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Naturalizing JurisprudenceEssays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy$
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Brian Leiter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206490

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206490.001.0001

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Objectivity, Morality, and Adjudication *

Objectivity, Morality, and Adjudication *

(p.225) 8 Objectivity, Morality, and Adjudication*
Naturalizing Jurisprudence


Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the views of two philosophers — Ronald Dworkin and John McDowell — who repudiate the premise of the location problem, namely, that causal efficacy is always the mark of the real. From the standpoint of legal philosophy, Dworkin's response is particularly significant, since his theory of law and adjudication makes a party's legal rights turn on the answer to moral questions: if those answers are not ‘objective’, then Dworkin's theory is a license for extraordinary judicial discretion. It shows that Dworkin has no good arguments against taking the location problem seriously, and that his and McDowell's alternative account of the objectivity of morality is both empty and entails counter-intuitive conclusions.

Keywords:   Ronald Dworkin, John McDowell, location problem, legal philosophy, morality, adjudication

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