Universität Wien FIND
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180074 SE H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law (1961, Third edition 2012) (2021S)

A seminar on a classical work of legal philosophy with reference to current debates about legal positivism versus natural law

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 30 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 08.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 15.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 22.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 12.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 19.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 26.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 03.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 10.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 17.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 31.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 07.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 14.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 21.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 28.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

H.L.A. Hart's The Concept of Law is a classic text of legal philosophy. In it, Hart devlops his conception of a rule-based legal positivism. Hart also draws a clear line between law and morality (his famous separation thesis). The aim of the seminar is to discuss the strenghts and weaknesses of Hart's legal theory, based on a close reading of the book. We will also compare Hart's account with Lon L. Fuller's conception of law.
Students are expected to have access to the text of H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law, Third Edition at the beginning of the seminar.

Assessment and permitted materials

In order to receive a grade for this seminar, you need to attend seminar sessions regularly, participate actively in discussions, and do a presentation (if this is not possible, you need to write a summary of one chapter of the book). Moreover, you need to hand in a final seminar paper of 10-15 pages (Times New Roman 12pt; around 20.000 signs) and send it to herlinde.pauer-studer@univie.ac.at and to florian.kolowrat@univie.ac.at
Deadline for seminar papers: September 30, 2021.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Close reading of the text; active participation in seminar discussions, presentation with Handout, seminar paper.

Presentation: 50%
Handouts, Exposés, Participation: 50%

Language: The seminar will be held in English.

Examination topics

H.L.A.Hart The Concept of Law, Third Edition

Reading list

H.L.A.Hart The Concept of Law, Third Edition

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26