Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jeremy Waldron on Ronald Dworkin (1931-2013)

In "The Chronicle of Higher Education", Jeremy Waldron has written a good piece on Ronald Dworkin:

"Remembering Ronald Dworkin"

"I was Ronnie’s student from 1978 to 1985 and his colleague at New York University since 2006, and I have been in both camps — inspired by his jurisprudence, energized by his conception of law and the rule of law, but unfortunate enough to find myself in disagreement with him on a couple of substantive issues — persistently on the practice of judicial review of legislation and, more recently, on the desirability of hate-speech laws.
I always learned a lot from these disagreements. When I was a graduate student at Oxford, I would bring him papers on rights and property and equality, and I would sit in his room at University College, listening to him take my ideas apart. It wasn’t really disagreement at that stage, it was learning — learning what it was like to argue seriously, learning what it meant to be responded to as someone worth arguing with. Everything I have written bears the improving mark of those rigorous sessions.
Dworkin also taught me that legal scholarship doesn’t have to be solemn and pedantic. I learned to appreciate and reciprocate the cheerfulness and good humor of my supervisor. I learned how to write gracefully under pressure. I came to understand that it was a privilege to have my papers taken apart and taken seriously."

See my links to obituaries for Ronald Dworkin here.

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