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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, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Obligation, Duty, Wrongdoing

Obligation, Duty, Wrongdoing

Chapter:
(p.73) Chapter Six Obligation, Duty, Wrongdoing
Source:
H.L.A. Hart, Second Edition
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804756785.003.0006

According to H. L. A. Hart, the distinguishing feature of morality and of law is their obligatory character. By giving rise to obligations, morality and law make conduct non-optional. Hart's theory of social rules offers an explanation for this use of the concept “obligation” as a concept common to, and special to, law and morality. He argues that there is a special class of rules whose special characteristics make them distinct from other rules as “rules of obligation” or “obligation imposing rules.” Hart proposes three distinctive features of the rules of obligation: seriousness of social pressure behind the rule, importance of the values promoted by its observance, and possible conflict between an agent's wishes and what the rule prescribes. This chapter comments on Hart's arguments about obligation, duty, and wrongdoing.

Keywords:   H. L. A. Hart, law, morality, obligation, rules of obligation, social rules, social pressure, duty, wrongdoing

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