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Philosophy of LawCollected Essays Volume IV$
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John Finnis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580088.001.0001

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Reason and Authority in Law's Empire

Reason and Authority in Law's Empire

(p.280) 12 Reason and Authority in Law's Empire
Philosophy of Law

John Finnis

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a detailed assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Dworkin's principal work in legal theory. His resolute adoption of the internal point of view is a great virtue. His transposition of his analysis into the frame of interpretation is less successful, and plagued with fundamental ambiguities about what interpretation is. His claims about the semantic sting are thoroughly inaccurate, certainly in relation to Hart and to the natural law tradition. His thesis about the one right answer in hard cases fails on its own terms. His theory of authority and legitimacy is very thinly developed.

Keywords:   Dworkin, internal point of view, interpretation, semantic sting, one right answer, hard cases, Hart, authority

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