Dworkin, Ronald, 1931–, American legal philosopher. b. Worcester, Mass. A professor at Yale University Law School (1962–69) and then professor of philosophy and jurisprudence in a joint appointment with New York Univ. and Oxford (1969–), Dworkin's work such as Taking Rights Seriously (1977) rejects the positivist conceptions of law prevalent among legal realists and posits that rights are premised upon a comprehensive set of moral precepts that make individual rights comprehensible. A frequent commentator on constitutional questions, Dworkin criticized as unworkable Robert Bork's notion of basing contemporary jurisprudence on the "original intent" of the authors of the constitution. His other works include A Matter of Principle (1985), Law's Empire (1986), Life's Dominion (1993), and Freedom's Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution (1996).
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