Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hart, H. L. A. (1907–1992)
Matthew H. Kramer
Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart was the foremost legal philosopher and one of the foremost political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born to a Jewish family in Yorkshire, England, Hart pursued his undergraduate education at Oxford and went on to qualify as a barrister. After practicing law for several years, he worked for the British intelligence service MI5 during World War II. When the war ended, he returned to Oxford to take up a fellowship in philosophy at New College. He subsequently became professor of jurisprudence at Oxford (and a Fellow of University College), and still later became principal of Brasenose College. During the closing years of his career as an active scholar, he devoted much of his time to editing and interpreting the works of Jeremy Bentham. Hart is best known for his contributions to legal philosophy generally and to legal positivism specifically. At the same time that he acknowledged ...