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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.113) Chapter Eight Rights
H.L.A. Hart, Second Edition
Stanford University Press

The term “right” is used properly and in a quite standard way in both law and morality. H. L. A. Hart's theory of rights was not only an adjunct to and testing ground for his theory of obligations and powers, but also belongs in part to his scholarly appreciation of other writers such as Jeremy Bentham. Hart accepted the Benthamite view that one should not define or explain terms such as “right” by proposing a definition per genus et differentiam. There may be objections to Hart's “choice theory,” but he considers a theory of duties and of powers to be fully sufficient to the elucidation of rights. He has always argued that concepts such as “legal right” presuppose the existence of a “legal system.”

Keywords:   H. L. A. Hart, right, law, morality, theory of rights, obligations, powers, duties, Jeremy Bentham, choice theory

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