This chapter summarizes H. L. A. Hart's main contributions to legal theory, first by considering his argument that it is both possible and methodologically appropriate to give a detached and neutral account of a concept such as law, and second by examining the difference between “detached” and “committed” statements about the law that is in force somewhere. It also discusses the precise character of Hart's theory about the nature of law and how he excludes any necessary moral element from the law, contrasts his view with that of one powerful restatement of classical natural law theory, and comments on Ronald Dworkin's critique of the methods used and the conclusions reached by Hart's jurisprudence, along with Hart's final response to this in his own Postscript. After discussing Hart's theory on legal reasoning and the theory of adjudication, the chapter concludes by reviewing subsequent developments in jurisprudence in response to his work.
Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.