Bruno Celano

Hart's Blind Spot. What's Missing in The Concept of Law

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: H.L.A. Hart, Power, Analytical Jurisprudence, Legal and Political Philosophy, Rule of Law.

At the beginning of The Concept of Law Hart suggests a mistaken assimilation between conduct that is "non-optional" and conduct that is "obligatory" (i.e. conduct that is either coerced or subject to an obligation). This suggested assimilation vitiates the argument of the whole book, leading Hart to neglect the different ways in which the law typically tracks, corroborates or constitutes power relations. It is true that, famously, attention is paid, in The Concept of Law, to normative, legal powers. Brute social power, and law's relation to it, however, are largely overlooked. This, in a way, Hart's blind spot.

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