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Hart, H. L. A.

  1. Matthew H. Kramer

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee439

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Kramer, M. H. 2013. Hart, H. L. A.. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart (1907–92) was the foremost legal philosopher and one of the foremost political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born into 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 the 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 Fellow of University College) and, later still, 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 (see Bentham, Jeremy). Many former students of his, including Ronald Dworkin, Joseph Raz, John Finnis, Neil MacCormick, Herbert Morris, and Wilfrid Waluchow, have been among the most prominent legal philosophers of the next generation.


  • law;
  • legal and political;
  • politics;
  • crime;
  • legislation and regulations