Download A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream by Nicola Lacey PDF

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 legislations and revolutionized our knowing of legislations as a social establishment. Hart's method of criminal philosophy was once instantly disarmingly uncomplicated and breathtakingly formidable, combining the insights of the Utilitarian culture and the hot linguistic philosophy of J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He sought to explain an idea of legislations that may be of relevance to all different types of legislation, at any place or at any time when they arose.

This booklet 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 popularity because the so much influential English-speaking felony theorist of the post-War period. It strains his successive metamorphoses; from Yorkshire schoolboy to Oxford student, winning barrister, intelligence officer, thinker, and, ultimately, Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford.

Nicola Lacey attracts upon Hart's formerly unpublished diaries and letters to bare a posh inside existence. Outwardly profitable, Hart was once in reality suffering from doubts approximately his highbrow talents, his sexual identification and his capability to shape shut relationships. Her biography additionally sheds attention-grabbing gentle at the origins of his rules, and assesses his total contribution to the philosophy of legislation. especially, it's a chronicle of a lifestyles which made an impression a long way more than many people realize.

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I should like to thank all of these people not only for their generosity with their time but also for their willingness to talk so frankly and, in many cases, to answer follow-up questions. x) I would also like to acknowledge the kindness of a number of people who helped me in particularly important ways. Caroline Dalton gave me assistance not only with the Cox archive at New College but also in tracing a miscellany of questions about the history of Oxford University; Dr. Henry Hardy was enormously generous in providing and discussing relevant materials from the Isaiah Berlin archive, and in checking my citations with meticulous care; Professor Tony Honoré provided unstinting support and important material on jurisprudence teaching at Oxford in the 1950s; Professor Hermione Lee gave me invaluable advice about writing biography as well as much-appreciated encouragement; Professor Brian Simpson patiently answered dozens of email queries and provided me with a large amount of useful material, including many papers relating to Abraham Harari; Professor David Sugarman generously gave me access to an unpublished interview with Herbert Hart in 1988; Professor Robert Summers sent me extracts from his personal diaries containing vivid descriptions of conversations with Herbert Hart; Professor Stanley Paulson gave me important bibliographic assistance and invaluable advice about Hans Kelsen; Professor John Hall generously sent to me two letters from Ernest Gellner to Herbert Hart which he had come across in the course of his work on Gellner’s biography, as well as making time for a helpful discussion; Professor Frances Olsen tracked down Herbert Hart’s annotated copy of Weber’s writings on law and economy in the Hebrew University Library; Miriam Schatz-Sharon of the Hebrew University Library gave me endless help in tracing the complete list of the Hart bequest through the complexities of the electronic catalogue; Dr.

During one of our many discussions of Herbert, I told her that I felt I ought to be writing her life rather than his, since I found her much easier to understand. ‘Well,’ she replied, ‘that’s because I’ve always thought that life was too short to be discreet’. This is characteristic of her inimitable style. One of my greatest challenges was to write a biography of Herbert Hart while doing justice to Jenifer’s vivid personality and substantial achievements. 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.

In doing so, he aspired to make a contribution both to ‘analytical jurisprudence’ and to ‘descriptive sociology’. In other words, he aimed to set out a concept of law which would illuminate all forms of law, wherever or whenever they arose. 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.

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