H.L.A. Hart: A Twentieth-Century Oxford Political Philosopher

20 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2009 Last revised: 18 Oct 2009

See all articles by John Finnis

John Finnis

Notre Dame Law School; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 13, 2009


This essay, a version of which will appear in volume 54 (2009) of the American Journal of Jurisprudence, was conceived as an invited contribution to a projected volume on Twentieth Century political philosophers. It offers first a sketch (by a student and colleague) of H.L.A. Hart's life; second an account of the political philosophy which he explicitly articulated in The Concept of Law (1961), and of its relation to the main currents of Oxford political philosophy in the 1950s; and thirdly an exposition and critical assessment of the normative political theory deployed, to widespread acclaim, in his Law, Liberty & Morality (1963).

Suggested Citation

Finnis, John M., H.L.A. Hart: A Twentieth-Century Oxford Political Philosopher (October 13, 2009). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 30/2009, Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 09-40, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1477276 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1477276

John M. Finnis (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

University College
High Street
Oxford, England OX1 4BH
United Kingdom

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