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Péter Cserne

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Between “Metaphysics Of The Stone Age” And The “Brave New World”: H.L.A. Hart On The Law’S Assumptions About Human Nature, Péter Cserne Dec 2011

Between “Metaphysics Of The Stone Age” And The “Brave New World”: H.L.A. Hart On The Law’S Assumptions About Human Nature, Péter Cserne

Péter Cserne

This paper analyses H.L.A. Hart’s views on the epistemic character of the law’s assumptions about human behaviour, as articulated in Causation in the Law and Punishment and Responsibility. Hart suggests that the assumptions behind legal doctrines typically combine common sense factual beliefs, moral intuitions, and philosophical theories of earlier ages with sound moral principles, and empirical knowledge. An important task of legal theory is to provide a ‘rational and critical foundation’ for these doctrines. This does not only imply conceptual clarification in light of an epistemic ideal of objectivity but also involves legal theorists in ‘enlightenment ...