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Dworkin's "one right answer" thesis

Guest, SFD; (2016) Dworkin's "one right answer" thesis. Problema. Anuario de Filosofía y Teoría del Derecho , 10 pp. 3-21. Green open access

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Dworkin believes legal arguments are evaluative arguments of political morality and so his legal theory depends on the idea that there are one-right-answers to most evaluative questions. That objective truth – or fallibility – is embedded in morally evaluative discourse is obvious from its logic. For we can't deny that there is no moral truth merely because there is nothing 'external' or 'demonstrable' that determines that truth; that denial merely affirms moral permissibility (by saying it is not false, eg, that abortion is wrong). However, our discourse could be in error and the better argument for one-right-answers is morally evaluative, not descriptive-analytic. There are two such moral arguments. The first is that 'demonstrable' truth, implied by the 'external' criticism, implies a rigid sense of community and makes little sense of the complexity of our moral rights. The second is that abandoning truth altogether would mean that morality was no more than 'making things up' arbitrarily. As a corollary, the 'unity of value' thesis means not much more than that, given the moral requirement of non-demonstrable truth, lawyers and other political moralists have a duty to construct final justifications that assume competitive tensions between relevant principles are resolved without logical contradiction or conflict.

Type: Article
Title: Dworkin's "one right answer" thesis
Location: Mexico
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://revistas.juridicas.unam.mx/index.php/filos...
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México -Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas Problema.
Keywords: right answer thesis, moral objectivity, legal reasoning, integrity, Ronald Dworkin
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476500
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