Tarello Institute for Legal Philosophy

Il giorno 15 dicembre, alle ore 15, presso la sala seminari dell’Istituto (Via Balbi, 30, V piano) Shivprasad Swaminathan  (Jindal Global Law School, Delhi, India) terrà un seminario dal titolo A Tale of Two Harts: The Paradox in Essays on Bentham.

Abstract. This paper hypothesizes that the paradox Hart confesses to in Ch. X of Essays on Bentham entitled ‘Commands and Authoritative Reasons’ was the result of metaethical ambivalence. Hart eclectically yokes together metaethically incompatible elements from two disparate models of ‘normativity of law’ with different sources of normativity: the impinging model based on a cognitivist metaethic and the projectivist model based on a non-cognitivist metaethic. The ‘sources’ of normativity on the two models are different. On the impinging model the source of normativity is a reason-giving objective moral requirement; and on the projectivist model, which eschews the idea of objective moral requirements and along with it, the idea of reason-givingness, the source of normativity is a motivationally affective conative attitude. The metaethical configuration of the rule of recognition in Essays on Bentham—which it will be argued was unlike that of the version of the rule of recognition in The Concept of Law—constrained Hart to postulate a ‘source’ of normativity metaethically congruous with the impinging model. However, the ‘source’ of normativity Hart seemed keen to advance—he makes an ‘attitude’ the source of normativity—was congruous with the projectivist account based on a non-cognitivist metaethic.