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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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Morality, Positive and Critical

Morality, Positive and Critical

(p.61) Chapter Five Morality, Positive and Critical
H.L.A. Hart, Second Edition
Stanford University Press

The term “rules” may be applied for certain standards of conduct. In an essay on “Legal and Moral Obligation” in which he criticized what he believed to be extremely 'protestant' in R. M. Hare's ethics, H. L. A. Hart challenged theories that base the whole of morality on the autonomous self-legislating choice of the moral agent. He saw such theories as too protestant because they regard morality and moral obligation as essentially social conceptions. This chapter examines the descriptive and analytical part of Hart's moral philosophy. In particular, it looks at his distinction between “positive” morality and “critical” morality and discusses the interaction between the two.

Keywords:   H. L. A. Hart, standards of conduct, R. M. Hare, ethics, morality, moral obligation, moral philosophy, positive morality, critical morality, rules

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