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H.L.A. Hart, Second Edition$
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Neil MacCormick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756785

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756785.001.0001

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(p.201) Chapter Fourteen Epilogue
H.L.A. Hart, Second Edition
Stanford University Press

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.

Keywords:   H. L. A. Hart, legal theory, natural law, Ronald Dworkin, jurisprudence, legal reasoning, adjudication

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