The One-System View and Dworkin’s Anti-Archimedean Eliminativism

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Many of Dworkin’s interlocutors saw his ‘one-system view’, according to which law is a branch of morality, as a radical shift. I argue that it is better seen as a different way of expressing his longstanding view that legal theory is an inherently normative endeavor. Dworkin emphasizes that fact and value are separate domains, and one cannot ground claims of one sort in the other domain. On this view, legal philosophy can only answer questions from within either domain. We cannot ask metaphysical questions about which domain law ‘properly’ belongs in; these would be archimedean, and Dworkin has long argued against archimedeanism. The one-system view, then, is best understood as an invitation to join Dworkin in asking moral questions from within the domain of value. Finally, I argue that Dworkin’s view can be understood as a version of ‘eliminativism’, a growing trend in legal philosophy.




Nye, H. (2021). The One-System View and Dworkin’s Anti-Archimedean Eliminativism. Law and Philosophy.

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