriously
Taking Rights Seriously.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Ronald Dworkin
Country United States
Language English
Subject Philosophy of law
Publisher Harvard University Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages xv, 293 p
ISBN 0-674-86710-6
OCLC 2847963
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.

See also[edit]

  • 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.