By Nicola Lacey
H.L.A. Hart was once the pre-eminent felony thinker of the 20th century. As a pupil he single-handedly reinvented the philosophy of legislation and revolutionized our knowing of legislation as a social establishment. Hart's method of felony philosophy was once without delay disarmingly uncomplicated and breathtakingly formidable, combining the insights of the Utilitarian culture and the hot linguistic philosophy of J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He sought to clarify an idea of legislations that will be of relevance to all sorts of legislations, anyplace or at any time when they arose.
This ebook is either an highbrow and a mental biography, following his lifestyles from modest origins because the son of Jewish tailor mom and dad in Yorkshire to around the globe repute because the such a lot influential English-speaking criminal theorist of the post-War period. It strains his successive metamorphoses; from Yorkshire schoolboy to Oxford student, profitable 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Nicola Lacey attracts upon Hart's formerly unpublished diaries and letters to bare a posh inside lifestyles. Outwardly profitable, Hart used to be in reality suffering from doubts approximately his highbrow skills, his sexual identification and his capability to shape shut relationships. Her biography additionally sheds interesting mild at the origins of his principles, and assesses his total contribution to the philosophy of legislations. in particular, it's a chronicle of a lifestyles which made an effect a long way more than many folks realize.
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Extra resources for A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream
3) to a television programme on communism to which Jenifer had contributed. The article claimed that as well as having been—as she had admitted openly for years—a member of the Communist Party for a short period in the 1930s, she had been recruited as a spy. It was suggested that, given her position in the Home Office during the 1940s, she might have passed useful information to the Russians. Furthermore, it was insinuated—both in the headline ‘“I was a Russian Spy” says MI5 Man’s Wife’, and in the text—that Herbert Hart’s position in MI5 during the war might have enabled him to feed highly sensitive information to Jenifer.
Like many legal academics of my generation, Herbert Hart’s writing has been one of the primary catalysts for my own work. Since the early 1960s, it has been virtually impossible for anyone doing research in jurisprudence, political theory, or criminal justice studies to ignore Herbert Hart’s contribution, and for many scholars—critics as well as admirers—he provides a key departure point. My early work was on the justification of punishment, and a large part of it was a sympathetic analysis and revision of a position originally defended by Herbert Hart.
By the time of her marriage to Hart she was a civil servant in the Home Office, one of a handful of women to have passed the civil service exams during the previous decade. After the war she went on to become a successful academic in her own right, combining her work with managing a family of four children. This made for a complicated household, presided over by the redoubtable and utterly indispensable Nanny, but one in which a strong sense of family connection prevailed. This sustained, among other things, a remarkable sense of shared responsibility for Jenifer’s and Herbert’s fourth, brain-damaged, child.