Law Is the Command of the Sovereign: H. L. A. Hart Reconsidered

Ratio Juris 29 (3):364-384 (2016)

Authors
Andrew Morrison
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Abstract
This article presents a critical reevaluation of the thesis—closely associated with H. L. A. Hart, and central to the views of most recent legal philosophers—that the idea of state coercion is not logically essential to the definition of law. The author argues that even laws governing contracts must ultimately be understood as “commands of the sovereign, backed by force.” This follows in part from recognition that the “sovereign,” defined rigorously, at the highest level of abstraction, is that person or entity identified by reference to game theory and the philosophical idea of “convention” as the source of signals with which the subject population has become effectively locked, as a group, into conformity.
Keywords H.L.A. Hart  coercion  command theory  John Austin  Jeremy Bentham  game theory  Frederick Schauer  Ekow Yankah  definition of sovereign  convention
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/raju.12133
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Concept of Law.Stuart M. Brown & H. L. A. Hart - 1963 - Philosophical Review 72 (2):250.
Authority and Coercion.Arthur Ripstein - 2004 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 32 (1):2-35.
Practical Reason and Norms.Joseph Raz - 1993 - Law and Philosophy 12 (3):329-343.
Coercion.Robert Nozick - 1969 - In White Morgenbesser (ed.), Philosophy, Science, and Method: Essays in Honor of Ernest Nagel. St Martin's Press. pp. 440--72.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Was Hobbes een rechtspositivist?R. Janse - 2002 - Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy 2:58-84.
Austin, Kelsen, and the Model of Sovereignty.Lars Vinx - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 24 (2):473-490.
The Hart‐Fuller Debate.Juan Vega Gomez - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (1):45-53.
The Right to Punish in Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan.Arthur Yates - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (2):233-254.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-03-01

Total views
3,333 ( #315 of 2,250,041 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
179 ( #2,218 of 2,250,041 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature