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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 26 January 2011

People have often referred to conflicts between the concepts we use to understand the best way to live - ideas like Liberty, Equality, Justice, Democracy. You need to suppress one to achieve the other, and this - the argument goes - proves that they are not universal moral concepts. In his engagingly titled new book, Justice for Hedgehogs, the US philosopher Ronald Dworkin seeks to show that there is no incompatibility between these ideas because they are part of a single unified value, they only appear to conflict because of the way we are looking at them. But how do we ascribe this value with a universal role without recourse to God, or some other metaphysical entity? Laurie discusses the idea with Ronald Dworkin and AC Grayling.
Also, shinning up the greasy pole: Bill Jones talks about his essay on how Prime Ministers pick their ministers and how to get ahead in politics.
Producer: Charlie Taylor.

  • Ronald Dworkin

    Professor of Philosophy, Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law at New York University.

    Justice For Hedgehogs by
    Ronald Dworkin
    Publisher: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (January 11, 2011)
    ISBN-10: 0674046714
    ISBN-13: 978-0674046719

    Find out more about Ronald Dworkin
  • Bill Jones

    Professor of Politics, Liverpool Hope University

    Climbing the Greasy Pole: Promotion in British Politics by Bill Jones
    Published: The Political Quarterly Volume 81, Issue 4, pages 616 – 626 October/December 2010

    Find out more about Bill Jones
  • Anthony Grayling

    Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London

    Find out more about Anthony Grayling



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