Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Judge (Emperor) is Naked!!

Jeremy Waldron reviewed Ronald Dworkin's latest book Justice in Robes on the New York Review of Books. (you can only access it in full if you're subscribed).

It is not a particularly good review, which probably mirrors the fact that it is not a particularly good book. The usual Dworkin, but this time much more aggressive towards its critiques. Posner, Rorty and others are vigorously (if not violently) treated and the argument does not benefit out of it.

The only interesting piece is an article on value pluralism in response to Isaiah Berlin. Dworkin attempts to play down value pluralism, but he is not quite convincing. Especially not so when he concludes in the end that it is better to hope that the sacrifices predicted by value pluralism could be avoided. We all hope that no sacrifices are necessary to live together in a harmonious society. But, the hope is very thin and should not disguise the necessity of some trade-offs. In particular that hope should not prevent us from understanding when and how to deal with sacrfices of value.

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