Nicos Stavropoulos, ‘The Debate that Never Was’

The ‘Hart-Dworkin’ debate, which is widely understood to have dominated jurisprudence since the late 1960s, is a philosophical fiction. Hart only responded to Dworkin’s work in his Postscript to the Concept of Law (posthumously published in 1994), and although Dworkin wrote a rejoinder at the time, it had remained to this day unpublished. (It is now forthcoming in 130 Harvard Law Review.)

What has really dominated the field is a debate between Dworkin and his critics. The critics have resisted Dworkin’s assertion that morality plays a fundamental role in the explanation of legal rights and obligations. It is, however, doubtful that the role of morality that the critics have been denying is the one that Dworkin asserted.

Stavropoulos, Nicos, The Debate that Never Was (May 22, 2017). Harvard Law Review, Forthcoming.

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