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Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy$
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H. L. A. Hart

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780198253884

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198253884.001.0001

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Problems of the Philosophy of Law

Problems of the Philosophy of Law

(p.88) Essay 3 Problems of the Philosophy of Law
Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy

H. L. A. Hart

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the problems of the philosophy of law. It is more important to distinguish certain groups of questions as belonging to the philosophy of law. Three such groups of problems may be distinguished: problems of definition and analysis, problems of legal reasoning, and problems of the criticism of law. Objections to these are also considered. The theory of social contract focuses on two aspects of the obligation of obedience to law. It is also possible to detach from what is mythical or otherwise objectionable in contract theory certain considerations which show that the obligation to obey the law may be regarded as the obligation of fairness to others, which is independent of and may conflict with utility.

Keywords:   philosophy of law, problems, legal reasoning, criticism of law, social contract

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