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.

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2008

Publication Information

28 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 33-55 (2008)

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Legal History Commons