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A Life of H.L.A. HartThe Nightmare and the Noble Dream$
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Nicola Lacey

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202775.001.0001

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Introduction: An Outsider on the Inside

Introduction: An Outsider on the Inside

(p.1) Introduction: An Outsider on the Inside
A Life of H.L.A. Hart

Nicola Lacey

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the life and achievements of H. L. A. Hart. From his unremarkable origins as the third child of moderately well-to-do Jewish tailor parents in Yorkshire, Hart became widely regarded as having — almost single-handedly — effected a revolution in the prevailing understanding of law as a social institution. He was credited with having more or less reinvented the philosophy of law, reviving the English positivist and utilitarian tradition, and combining it with the insights of modern linguistic philosophy. He had also had a marked influence on the social policy debates of the 1960s. Hart's writings on abortion, on the legalization of homosexuality and prostitution, and on capital punishment had a huge impact on informed opinion.

Keywords:   abortion, philosophy of law, homosexuality, prostitution, capital punishment

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