Hart, H. L. A.

Hart, H. L. A. (Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart), 1907–92, British legal philosopher. A lawyer and trained philosopher—he was a legal positivist—Hart subjected legal concepts to scrutiny in such works as The Concept of Law (1961, 2d ed. 1994) and Law, Liberty, and Morality (1963). Hart argued that law is premised on the notion of duty as the support of civic and societal existence and that law is not based on any moral code, so it is improper to legislate on matters of private morality. His other works include Punishment and Responsibility (1968) and Essays on Bentham (1982).

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