Legal Theory Workshop: The end of jurisprudence?


Chancellor Day Hall Stephen Scott Seminar Room (OCDH 16), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The Faculty of Law welcomes Professor Scott Hershovitz, University of Michigan Law School.


"For more than forty years, jurisprudence has been dominated by the Hart-Dworkin debate. The terrain of the debate has shifted several times, but it is not hard to say what is in dispute. Hart and his heirs contend that the content of the law—the set of rights, obligations, privileges, and powers in force in a legal system—is determined by social facts. Dworkin and his followers counter that moral facts play a part in determining law’s content. Some find the debate moribund, but the truth is that the last decade of the debate has been as productive as any. Even though most participants defend positions that have been familiar for twenty years or more, the arguments advanced are increasingly sophisticated. They have not resolved the debate, but they have deepened our understanding of it. Still, I am sympathetic to the prescription of those who think the debate stale: We should move on."