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In the 1950s and 60s, H. L. A. Hart's writings were responsible for the revitalizing of legal philosophy in the UK and worldwide.
This new collection of essays by distinguished philosophers and legal theorists addresses the enduring significance of Hart's work, focusing upon some of its more neglected aspects, including his work on causation and the philosophy of action. Two essays discuss Hart and Honore's Causation in the Law, a book that has been undeservedly overlooked in many philosophical discussions of causation.
The majority of the essays consider Hart's views on the justification of punishment. They discuss Hart's dislike of retribution, his claim that harmless immorality should not be punished, and his search for a non-retributivist theory of mens rea and excuses.
Other topics examined include Hart's definitions of key legal and philosophical concepts, including 'punishment', 'responsibility' and 'voluntariness', and his views on punishing negligent acts.