Lost in the System or Lost in Translation? The Exchanges between Hart and Ross

Ratio Juris 24 (2):194-246 (2011)
Abstract
According to the received opinion there is a theoretical incompatibility between Herbert Hart's The Concept of Law and Alf Ross's On Law and Justice, and, according to the received opinion, it stems above all from Hart's emphasis on the internal point of view. The present paper argues that this reading is mistaken. The Concept of Law does not go beyond On Law and Justice in so far as both present arguments to the effect that law is based on a shared understanding between participants in a project perceived by every participant to be a project in common. The paper demonstrates that there are substantive parallels between Hart's combination of “acceptance” or “acknowledgement” and a “critical reflective attitude” and Ross's combination of “motivation” or “feeling” and a “coherent whole of meaning and motivation.” The main conclusion is that the views of norms and normativity put forward in The Concept of Law and On Law and Justice are very close in essential respects, and, more specifically, that the two works are at root identical in their representation of the basis of normativity in reality.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9337.2011.00482.x
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The Concept of Law.H. L. A. Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1991 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 449-451.
Philosophical Papers.J. L. Austin - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Justice in Robes.Ronald Dworkin - 2006 - Belknap Press.

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