The Concept of Law / Edition 3

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H. L. A. Hart's The Concept of Law is without question the most important work of legal philosophy written this century; no other study has made such an important contribution to the study of jurisprudence and legal philosophy. Since it was first published in 1961 its elegant language and balanced arguments have inspired generations of students to address the wider problems associated with the study of law. In this long awaited new edition Hart presents a postscript in which he re-examines the foundations of his philosophy of law, with special attention to Professor Dworkin's criticism of it. With dispassionate lucidity he shows how much of the criticism stems from misunderstanding and confusion of thought. The postscript provides a clarification and a restatement of the fundamental tenets of his position. This thought-provoking new edition will re-open a wide range of debates and will be welcomed by all those with an interest in legal philosophy and jurisprudence.

"...Because it is so well-crafted,... it serves to stimulate sophisticated thought on the nature and function of a legal system."--Michele M. Moody-Adams

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199644704
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/29/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 380
  • Sales rank: 334,370
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

HLA Hart was Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford University and the Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford. He authored The Concept of Law one of the seminal works of English-language jurisprudence. He passed away in 1992.

Leslie Green is Professor of the Philosophy of Law and Pauline and Max Gordon Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He is the author The Authority of the State (Clarendon Press, 1990), and is the co-editor of Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Law (with Brian Leiter).

Joseph Raz has been teaching at Oxford University since 1972. He has been Professor of the Philosophy of Law there since 1985, and Research Professor since 2006; he has also been Professor at Columbia University since 2002. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has published a number of books including Between Authority and Interpretation (OUP, 2009) and The Authority of Law (OUP, 2009).

Penelope A. Bulloch is an emeritus fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

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Table of Contents

I Persistent Questions 1
1 Perplexities of Legal Theory 1
2 Three Recurrent Issues 6
3 Definition 13
II Laws, Commands, and Orders 18
1 Varieties of Imperatives 18
2 Law as Coercive Orders 20
III The Variety of Laws 26
1 The Content of Laws 27
2 The Range of Application 42
3 Modes of Origin 44
IV Sovereign and Subject 50
1 The Habit of Obedience and the Continuity of Law 51
2 The Persistence of Law 61
3 Legal Limitations on Legislative Power 66
4 The Sovereign behind the Legislature 71
V Law as the Union of Primary and Secondary Rules 79
1 A Fresh Start 79
2 The Idea of Obligation 82
3 The Elements of Law 91
VI The Foundations of a Legal System 100
1 Rule of Recognition and Legal Validity 100
2 New Questions 110
3 The Pathology of a Legal System 117
VII Formalism and Rule-Scepticism 124
1 The Open Texture of Law 124
2 Varieties of Rule-Scepticism 136
3 Finality and Infallibility in Judicial Decision 141
4 Uncertainty in the Rule of Recognition 147
VIII Justice and Morality 155
1 Principles of Justice 157
2 Moral and Legal Obligation 167
3 Moral Ideals and Social Criticism 180
IX Laws and Morals 185
1 Natural Law and Legal Positivism 185
2 The Minimum Content of Natural Law 193
3 Legal Validity and Moral Value 200
X International Law 213
1 Sources of Doubt 213
2 Obligations and Sanctions 216
3 Obligation and the Sovereignty of States 220
4 International Law and Morality 227
5 Analogies of Form and Content 232
Postscript 238
1 The Nature of Legal Theory 239
2 The Nature of Legal Positivism 244
3 The Nature of Rules 254
4 Principles and the Rule of Recognition 263
5 Law and Morality 268
6 Judicial Discretion 272
Notes 277
Index 309
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