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 legislation and revolutionized our figuring out of legislations as a social establishment. Hart's method of criminal philosophy was once straight away disarmingly uncomplicated and breathtakingly formidable, combining the insights of the Utilitarian culture and the recent linguistic philosophy of J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He sought to clarify an idea of legislation that will be of relevance to all kinds of legislation, at any place or each time they arose.

This publication 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 reputation 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Nicola Lacey attracts upon Hart's formerly unpublished diaries and letters to bare a posh inside existence.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 used to be in truth affected by doubts approximately his highbrow skills, his sexual identification and his ability to shape shut relationships. Her biography additionally sheds interesting gentle at the origins of his rules, and assesses his total contribution to the philosophy of legislations. particularly, it's a chronicle of a lifestyles which made an effect some distance more than many folks realize.

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Its ideas continue to echo in both political and intellectual debates about a range of social and legal issues such as criminal justice policy, euthanasia, abortion, and human rights. Applying his philosophical and rhetorical skills to these key public issues, Hart made a decisive contribution to the emergence of a more liberal social culture in the 1960s. But his involvement in moral and political issues went hand in hand with theoretical argument, and his work on issues such as the enforcement of morality and the justification of punishment also refined and modified the philosophy of utilitarianism.

Rose Hart, Herbert’s mother 5. Sim Hart, Herbert’s father 6. The Harts’ shop in Harrogate 7. The Jewish House at Cheltenham College, 1919: Herbert is at the extreme left of the top row, and inset centre 8. uk, from which the image is available as a limited edition print) 9. Herbert and his mother, 1927 10. Christopher Cox cooking porridge at the Chalet 11. Herbert and Jenifer 12. Fatherhood: Herbert with Joanna, 1942 13. Herbert and Jenifer with Adam, 1946 14. J. L. Austin 15. Tony Honoré 16. Isaiah Berlin 17.

From the late 1950s on, Hart’s work became increasingly concerned with these prescriptive questions about how law ought to be; he published influential papers which entered the debate on a number of key social and political issues. These included debates about whether those in Germany who, during the Nazi era, committed what would today be regarded as serious crimes should be punished notwithstanding that their behaviour was regarded as lawful within the Nazi regime; about whether capital punishment should be abolished; about the decriminalization of homosexuality and prostitution; about the legalization of abortion.

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