This is a collection of essays on themes of legal philosophy which have all been generated or affected by Hart's work. The topics covered include legal theory, responsibility, and enforcement of morals, with contributions from Ronald Dworkin, Rolf Sartorius, Neil MacCormach, David Lyons, Kent Greenawalt, Michael Moore, Joseph Raz, and C.L. Ten, among others.
Hacker, P. M. S. Hart's philosophy of law.--Baker, G. P. Defeasibility and meaning.--Dworkin, R. M. No right answer?-Lucas, J. R. The phenomenon of law.--Honoré, A. M. Real laws.--Summers, R. S. Naïve instrumentalism and the law.--Marshall, G. Positivism, adjudication, and democracy.--Cross, R. The House of Lords and the rules of precedent.--Kenny, A. J. P. Intention and mens rea in murder.--Mackie, J. L. The grounds of responsibility.--MacCormick, D. N. Rights in legislation.--Raz, J. Promises and obligations.--Foot, P. R. Approval and disapproval.--Finnis, J. (...) M. Scepticism, self-refutation, and the good of truth.--Barry, B. M. Justice between generations.--Feinberg, J. Harm and self-interest. (shrink)
This classic collection of essays, first published in 1968, has had an enduring impact on academic and public debates about criminal responsibility and criminal punishment. Forty years on, its arguments are as powerful as ever. H.L.A. Hart offers an alternative to retributive thinking about criminal punishment that nevertheless preserves the central distinction between guilt and innocence. He also provides an account of criminal responsibility that links the distinction between guilt and innocence closely to the ideal of the rule of (...) law, and thereby attempts to by-pass unnerving debates about free will and determinism. Always engaged with live issues of law and public policy, Hart makes difficult philosophical puzzles accessible and immediate to a wide range of readers. -/- For this new edition, otherwise a reproduction of the original, John Gardner adds an introduction engaging critically with Hart's arguments, and explaining the continuing importance of Hart's ideas in spite of the intervening revival of retributive thinking in both academic and policy circles. -/- Unavailable for ten years, the new edition of Punishment and Responsibility makes available again the central text in the field for a new generation of academics, students and professionals engaged in criminal justice and penal policy. (shrink)
The Concept of Law is the most important and original work of legal philosophy written this century. First published in 1961, it is considered the masterpiece of H.L.A. Hart's enormous contribution to the study of jurisprudence and legal philosophy. Its elegant language and balanced arguments have sparked wide debate and unprecedented growth in the quantity and quality of scholarship in this area--much of it devoted to attacking or defending Hart's theories. Principal among Hart's critics is renowned lawyer (...) and political philosopher Ronald Dworkin who in the 1970s and 80s mounted a series of challenges to Hart's Concept of Law. It seemed that Hart let these challenges go unanswered until, after his death in 1992, his answer to Dworkin's criticism was discovered among his papers. In this valuable and long-awaited new edition Hart presents an Epilogue in which he answers Dworkin and some of his other most influential critics including Fuller and Finnis. Written with the same clarity and candor for which the first edition is famous, the Epilogue offers a sharper interpretation of Hart's own views, rebuffs the arguments of critics like Dworkin, and powerfully asserts that they have based their criticisms on a faulty understanding of Hart's work. Hart demonstrates that Dworkin's views are in fact strikingly similar to his own. In a final analysis, Hart's response leaves Dworkin's criticisms considerably weakened and his positions largely in question. Containing Hart's final and powerful response to Dworkin in addition to the revised text of the original Concept of Law, this thought-provoking and persuasively argued volume is essential reading for lawyers and philosophers throughout the world. (shrink)
This important collection of essays includes Professor Hart's first defense of legal positivism; his discussion of the distinctive teaching of American and Scandinavian jurisprudence; an examination of theories of basic human rights and the notion of "social solidarity," and essays on Jhering, Kelsen, Holmes, and Lon Fuller.
