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Boston University is holding a conference on Ronald Dworkin’s forthcoming book Justice for Hedgehogs from September 25 to 26. We have an excellent lineup that includes Michael Smith, Russ Shafer-Landau, Francis Kamm, David Lyons, Robert Kane, T.M. Scanlon, Armatya Sen, Aaron Garrett, Susanne Sreedhar, Candice Delmas, Samuel Freeman, Jeremy Waldron, and Ronald Dworkin himself. The complete list of speakers is below.

A CONFERENCE ON RONALD DWORKIN’S FORTHCOMING BOOK JUSTICE FOR HEDGEHOGS

“The fox knows many things
but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
Archilochus

September 25-26, 2009
Boston University

Boston University School of Law will hold a conference on
Ronald Dworkin’s forthcoming book, Justice for Hedgehogs,
on September 25-26, 2009. Dworkin himself will give the
keynote address on September 25 and a response on September
26. The Boston University Law Review will publish the
papers and proceedings.

OVERVIEW:

In Justice for Hedgehogs, Dworkin defends the unity of
value – the one big thing he knows – and argues against
“several foxy causes:” value skepticism, value pluralism,
value conflict, and, in particular, the supposed opposition
between the values of self-interest and those of personal
and political morality. He argues for the integration of
ethics (the principles that tell human beings how to live
well) and morality (the principles that tell them how they
must treat other people), and for a morality of self-
affirmation as against a morality of self-abnegation. In
doing so, he develops accounts of the indispensable
conditions of living well – dignity, self-respect, and
authenticity – and of our moral duties to others regarding
aid and harm. He also argues that law is a branch of
political morality that is in turn a department of morality
more broadly understood. The conference will include the
following panels, taking up issues of the sort sketched
below.

REGISTRATION/FURTHER INFORMATION:

All – including not only professors, law students, graduate
students, and undergraduates but also members of the
public) are welcome to attend. There is no registration
fee, but if you plan to attend, please RSVP to:

CONTACT: Andrea Larsen
Email: MAILTO:alarsen@bu.edu

If you have administrative questions about the program,
please contact her. If you have academic questions about it,
please contact:

CONTACT: Professor James E. Fleming
Email: MAILTO:jfleming@bu.edu

PROGRAM:

Friday, September 25

9:15 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction

9:30-10:45 a.m.
I. Truth and Metaethics

– Aaron Garrett, Boston University Department of Philosophy
– Russ Shafer-Landau, University of Wisconsin Department of
Philosophy
– Michael Smith, Princeton University Department of
Philosophy
– Daniel Star, Boston University Department of Philosophy

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Keynote Address: Justice for Hedgehogs

– Ronald Dworkin, New York University School of Law &
University College London

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Lunch

2:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.
II. Interpretation

– Richard Fallon, Harvard Law School
– James Fleming, Boston University School of Law
– David Lyons, Boston University School of Law
– Lawrence Solum, University of Illinois College of Law
– Benjamin Zipursky, Fordham University School of Law

3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
III. Ethics and Free Will

– Anita Allen, University of Pennsylvania Law School
– Christine Jolls, Yale Law School
– Robert Kane, University of Texas Department of Philosophy
– T.M. Scanlon, Harvard University Department of Philosophy
– Amartya Sen, Harvard University Departments of Economics
& Philosophy

5:00 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
IV. Morality: Aid, Harm, and Obligation

– Kwame Anthony Appiah, Princeton University Department of
Philosophy
– John Goldberg, Harvard Law School
– Frances Kamm, Harvard University Department of Philosophy
& Kennedy School of Government
– Kenneth Simons, Boston University School of Law
– Susanne Sreedhar & Candice Delmas, Boston University
Department of Philosophy

6:30 p.m.
Reception

Saturday, September 26:

9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
V. Politics and Justice I

– Ed Baker, University of Pennsylvania Law School
– Hugh Baxter, Boston University School of Law
– Linda McClain, Boston University School of Law
– Larry Sager, University of Texas School of Law
– Robin West, Georgetown University Law Center

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
VI. Politics and Justice II

– Robert Bone, Boston University School of Law
– Samuel Freeman, University of Pennsylvania Department of
Philosophy
– Stephen Macedo, Princeton University Department of
Politics
– Frank Michelman, Harvard Law School
– Robert Sloane, Boston University School of Law
– Jeremy Waldron, New York University School of Law

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Lunch

Response by Ronald Dworkin

TOPICS:

Below are sketches of the topics for each panel:

I. Truth and Metaethics

The opening panel will assess Dworkin’s arguments for truth
about value and against various forms of skepticism,
including his rejection of Archimedean and meta-ethical
attempts to address questions of ethics, morality, and
justice from a standpoint outside of our ordinary ways of
thinking about them.

II. Interpretation

This panel will respond to Dworkin’s arguments that
interpretation in general seeks truth and that moral
reasoning and legal interpretation are enterprises
involving conceptual interpretation as distinguished from
collaborative and explanatory interpretation.

III. Ethics and Free Will

Herein of Dworkin’s arguments concerning the indispensable
conditions of living well – dignity, self-respect, and
authenticity – along with his response to the “no free
will” challenge to ethical and moral responsibility.

IV. Morality: Aid, Harm, and Obligation

The issues to be considered include Dworkin’s arguments of
substantive morality concerning duty, harm, and obligation,
including associative and political obligation.

V & VI. Politics and Justice

These two panels will take up Dworkin’s arguments about
political morality, including his account of political,
legal, and human rights; his interpretive conceptions of
equality, liberty, and democracy; and his argument about
the relationship between law and morals.


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