Essays on Bentham: Jurisprudence and Political Theory by H. L. A. Hart

By H. L. A. Hart

In his advent to those heavily associated essays Professor Hart bargains either an exposition and a severe assesment of a few primary matters in jurisprudence and political thought. many of the essays contact on topics to which little cognizance has been paid, comparable to Bentham's id of the kinds of mistification preserving the legislation from feedback; his relation to Beccaria; and his conversion to democratic radicalism and a passionate admiration for the us.

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Rulers are, in this sense, the servants of the ruled. The latter cease being subjects and become citizens. In Rousseau's particular version of this idea, "the people" rule and become "the sovereign"; government is merely their agent. These influential ideas of original freedom and equality, of basing government on agreement and expecting it to serve the interests of the governed, are developed in different ways in the social contract theories of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Hobbes and Locke differ Page x especially in their views of the status of the moral law of nature and of our natural rights, the former seeming to deny that natural laws are genuine laws and asserting that our only natural right is essentially a mere liberty to do whatever we think conducive to our survival.

It is the transition, for which Hobbes offers no explicit justification, from the observation that persons in the state of nature must fear violence from others, to the claim that anticipation is the most reasonable way for such persons to attempt to protect themselves. Despite the fact that this crucial Page 6 inference has escaped criticism in the literature, it is clear that it is fallacious. For in emphasizing the obvious advantages of anticipatory or preemptive violence, Hobbes utterly ignores three special dangers one would encounter if one were to engage in it.

The English Works of Thomas Hobbes (London: John Bohn, 1839), vol. 3 (hereafter cited at Leviathan). 2. , David Gauthier, The Logic of Leviathan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 14-18; Richard Peters, Hobbes (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1956), pp. 168-72; and D. D. Raphael, Hobbes (London: George Allen & Unwin Publishers, 1977), pp. 30-31. 3. , in Leslie Stephen, Hobbes (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961), pp. 136-42, 182-84; and C. B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962), pp.

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