Fourteen philosophers share their experience teaching Peirce to undergraduates in a variety of settings and a variety of courses. The latter include introductory philosophy courses as well as upper-level courses in American philosophy, philosophy of religion, logic, philosophy of science, medieval philosophy, semiotics, metaphysics, etc., and even an upper-level course devoted entirely to Peirce. The project originates in a session devoted to teaching Peirce held at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The session, (...) organized by <span class='Hi'>James</span> Campbell and Richard Hart, was co-sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers. (shrink)
Edward Aloysius Pace, philosopher and educator, by J. H. Ryan.-Neo-scholastic philosophy in American Catholic culture, by C. A. Hart.- The significance of Suarez for a revival of scholasticism, by J. F. McCormick.- The new physics and scholasticism, by F. A. Walsh.- The new humanism and standards, by L. R. Ward.- The purpose of the state, by E. F. Murphy.- The concept of beauty in St. Thomas Aquinas, by G. B. Phelan.- The knowableness of God: its relation to the theory (...) of knowledge in St. Thomas, by Matthew Schumacher.- The modern idea of God, by F. J. Sheen.- The analysis of association of its equational constants, by T. V. Moore.- Bibliography (p. 224-225) - Character and body build in children, by Sister M. Rosa McDonough. Bibliography (p. 248-249) - The moral development of children, by Sister Mary.- Medieval education (700-900) by T. J. Shahan.- The need for a Catholic philosophy of education, by George Johnson. (shrink)
In his introduction to these closely linked essays Professor Hart offers both an exposition and a critical assessment of some central issues in jurisprudence and political theory. Some of the essays touch on themes to which little attention has been paid, such as Bentham's identification of the forms of mysitification protecting the law from criticism; his relation to Beccaria; and his conversion to democratic radicalism and a passionate admiration for the United States.
In March 1956 there appeared in Monde Nouveau a relatively short piece by Emmanuel Levinas called “Maurice Blanchot et le regard du poète.” It is an extended review of L’Espace littéraire, published by Gallimard the previous summer, which is also laced with a polemic against Heidegger. Levinas observes that Blanchot is close to the Heidegger of Vorträge und Aufsätze (1954), almost to the point of immediate intellectual intuition, but he is just as quick to register the distance between the two (...) on a decisive issue: on Blanchot’s account of literature we are led away from the world of dwelling and rootedness that Heidegger affirms in his meditations on art. Here as elsewhere, Levinas is profoundly disturbed by Heidegger’s slighting of ethics and, in turning to show that his friend finds a way beyond the primacy of Sein, he observes parenthetically that Blanchot “also abstains from ethical preoccupations, at least in explicit form.” A little later he remarks, more pointedly, that Blanchot’s concern with “authenticity” must one day “herald an order of justice” if it is to be more than “a consciousness of the lack of seriousness of edification, anything other than derision” (137; SMB 24). Clearly, Levinas is uneasy at the proximity of his friend to the Heidegger of Sein und Zeit (1927) and beyond, having freed himself from “the climate of that philosophy,” starting in “De l’évasion” (1935) and then more completely in De l’existence à l’existent (1947) (EE 19; DEE 19). The invitation is for Blanchot to render his ethics explicit. Levinas’s review even hints at how this can be done. Other essays by Levinas, later collected in Sur Maurice Blanchot (1975), return to the prediction or hope registered in this review that someone will express “the latent meaning” of his friend’s novels and récits (133; SMB 17), and there is no doubt when reading his reflections on L’Attente l’oubli (1962) and La Folie du jour (1973) that for Levinas their manifest meaning is ethical, at least in part. (shrink)
H. L. A. Hart and the "Open Texture" of Language tries to clarify the writings of both Hart and Friedrich Waismann on "open texture". In Waismann's work, "open texture" referred to the potential vagueness of words under extreme (hypothetical) circumstances. Hart's use of the term was quite different, and his work has been misunderstood because those differences were underestimated. Hart should not be read as basing his argument for judicial discretion on the nature of language; primarily, (...) he was putting forward a policy argument for why rules should be applied in a way which would require that discretion. (shrink)
Until recently, little was known of H.L.A. Hart’s private life. That has now changed with the publication of Nicola Lacey’s A Life of H.L.A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream. Drawing on Hart’s notebooks and correspondence, Lacey paints an illuminating portrait of Hart, which reveals that despite his public success he struggled with internal perplexities, including his sexual orientation, Jewish identity, intellectual insecurity, and unconventional marriage. Yet, as critics have noted, the connection between these revelations (...) and the development of Hart’s ideas is unclear. Moreover, one cannot help but wonder whether by focusing on these aspects of Hart’s personal life, Lacey has missed an opportunity to explore certain basic questions about his jurisprudence and its link to wider intellectual currents. For example, linguistics, psychology, and the philosophy of language and mind are much different today than they were in the 1940s and 1950s, yet Lacey does not discuss how such familiar events as the overthrow of logical positivism, the demise of behaviorism, the rise of generative linguistics, or the broader cognitive revolution of which they were a part actually impacted Hart or should influence our understanding of his legacy. Surprisingly, none of these developments are taken up in this book, leading one to ponder the significance of their absence. (shrink)
