H. L. A. Hart

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H. L. A. Hart

Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart (18 July 1907 – 19 December 1992) was the foremost legal philosopher and one of the foremost political philosophers of the twentieth century. He was the most influential legal philosopher of his time, whose masterpiece The Concept of Law (1961) set the agenda for a generation of jurisprudence.


  • Ronald Dworkin... argues that our law includes not only norms found in treaties, customs, constitutions, statutes, and cases, but also moral principles that provide the best justification for the norms found there.5 On his account, the things justified by moral.
    • H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law, 1961. p. Xviii; introduction.

Quotes about H. L. A. Hart[edit]

  • The year in Oxford was the philosophically most important for Rawls since 1941–42 (his first year as a philosophy student, under the influence of Malcolm). Through Urmson, he got to know Oxford’s most important philosophers. He attended a lecture course by H. L. A. Hart, who, freshly promoted to a professorship, was expounding some of the ideas he would later publish in The Concept of Law. Rawls was especially impressed with a seminar taught by Berlin and Hampshire, with Hart’s active participation, in the winter of 1953. This covered Condorcet, Rousseau’s Social Contract, John Stuart Mill’s "On Liberty," Alexander Herzen, G. E. Moore, and two essays by John Maynard Keynes. Rawls continued to think of this seminar as an exemplar of excellent teaching that he should seek to emulate.
    • Thomas Pogge, John Rawls: His Life and Theory of Justice (1994), 1. Biography - 1.3 Academic Career

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