By Nicola Lacey
H.L.A. Hart used to be the pre-eminent felony thinker of the 20th century. As a student he single-handedly reinvented the philosophy of legislation and revolutionized our figuring out of legislation as a social establishment. Hart's method of felony philosophy was once instantly disarmingly basic and breathtakingly formidable, combining the insights of the Utilitarian culture and the recent linguistic philosophy of J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He sought to clarify an idea of legislation that may be of relevance to all kinds of legislations, at any place or at any time when they arose.
This ebook is either an highbrow and a mental biography, following his existence from modest origins because the son of Jewish tailor mom and dad in Yorkshire to around the globe reputation because the so much influential English-speaking felony theorist of the post-War period. It lines his successive metamorphoses; from Yorkshire schoolboy to Oxford student, profitable barrister, intelligence officer, thinker, and, eventually, Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford.
Nicola Lacey attracts upon Hart's formerly unpublished diaries and letters to bare a posh inside existence. Outwardly winning, Hart was once actually suffering from doubts approximately his highbrow talents, his sexual identification and his skill to shape shut relationships. Her biography additionally sheds interesting gentle at the origins of his rules, and assesses his total contribution to the philosophy of legislations. in particular, it's a chronicle of a lifestyles which made an effect a ways more than many folks realize.
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Additional resources for A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream
Since the early 1960s, it has been virtually impossible for anyone doing research in jurisprudence, political theory, or criminal justice studies to ignore Herbert Hart’s contribution, and for many scholars—critics as well as admirers—he provides a key departure point. My early work was on the justification of punishment, and a large part of it was a sympathetic analysis and revision of a position originally defended by Herbert Hart. xix) boundaries of legal theory. These criticisms have shaped my interpretation of his work in this book.
5) with those of the new linguistic philosophy represented by the work of J. L. Austin, Friedrich Waismann, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The nub of Hart’s theory was the startlingly simple idea that law is a system of rules structurally similar to the rules of games such as chess or cricket. The rules are of different kinds, with complementary functions. Some—‘primary rules’—directly govern behaviour; others—‘secondary rules’—provide for the identification, interpretation, and alteration of the former.
It was Richard Holmes’ thoughtful collection, Footsteps, which first alert-ed me to the fact that writing a biography implies living—in an attenuated but real sense—with one’s subject. The lesson was reinforced when, a few days after finishing Holmes’ essays, I found myself reading a passage in one of Herbert Hart’s notebooks which described his impressions of the same collection. This ‘living with someone’ aspect of biography means that, for most biographers, it is hard to work on an unsympathetic subject.
A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream by Nicola Lacey