This book is the product of a major British Academy Symposium held in 2007 to mark the centenary of the birth of H.L.A. Hart, the most important legal philosopher and one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century. -/- The book brings together contributions from seventeen of the world's foremost legal and political philosophers who explore the many subjects in which Hart produced influential work. Each essay engages in an original analysis of philosophical problems that (...) were tackled by Hart, some essays including extended critical discussions of his major works: The Concept of Law, Punishment and Responsibility, Causation in the Law and Law, Liberty and Morality. All the main topics of Hart's philosophical writings are featured: general jurisprudence and legal positivism; criminal responsibility and punishment; theories of rights; toleration and liberty; theories of justice; and causation in the law. (shrink)
Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart was born in Yorkshire in 1907 to second generation Jewish immigrants. Having won a scholarship to Oxford University, he went on to become the most famous legal philosopher of the twentieth century. -/- From 1932-40 H.L.A Hart practised as a barrister in London. He was pronounced physically unfit for military service in 1940, and was recruited by MI5, where he worked until 1945. During his time at the Bar he had continued to study philosophy (...) and at M15 his interest was further stimulated by his philosopher colleagues in M16, Stuart Hampshire and Gilbert Ryle. After the war, Hart returned to Oxford to take up a philosophy fellowship, later to become Professor of Jurisprudence. -/- H.L.A Hart single-handedly reinvented the philosophy of law and influenced the nation's thinking in the 1960s on abortion, the legalization of homosexuality, and on capital punishment. Hart's approach to legal philosophy was at once disarmingly simple and breathtakingly ambitious, combining as it did the insights of Austin and Bentham and the new linguistic philosophy of J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He sought to elucidate a concept of law which would be of relevance to all forms of law, wherever or whenever they arose: his bestselling book, The Concept of Law, has sold tens of thousands of copies worldwide. -/- In 1941, he married Jenifer Williams (a high-ranking civil servant, later an Oxford academic) with whom he had four children. Their relationship was an enduring if unconventional one. In the early 1950s, Jenifer was rumoured to be having a long-standing affair with Isaiah Berlin, one of Hart's closest friends. She was also, falsely, accused by the Sunday Times of having been a Russian spy, an allegation which was all the more scandalous given Hart's position at MI5 during the War. -/- Nicola Lacey draws on Hart's previously unpublished diaries and letters to reveal a complex inner life. Outwardly successful, Hart was in fact tormented by doubts about his intellectual abilities, his sexual identity and his capacity to form close relationships. Her biography also sheds fascinating light on the origins of his ideas, and assesses his overall contribution. Above all, it chronicles of a life which had a depth ands impact far greater than many of Hart's readers have realized. (shrink)
In his important and engaging book LEGALITY, Scott Shapiro seeks to provide the motivation for the development of his own elaborate account of law by undertaking a critique of H.L.A. Hart’s jurisprudential theory. Hart maintained that every legal system is underlain by a Rule of Recognition through which the officials of the system identify the norms that belong to the system as laws. Shapiro argues that Hart’s remarks on the Rule of Recognition are confused and that his (...) model of law ─ though commendably more sophisticated than any model propounded by earlier legal positivists ─ is consequently untenable. Having thus endeavored to establish that Hart’s exposition of the nature of legality is unsustainable, Shapiro contends that a new approach is vital for progress in the philosophy of law. With his lengthy presentation of his own Planning Theory of Law, he aspires to pioneer just such an approach. -/- Except for a very terse observation in the final main section, this article will not directly assess the strengths and shortcomings of Shapiro’s piquant Planning Theory. Instead, I will defend Hart against Shapiro’s charges and will thereby undermine the motivation for the development of the Planning Theory. Nearly all the objections to Hart’s work posed by Shapiro are inapposite, or so this article will aim to show. (shrink)
I examine the impact of the presence of anarchists among key legal officials upon the legal positivist theories of H.L.A. Hart and Joseph Raz. For purposes of this paper, an anarchist is one who believes that the law cannot successfully obligate or create reasons for action beyond prudential reasons, such as avoiding sanction. I show that both versions of positivism require key legal officials to endorse the law in some way, and that if a legal system can continue to (...) exist and function when its key officials reject the reason-giving character of law, then we have a reason to re-examine and amend legal positivism. (shrink)
For the past four decades, Anglo-American legal philosophy has been preoccupied – some might say obsessed – with something called the “Hart-Dworkin” debate. Since the appearance in 1967 of “The Model of Rules I,” Ronald Dworkin’s seminal critique of H.L.A. Hart’s theory of legal positivism, countless books and articles have been written either defending Hart against Dworkin’s objections or defending Dworkin against Hart’s defenders. My purpose in this essay is not to declare an ultimate victor; rather (...) it is to identify precisely the core issue around which the debate is organized. Is the Hart-Dworkin debate, for example, about whether the law contains principles, as well as rules? Or does it concern whether judges have discretion in hard cases? Is it about the proper way to interpret legal texts in the American legal system? Or is it about the very possibility of conceptual jurisprudence? Although trying to capture the essence of a philosophical debate can be tricky, I think that there is an important unity to the Hart-Dworkin debate that can be described in a relatively straightforward manner. I suggest that the