Ronald Dworkin


Prix Balzan 2012 pour Théorie et philosophie du droit

Projet de recherche

Dworkin-Balzan Fellowship Programme

Ronald Dworkin† was Professor of Philosophy in the Philosophy Department and Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law at the School of Law, New York University, and Emeritus Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford University and University College London. Due to his unfortunate and untimely death, responsibility for the project was delegated to Liam Murphy (NYU), who elaborated Dworkin’s project to include more young researchers and a fellowship programme extending over three years. For the final year of the project, Jeremy Waldron (NYU) will serve as co-director.
The New York University School of Law is hosting and implementing the research project associated with Dworkin’s Balzan Prize. The programme has two main elements: three to five postdoctoral fellowships to be awarded over a period of three years in association with the NYU Colloquium in Legal, Political, and Social Philosophy (at the centre of Dworkin’s academic life); a conference to be held at NYU in the third year of the project to discuss themes from Ronald Dworkin’s work. The participants would include the postdoctoral fellows, other young philosophers and legal scholars who had presented at the Colloquium during this period, and several more senior scholars with special expertise on Dworkin’s work. The programme focuses on the following sets of interconnected themes that were of special interest for him: legitimacy, democracy, the rule of law, and the role of courts; international law and justice; the nature of rights; the relation between the moral life and the good life; philosophical foundations of substantive areas of law; legal interpretation; justice, equality, and the market economy; law and political obligation; the objectivity of value.
The world-renowned Colloquium in Legal, Political, and Social Philosophy, taught by Professors Dworkin and Nagel for twenty-five years, introduced a distinctive format for discussion of unpublished work. It has been widely imitated, and has attracted many of the world’s most distinguished philosophers and legal theorists as guests, including John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, T. M. Scanlon, Judith Jarvis Thompson, and Peter Singer. In 2014, the colloquium reconvened, led by Samuel Scheffler and Liam Murphy. In 2015, it was convened by Scheffler and Jeremy Waldron; in 2016, Murphy and Waldron will convene. The colloquium will continue to be taught every year, by some combination of Scheffler, Murphy, and Waldron. As this colloquium was at the centre of Ronald Dworkin’s academic life, it is appropriate that the colloquium should have a central role in the research project associated with his Balzan Prize.
Successful applicants for the fellowships will have a doctorate in philosophy or law, and will be selected in part on the basis of their fit with the themes of the research project. Fellows will be required to attend the colloquium regularly and participate in discussion. They will be expected to participate in the conference. The two fellows appointed for 2014-2015 were Jed Lewinsohn and Jacob Weinrib, and descriptions of their work can be found in the 2014 edition of the Overview and on the Balzan Foundation website. The current fellow is Hadassa Noorda.
Hadassa Noorda studies philosophy (BA, MA) and law (LLB, LLM) at the University of Amsterdam and Columbia University, and wrote a PhD dissertation in law and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. She was visiting researcher at UC Berkeley Law, Georgetown University and the European University Institute. She is on the editorial board of The Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy.
Noorda works in the area of philosophy of law and, primarily, philosophy of criminal law and of the laws of war. She has published in international refereed journals (including Criminal Law and Philosophy) and spoken at a number of conferences and workshops (including meetings of the American Philosophical Association, Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, and the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace.) Her articles can be accessed on SSRN and Academia.
As a Dworkin-Balzan Fellow, Noorda will focus on non-state actors, including nonstate armies and terrorist networks. The objective of her research is to contribute to developing criteria for assessing the conduct of states towards such non-state actors.
The fellows for the final year of the project have recently been appointed. They are Candice Delmas and Katharina Stevens.
Candice Delmas is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Northeastern University, and the Associate Director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program. Before joining Northeastern, she was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University. Candice completed her PhD in the Philosophy Department at Boston University in 2012 and received a MA in Philosophy from Georgia State University in 2006. Previously, she studied philosophy in France at the Université of Paris-X Nanterre and the Université of Paris IV-Sorbonne. She works in moral, legal, and political philosophy. Her research addresses citizens’ responsibilities under conditions of injustice, focusing on civil disobedience, political resistance, conscientious objection, government whistleblowing, hacktivism, and violence. Delmas has published her work in Ethics, Law and Philosophy, Analysis, Social Theory and Practice, Jurisprudence, The Ethics Forum, and Res Publica, among other journals. Her recent publications include “Disobedience, Civil and Otherwise” (Criminal Law and Philosophy 2015), “False Convictions and True Conscience” (Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 2015), and “Political Resistance for Hedgehogs” in The Legacy of Ronald Dworkin, Will Waluchow and Stefan Sciaraffa eds. (forthcoming at Oxford University Press). Candice has also recently explored the neuroethics of sexual re-orientation. Find Candice’s work on PhilPapers, Academia, and her personal website. As a Dworkin-Balzan Fellow, she will be completing a book on political obligation and civil and uncivil disobedience entitled Duty to Disobey.
Katharina Stevens studied philosophy at the University of Hamburg and the University of Windsor. She wrote her doctoral dissertation in the philosophy of law at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Katharina works in legal philosophy and argumentation theory. Her primary interest lies with legal reasoning, but she has also published and presented on constitutional interpretation, rhetoric and virtueargumentation theory. As a Dworkin-Balzan Fellow, Stevens will focus on the role of authority in legal reasoning. She will use insights into arguments by authority and argumentative burden of proof in order to clarify the reasoning processes that stand behind judicial decision making.
The research project plan called for a conference organized around the themes of the project, to be held at NYU in the third year of the project. In addition to the fellows, younger presenters at the colloquium during the term of the research project will be invited, along with various more senior scholars who have particular insight into the themes of the project. If appropriate, conference papers may be submitted to a publisher for publication.


Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2016