Dworkin wonders, in so far as we might be for equality, to some degree, what would we be for? He thinks equality is a complex, multi-faceted ideal. One facet is distributional equality. Here the question is, concerning money and other resources to be privately owned by individuals, when is the distribution an equal one? Equality of welfare “holds that a distributional scheme treats people as equals when it distributes or transfers resources among them until no further transfer would leave (...) them more equal in welfare.” Equality of welfare is a utilitarian version of egalitarianism. (shrink)
Professor Narveson's comments about my papers on equality are both penetrating and comprehensive. I cannot hope to discuss all the issues he raises in any detail. But there is a special problem: his main question is about what I have not said. He asks how I might defend equality of resources other than simply by describing a version of it, and of course this question will require some extended discussion. But he is right to say that this is his most (...) important question, and I should hate to lose the opportunity of encouraging discussion of it. So I shall begin with some general remarks about the defence of the idea of equality and then take up, in a very hasty and summary way, the other problems he discusses or raises. Please allow me, however, this apology and caution. I know that what I shall say about the defense of equality is at many points dogmatic and at others unmindful of very natural objections and replies. I want to answer Narveson only by showing in a rough and general way how far I think a defense of equality is possible, what kind of defense this can be, and what form it should take. (shrink)
Review of: R. Steven Turner, In the Eye's Mind: Vision and the Helmholtz-Hering Controversy. xiv + 338 pp., frontis., illus., figs., tables, bibl., index. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.
In an article entitled ‘Dworkin's Fallacy, Or What the Philosophy of Language Can't Teach Us about the Law’, I argued that in Law's Empire Ronald Dworkin misderived his interpretive theory of law from an implicit interpretive theory of meaning, thereby committing ‘Dworkin's fallacy’. In his recent book, Justice in Robes, Dworkin denies that he committed the fallacy. As evidence he points to the fact that he considered three theories of law—‘conventionalism’, ‘pragmatism’ and ‘law as integrity’—in Law's (...) Empire. Only the last of these is interpretive, but each, he argues, is compatible with his interpretive theory of meaning, which he describes as the view that ‘the doctrinal concept of law is an interpretive concept’. In this Reply, I argue that Dworkin's argument that he does not commit Dworkin's fallacy is itself an example of the fallacy and that Dworkin's fallacy pervades Justice in Robes just as much as it did Law's Empire. (shrink)