debate is organized around one of the most profound issues in the philosophy of law, namely, the relation between legality and morality. Dworkin’s basic strategy throughout the course of the debate has been to argue that, in one form or another, legality is ultimately determined not by social facts alone, but by moral facts as well. This contention directly challenges, and threatens to undermine, the positivist picture about the nature of law, in which legality is never determined by morality, but solely by social practice. As one might expect, the response by Hart and his followers has been to argue that this dependence of legality on morality is either merely apparent or does not, in fact, undermine the social foundations of law. The Hart-Dworkin debate, I also try to show, is not a monolithic entity. In the second half of the paper, I describe how Dworkin modified his critique to circumvent the responses of Hart’s followers, thereby inaugurating a new phase in the debate. Virtually no attention, however, has been paid to this latter challenge, which is especially surprising given that none of the previous positivistic defenses are helpful against it. I then sketch out a possible response positivists might offer to this extremely powerful objection. (shrink)
In this paper I defend a liberal theory about how legal rules can and ought to be interpreted. The theory emerges from a critical examination of H. L. A. Hart's influential views on the limited but unavoidable indeterminacy of legal rules. I begin with a brief sketch of Hart's early theory (as it is traditionally understood) offering various suggestions as to how it might usefully be modified. Next, several possible objections to my modifications are sketched and criticized. Finally, (...) reasons are provided for supposing that the modified theory may well represent Hart's current position. (shrink)
It has now been more than 50 years since H. L. A Hart and Lord Patrick Devlin first squared off in perhaps the most celebrated jurisprudential debate of the twentieth-century (1959–1967). The central issue in that dispute—whether the state may criminalize immoral behavior as such—continues to be debated today, but in a vastly changed legal landscape. In this article I take a fresh look at the Hart-Devlin debate in the light of five decades of social and legal changes.
What is a social rule? This paper first notes three important problems for H.L.A. Hart's famous answer in the Concept of Law. An alternative account that avoids the problems is then sketched. It is less individualistic than Hart's and related accounts. This alternative account can explain a phenomenon observed but downplayed by Hart: the parties to a social rule feel that they are in some sense 'bound' to conform to it.
H. L. A. Hart, in his classic book Law, Liberty, and Morality, is unsuccessful in arguing that James Fitzjames Stephen’s observations about the role of vice in criminal sentencing have no relevance to a more general defense of legal moralism. He does, however, have a very important insight about the special significance of sexual liberty.
ln a number of recent essays, Hendrik Hart has elaborated an account of the nature and function of religious belief that, he believes, is post-modern in inspiration and anti-foundationalist in character. ln this paper, I reconstruct what I take to be Hart’s central claims. While Hart does remind us of some important aspects of the nature of religious belief---aspects often overlooked by many critics---l suggest that there are several problems in the account he provides, that there are (...) tensions between his view of religious belief and his claims about how it can function, and that it is not clear that he ultimately avoids adopting a variant of the foundationalism he explicitly rejects. (shrink)
Sometimes the fact that something is the law can be justified by the law. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is the law because it was enacted by Congress pursuant to the Commerce Clause. But eventually legal justification of law ends. The ultimate criteria of validity in a legal system cannot themselves be justified by law. According to H.L.A. Hart, justification of these ultimate criteria is still available, by reference to social facts concerning official acceptance - facts about what (...) class='Hi'>Hart calls the "rule of recognition" for the system. -/- Drawing upon criticisms of sociological accounts of the law that can be found in the writings of Hans Kelsen, I argue in this essay that Hart's approach cannot account for statements about the law that assert the independence of legal validity from rule of recognition facts. I offer as an alternative a legal quietist approach, which can account for such statements. For the quietist, legal justification exhausts the possible justification for law. If our judgments about the law are fundamental, in the sense that they cannot be justified by other judgments about the law, then they have no justification (which is not to say that they should be abandoned). I argue that legal quietism is exemplified - if somewhat imperfectly - in Kelsen's writings, and I end the essay by exploring some difficulties that the quietist approach must face. (shrink)
Mixed theories of legal punishment treat both crime reduction and retributive concerns as irreducibly important and so worthy of inclusion in a single justificatory framework. Yet crime reduction and retributive approaches employ different assumptions about the necessary characteristics of those liable to punishment. Retributive accounts of legal punishment require offenders to be more responsive to moral considerations than do crime reduction accounts. The tensions these different assumptions create are explored in the mixed theories of John Rawls, H. L. A. (...) class='Hi'>Hart, and Andrew von Hirsch. It is argued that none of these theories successfully resolve the tensions. The prospects for resolving them are then discussed. (shrink)
The Postscript to 'The Concept of Law' contains Herbert Hart's only sustained and considered response to the objections made by his distinguished critic, Ronald Dworkin. In this extraordinary collection, an array of leading legal philosophers evaluates the success of Hart's response to Dworkin.
