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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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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 11 April 2021

Social Rules

Social Rules

(p.42) Chapter Four Social Rules
H.L.A. Hart, Second Edition
Stanford University Press

H. L. A. Hart's legal theory is a theory of legal order as an order of rules. These rules are a particular variety of social rules that derive from social sources and exist in virtue of social practices. For Hart, these social rules depend on, or express, the attitudes of human beings toward their own and other humans' conduct as well as their ways of acting and interacting with each other as conscious agents. As a jurist, Hart addressed the explanation of laws as social rules and the explanation of social rules and rejected the notion that rules are some kind of command or imperative. He highlighted an “internal aspect” of social rules as against mere habits and external regularities of behavior. Moreover, he proposed a new route to the explanation of social rules dependent on what may be called a “hermeneutic” approach. Hart's practice theory of social rules, and by implication, legal rules as a special type of social rules, makes a distinctive, original, and valuable contribution to jurisprudence.

Keywords:   H. L. A. Hart, legal theory, laws, social rules, hermeneutic approach, legal rules, jurisprudence, internal aspect

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