New York University’s Ronald Dworkin, considered by many to be the most influential figure in contemporary Anglo-American legal theory, will deliver a public lecture, “Can We Disagree About Law or Morals?” on Tues., Nov. 13, 5 p.m., at NYU’s Eiser and Lubin Auditorium, Kimmel Center for University Life (60 Washington Square South, 4th Fl. [at LaGuardia Place]). (Subways: A B, C, D, E, F, V (West 4th street). The event marks the launch of the New York Institute of Philosophy, a research center at NYU devoted, in part, to philosophical scholarship on themes of importance to ordinary life.
Dworkin, the Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law at NYU’s School of Law and a professor in NYU’s Department of Philosophy, is best known for his work Law’s Empire (1986), in which he asserts judges must interpret—rather than simply apply—past legal decisions, resulting in a general theory of what interpretation is and why one interpretation is better than others. Dworkin has been at NYU’s School of Law since 1975.
The lecture will be followed by commentary from Princeton Philosophy Professor Gideon Rosen, co-author of A Subject with No Object. For more information, the public may call 212.998.8320 or email email@example.com. Reporters interested in attending the lecture should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808.
In September, Dworkin was awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize for 2007. The award is given by the Ludvig Holberg Memorial Fund and recognizes outstanding scholarly work in the arts and humanities, social sciences, law, and theology. The official award ceremony for the Holberg Prize will take place on Nov. 28 in Bergen, Norway.
A clerk for Judge Learned Hand, Dworkin was a professor of law at Yale University Law School from 1962 to1969 and has been professor of jurisprudence at Oxford and fellow of University College since 1969. Dworkin is a fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to Law’s Empire, he has written Taking Rights Seriously (1977), A Matter of Principle (1985), Philosophical Issues in Senile Dementia (1987), A Bill of Rights for Britain (1990), Life’s Dominion (1993), Freedom’s Law (1996), and Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate (2006).
Born in 1931, Dworkin has bachelors’ degrees from Harvard (1953) and Oxford (1955), a master’s degree from Yale (1956), and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School (1957).
For more on the New York Institute of Philosophy, go to: www.nyip.as.nyu.edu