In modern jurisprudence it is taken as axiomatic that John Austin's sanction-based account of law and legal obligation was demolished in H.L.A. Hart's The Concept of Law , but Hart's victory and the deficiencies of the Austinian account may not be so clear. Not only does the alleged linguistic distinction between being obliged and having an obligation fail to provide as much support for the idea of a sanction-independent legal obligation as is commonly thought, but the soundness of (...)Hart's claims, as well as the claims of many legal theorists who have followed him, depend on a contested view of the nature of legal theory. If the task of a theory of law, as Joseph Raz and others have influentially argued, is to identify the essential features of the concept of law, then the theoretical possibility, if not the empirical reality, of a sanction-free legal system is what is most important. But if the task of a theory of law is to provide philosophical and theoretical illumination of law as it exists and as it is experienced, then a theory of law that fails to give a central place to law's coercive reality may for that reason be deficient as a theory of law. The question of the soundness of the Austinian account, therefore, may be a function of the answer to the question of what a theory of law is designed to accomplish. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a new argument against inclusive legal positivism. As I show, any theory which permits morality to be a condition on legality cannot account for a core feature of legal activity, namely, that it is an activity of social planning. If the aim of a legal institution is to guide the conduct of the community through plans, it would be self-defeating if the existence of these plans could only be determined through deliberation on the merits. I (...) also argue that, insofar as inclusive legal positivism was developed as a response to Ronald Dworkin's critique of H. L. A. Hart's theory of law, it was founded on a mistake. For once we appreciate the role that planning plays in legal regulation, we will see that Dworkin's objection is based on a flawed conception of legal obligations and rights and hence does not present an objection that inclusive legal positivists were required to answer. (shrink)
I argue that obligations of an important type inhere in what I call 'joint commitments'. I propose a joint commitment account of everyday agreements. This could explain why some philosophers believe that we know of the obligating nature of agreements a priori. I compare and contrast obligations of joint commitment with obligations in the relatively narrow sense recommended by H. L. A. Hart, a recommendation that has been influential. Some central contexts in which Hart takes there to be (...) obligations in his sense are contexts in which there are obligations of joint commitment. Nonetheless, different senses of 'obligation' appear to be at issue. (edited). (shrink)
John Rawls’s political liberalism and its ideal of public reason are tremendously influential in contemporary political philosophy and in constitutional law as well. Many, perhaps even most, liberals are Rawlsians of one stripe or another. This is problematic, because most liberals also support the redefinition of civil marriage to include same-sex unions, and as I show, Rawls’s political liberalism actually prohibits same- sex marriage. Recently in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, however, California’s northern federal district court reinterpreted the traditional rational basis review (...) in terms of liberal neutrality akin to Rawls’s “public reason,” and overturned Proposition 8 and established same-sex marriage. (This reinterpretation was amplified in the 9th Circuit Court’s decision upholding the district court on appeal in Perry v. Brown.) But on its own grounds Perry should have drawn the opposite conclusion. This is because all the available arguments for recognizing same-sex unions as civil marriages stem from controversial comprehensive doctrines about the good, and this violates the ideal of public reason; yet there remains a publicly reasonable argument for traditional marriage, which I sketch here. In the course of my argument I develop Rawls’s politically liberal account of the family by drawing upon work by J. David Velleman and H. L. A. Hart, and discuss the implications of this account for political theory and constitutional law. (shrink)
