Ronald Dworkin

Legal philosopher

Ronald Dworkin was without question the leading legal philosopher of his generation. A 21-year-old Rhodes scholar, Dworkin, who died Feb. 14 at 81, arrived at Oxford in 1953. It was a great time for Oxford philosophy, and though Dworkin read law with unparalleled brilliance, he was more interested in philosophy and was soon accepted by that faculty. Oxford's brightest and most noble became his friends. After completing legal studies at Harvard, clerking for Learned Hand and briefly practicing law, he went to Yale Law School in 1962, contemporaneously with Robert Bork, with whom he occasionally co-taught, dazzlingly.

At Yale, Dworkin and...

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