Chapter

Taking the ‘Rights Thesis’ Seriously

Neil MacCormick

in Legal Right and Social Democracy

Published in print March 1984 | ISBN: 9780198255024
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681561 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255024.003.0007
Taking the ‘Rights Thesis’ Seriously

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Ronald Dworkin gave a theory that the distinctively moral point of view — morality as against mere mores — is developed by the conducting of a consistent and coherent set of principles which most adequately justify and make sense of one's intuitive moral judgments. The intuitive judgments that are made in particular cases are, in a sense, the data from which moral theory commences. This Dworkin calls a ‘constructive model’ of morality. This chapter constructs a whole view of the ‘Dworkinian Theory’. On the whole, this review attempts to come to terms with Dworkinianism benignly constructed, and air objections to that, rather than nit-pick around the text for internal inconsistency. But some adverse criticism of some textual points is necessary and inevitable. Also in this chapter, the Dworkinian theory is tested as to the adjudication of hard cases to show why that seems so.

Keywords: morality; intuitive judgments; moral theory; constructive model; Dworkinian Theory

Chapter.  11101 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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