The Law: Treating People as Equals

A Yank at Oxford rethinks individual rights

Nine years ago, Oxford University offered its prestigious chair in jurisprudence to a relatively unknown Yale law professor who had not even applied for the post. Ronald Dworkin, then only 36, eagerly accepted. A group of his essays, published this year in book form (Taking Rights Seriously; Harvard University Press; $12), has been hailed by some as the most important work in jurisprudence in years and the most provocative philosophical contribution to that subject by an American scholar. TIME'S David Beckwith visited Dworkin at his summer home on Martha's Vineyard. His report:

On a typical morning,...

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