Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Internal Aspect of Social Rules

(2015) 35 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 283

22 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2013 Last revised: 14 Jun 2015

Adam Perry

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 25, 2013

Abstract

One of HLA Hart's main contributions to jurisprudence is his theory of social rules. Hart said, essentially, that a social rule exists if the members of a society act in some way and have a certain attitude. Most legal philosophers think that Hart's account of this attitude is too general, however, and that his theory is overinclusive as a result. In this article, I draw on recent work in the philosophy of action to propose a more precise account of the relevant attitude, and a revised version of Hart's theory. I claim that a social rule exists if the members of a society act in some way and ‘accept’ they ought to act this way, independent of their beliefs about the matter. One of the implications of this idea is that the attitude that underlies a social rule is closely analogous to a presumption or fiction about what ought to be done.

Keywords: Jurisprudence, HLA Hart, rules, norms, acceptance

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Perry, Adam, The Internal Aspect of Social Rules (July 25, 2013). (2015) 35 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 283. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2298513 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2298513

Adam Perry (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

Paper statistics

Downloads
157
Rank
162,198
Abstract Views
555