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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

11 - H. L. A. Hart: a twentieth-century Oxford political philosopher

Summary
Herbert Hart's significance can be understood only when his work is measured against conceptions of political philosophy that were dominant in Oxford in the years between his postwar return and the publication of The Concept of Law. In Hart's own terminology, the central case of morality understood from the internal point of view is critical, that is, justified, morality. Hart's exclusive focus on positive morality cut the debate off from the main political-philosophic tradition, and from reason. That Hart had a political philosophy at all was an act of conscious resistance to skepticism. Yet the resistance was itself shaped and limited by Hart's own skepticism about something more foundational: the truth-value, and truth, of moral judgments intended as critical because asserted as true, sound, really justified. Hart criticized On Liberty for relying on a presumption of middle-aged psychological caution and stability to justify rejecting paternalism.
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Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
  • Online ISBN: 9781139028530
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139028530
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Hart, JeniferAsk Me No More: An AutobiographyLondonPeter Halban 1998 72
Lacey, NicolaA Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble DreamOxfordOxford University Press 2004 289
Hart, H. L. A. 1978 35
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Lindsay, A. D.The Modern Democratic StateOxfordOxford University Press 1943 45
Quinton, A. M.Political PhilosophyLondonOxford University Press 1967 1
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Hart, H. L. A.Positivism and the Separation of Law and MoralsEssays in Jurisprudence and PhilosophyOxfordOxford University Press 1983 81
Hart, H. L. A.Law, Liberty and MoralityLondonOxford University Press 1963 70
Rawls, JohnA Theory of JusticeCambridge, MAHarvard University Press 1971 396
Hart, H. L. A.Problems of the Philosophy of Law 1967 Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy 112
Gardner, JohnPunishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of LawOxfordOxford University Press 2008 xlviii
Hart 1979
(Dworkin, The Model of Rules IITaking Rights SeriouslyCambridge, MAHarvard University Press 1972
Dworkin, RonaldA Matter of PrincipleCambridge, MAHarvard University Press 1985 67
Finnis, JohnPhilosophy of LawOxfordOxford University Press 2011 135
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Joseph, H. W. B.Knowledge and the Good in Plato's “Republic,”Hart, H. L. A.OxfordOxford University Press 1948 43
Hart, H. L. A. 1986