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Four Neglected Prescriptions of Hartian Legal Philosophy

Kevin Toh

San Francisco State University

August 7, 2013

This paper seeks to uncover, delineate, and rationally reconstruct four theoretical prescriptions that H.L.A. Hart urged philosophers to observe and follow when investigating and theorizing about the nature of law. The four prescriptions may appear meager and insignificant when each is seen in isolation, but together as an interconnected package they have substantial implications. And they constitute a central part of Hart's campaign to put philosophical investigations into the nature of law onto a path to a genuine research program. The paper takes note of certain prevalent and robust trends in contemporary legal philosophy that detract its practitioners from the four prescriptions, and that have them revert to some of the older modes of thinking from which Hart sought a decisive break. A number of contemporary legal philosophers' views and commitments are taken up and assessed, and in particular those of John Gardner and Leslie Green.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: H.L.A. Hart, context principle, internal legal statements, oblique analysis, presupposition, John Gardner, Leslie Green

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Date posted: August 9, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Toh, Kevin, Four Neglected Prescriptions of Hartian Legal Philosophy (August 7, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2307289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2307289

Contact Information

Kevin Toh (Contact Author)
San Francisco State University ( email )
Department of Philosophy
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94108
United States
415-338-2216 (Phone)

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