【明報專訊】Dancing like an overaged little bird, my great friend teaching political philosophy in Taipei commanded me to listen to him by bombarding me with cross-border messages via the largely obsolete SMS. One thread reads, "Joseph Raz got the Tang Prize on the Rule of Law!" Amazing enough that Taiwan offers a lucrative prize for the Rule of Law. Not exactly! The prize, as it claims in its website, is bestowed to someone who could inspire and even realise the idea and ideal of the Rule of Law. But I am still slightly surprised as much as I am intrigued to learn that Raz, a lifelong Oxford don (now at the age of 79 he divides his time between Columbia and King's College London), is selected as the laureate this year. He is a legal positivist in the sense that he writes with great vigour and analytic robustness on a range of subjects like practical reasoning, legal reasoning, pedigree of a legal system, normativity of law and, of course, the Rule of Law. He is cool indeed but I am unable to find him passionate, at least the "him" conveyed to me by his many writings (not to mention his televised lectures) not being passionate enough to be inspiring one's craving for the Rule of Law.