A C Grayling

Herbert’s Law

A Life of H L A Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream


Oxford University Press 422pp £25 order from our bookshop

Herbert Hart was a philosopher who rescued one of the most important branches of his discipline from neglect and stagnation – the philosophy of law. Philosophy of law is the enquiry into the nature and basis of law and legal institutions. It examines especially their justification and their relation to morality and society. Hart, who had both legal and philosophical training, saw that jurisprudence was in need of a revolution, and he gave it one. He did it by applying the sharp and searching techniques of analytic philosophy, using ideas he had developed under the influence of Wittgenstein and J L Austin.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,