I argue against the idea (made popular by H.L.A. Hart) that the key to a legal system is its "rule of recognition." I argue that much of the work allegedly done by a rule of recognition is either done by a different kind of secondary rule (what Hart called "a rule of change") or it is not done at all (and doesn't have to be done). A rule of change tells us the procedures that must be followed and (...) the substantive conditions that must be satisfied if law is to be changed legislatively; and a judge "recognizes" changes simply by using this checklist. In common law, there is no clear rule of change (because we are profoundly ambivalent about judicial lawmaking). But we get by without one, and without a determinate rule of recognition that would tell us precisely how to infer rules from precedents. It is quite liberating, really, to abandon the idea of a rule of recognition. Apart from anything else, it relieves us from having to participate in endless debates about whether the US Constitution is (or contains) a rule of recognition for American law. The Constitution contains rules of change; that's what matters. (shrink)
This article deals with the relation between a theory of law and a theory of legal reasoning. Starting from a close reading of Chapter VII of H. L. A. Hart's The Concept of Law, it claims that a theory of law like Hart's requires a particular theory of legal reasoning, or at least a theory of legal reasoning with some particular characteristics. It then goes on to say that any theory of legal reasoning that satisfies those requirements is (...) highly implausible, and tries to show that this is the reason why not only Hart, but also writers like Neil MacCormick and Joseph Raz have failed to offer a theory of legal reasoning that is compatible with legal positivism as a theory of law. They have faced a choice between an explanation of legal reasoning that is incompatible with the core of legal positivism or else strangely sceptical, insofar as it severs the link between general rules and particular decisions that purport to apply them. (shrink)
In "Action and Responsibility,'' Joel Feinberg pointed to an important idea to which he gave the label "the accordion effect.'' Feinberg's discussion of this idea is of interest on its own, but it is also of interest because of its interaction with his critique, in his "Causing Voluntary Actions,'' of a much discussed view of H. L. A. Hart and A. M. Honoré that Feinberg labels the "voluntary intervention principle.'' In this essay I reflect on what the accordion effect (...) is supposed by Feinberg to be, on differences between Feinberg's understanding of this idea and that of Donald Davidson, and on the interaction between Feinberg's discussion of the accordion effect and his critique of the voluntary intervention principle. (shrink)
Mill, J. S. Bentham.--Whewell, W. Bentham.--Watson, J. Bentham.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham.--Parekh, B. Bentham's justification of the principle of utility.--Peardon, T. Bentham's ideal republic.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham on sovereignty.--Burns, J. H. Bentham's critique of political fallacies.--Mitchell, W. C. Bentham's felicific calculus.--Roberts, D. Jeremy Bentham and the Victorian administrative state.
Though the “internal point of view” is perhaps H.L.A. Hart’s greatestcontribution to legal theory, this concept is also often and easily misunderstood. This is unfortunate, not only because these misreadings distort Hart’s theory, but, more importantly, because they prevent us from appreciating the infirmities of sanction-centered theories of law and the compelling reasons why they ought to be rejected. In this paper, I try to address some of these confusions. What, exactly, is the internal point of view? What (...) role (or roles) does it play in Hart’s theory? And how does an adequate appreciation for the centrality of the internal point of view lead to the rejection of sanction-centered theories? (shrink)
How is it possible that the idea of sovereignty still features in legal and political philosophy? Most contemporary political philosophers have little use for the idea of ‘unlimited’ or ‘absolute’ power, which is how sovereignty is normally defined. A closer look at sovereignty identifies two possible accounts: sovereignty as the fact of power or sovereignty as a title to govern. The first option, which was pursued by John Austin’s command theory of law, leads to an unfamiliar view of law and (...) the state, which was justly criticised by H. L. A. Hart. The second option, leads to a paradox, because under this view sovereignty is both limited and unlimited. Hence, this argument shows that law and sovereignty are actually incompatible. Where there is law there is no sovereignty, and where there is sovereignty there is no law. (shrink)
This book develops a general philosophical theory about the nature of law and its relationship with morality called inclusive legal positivism. In addition to articulating and defending his own version of legal positivism, which is a refinement and development of the views of H.L.A. Hart as expressed in his classic book The Concept of Law, the author clarifies the terms of current jurisprudential debates about the nature of law. These debates are often clouded by failures to appreciate that different (...) theorists are offering different kinds of theories and attempting to answer different questions. The clarity of Waluchow's work will help to remove the confusion often present in jurisprudential debate. (shrink)