H.L.A. HartThe Nature of Law
H.L.A. Hart
The Nature of Law

H.L.A. Hart is among the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, with an especially great influence on the philosophy of law. His 1961 book <i>The Concept of Law</i> has become an enduring classic of legal philosophy, and has also left a significant imprint on moral and political philosophy.

In this volume, leading contemporary legal and political philosopher Matthew H. Kramer provides a crystal-clear analysis of Hart's contributions to our understanding of the nature of law. He elucidates and scrutinises every major aspect of Hart's jurisprudential thinking, ranging from his general methodology to his defence of legal positivism. He shows how Hart's achievement in <i>The Concept of Law</i>, despite the evolution of debates in subsequent decades, remains central to debates among legal philosophers because it lends itself to being reinterpreted in light of new concerns and interests. Kramer therefore pays particular attention to the strength of Hart's insights in the context of present-day disputes among philosophers over the reality of normative entities and properties and over the semantics of normative statements.

This book is an invaluable guide to Hart's thought for students and scholars of legal philosophy and jurisprudence, as well as moral and political philosophy.

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  • September 2018
  • 264 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509520725
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509520732
  • Open eBook $24.95
  • 9781509520763
Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – A Discourse on Method

Chapter 2 – Hart on Legal Powers and Law’s Normativity

Chapter 3 – The Components of Hart’s Jurisprudential Theory

Chapter 4 – Hart on Legal Interpretation and Legal Reasoning

Chapter 5 – Law and Morality

Chapter 6 – Conclusion



About the Author
Matthew H. Kramer is Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.
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"Matthew Kramer is one of the most important figures in legal theory today.  His deep analysis of H.L.A. Hart's legal philosophy will be an invaluable resource for scholars and serious students of jurisprudence."
Brian Bix, University of Minnesota

"Written with Kramer’s characteristic care and attention to detail, this marvelous book provides a sympathetic, yet critical, account of Hart’s views on the nature of law and of legal reasoning. A valuable source of insight for student and seasoned scholar alike."
Wil Waluchow, McMaster University

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