American Philosophical Society
Member History

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407. Philosophy[X]
1Name:  Dr. Ronald Dworkin
 Institution:  New York University; University College, Oxford
 Year Elected:  2008
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  407. Philosophy
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1931
 Death Date:  February 14, 2013
Ronald Dworkin was Professor of Philosophy and Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law at New York University and Professor of Jurisprudence at University College, Oxford. He received his L.L.B. from Harvard Law School in 1957 and went on to clerk for Judge Learned Hand. He taught at Yale University Law School from 1962-69, serving as Holhfeld Professor of Law, and from 1969-98 was Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford University and Fellow of University College. In 1994 he was awarded the American Philosophical Society's Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence in recognition of "his book Law's Empire and his other jurisprudential writings over the past quarter century." His 2007 award of the Holberg Prize confirmed more widely what Dworkin's professional colleagues have come to take for granted: that there is no more influential thinker now at work in the fields radiating from the intersections of moral philosophy, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. With the publication of Rawls' Theory of Justice, moral philosophy was brought back to the center of philosophical study, and Dworkin has expanded its reach both by essentially linking the interpretation of law with the perspective of morality, and by his unique position as a public intellectual. The position is unique in demonstrating in practice one of Dworkin's guiding ideas, namely that freedom of speech is fundamental to that responsibility for civic conversation apart from which society cannot know itself, that is, know what it values politically. Ronald Dworkin's publications include Taking Rights Seriously (1977); A Matter of Principle (1985); Law's Empire (1986); Philosophical Issues in Senile Dementia (1987); A Bill of Rights for Britain (1990); Life's Dominion: An Argument About Abortion, Euthanasia and Individual Freedom (1993); Freedom's Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution (1996); Sovereign Virtue: The Theory and Practice of Equality (2000); and Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate (2006). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1979). Ronald Dworkin was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2008. He died on February 14, 2013, at the age of 81 in London.
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